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The Dog Ate My Homework – Really!

Posted on: Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

Being a teacher, the excuses that I’ve heard over the years explaining why homework wasn’t completed are priceless.  I always listen patiently and quietly.  Most times I’m impressed by the creativity of the tale that I’m listening to and of course handle the situation appropriately.  But every so often I hear a tale of woe that is so incredibly unbelievable that I know it has to be true.

My own family saga of no homework will forever be a fond memory.  For weeks my son (an eighth grader at the time) worked diligently on a school report. Night after night he would complete one more section and leave his work on his desk.  Finally the project was completed.  He emerged from his room to take a well deserved break.  Hours later when he returned he found shreds of his report on the floor that had been well chewed and regurgitated. No, we didn’t have a cow, but we did have our beloved Samoyed, Portia, who always had a well developed taste for paper goods.  Not only had she eaten most of the report, she had also helped herself to tasting some of the reference books. I’ll spare you the details and go right to the ending.

The next day I arrived at school to discuss the situation with the school’s vice principal.  He listened patiently and finally asked one question.  Imagine my surprise when he asked if our dog was a Samoyed.  I was too shocked to respond.  I just stared as he began his own tale of woe about how his Samoyed ate through a wall to get out of the room he was in.

Most of the time, the excuses for no homework aren’t quite so dramatic.  Sometimes things just happen.  Contrary to what some kids think, teachers are human – they understand.  Just send an email, or note, give a brief explanation, and ask for an extension to complete the assignment. I can guarantee (almost) that there will be no problem.

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