Shaddup Already!


Thank Goodness for Email

Let me just say that I appreciate the fact that I have so many parents who are computer saavy this year. In contrast to previous years, I no longer have to put a smile in my voice when I deal with some of the most irritating parents in the world.

Let me just mention that I'm getting sick of parents who take everything their child says as gospel and, as the teacher, I must be out to get them.

email from pain in ass parent Q:
Ms. B, I have learned that report cards went out a week ago. J told me that YOU never gave him his. Please make sure that J gets his report card as we have been waiting to see it.

My response (with what went unsaid in italics):
Dear Mr. Pain in the Ass Parent Q,
Report cards did go out last Tuesday and J never received his because I like to imagine your face getting all red and I really enjoy the implied personal accusations I get in your emails. Seeing an email from you is the highlight of my pathetic life, so I dream up ways to persecute J just so you'll talk to me J got his along with everyone else.

If J is unable to find his report card because your perpetual ass-wiping and hand-holding of this poor child has left him ill prepared to find his own nose, much less an important document then you should be able to get another copy from the front office.

Having not heard back from Mr. Pain in the Ass Parent Q, I had this conversation with J the following morning.

Me: J, your dad emailed me and told me that you didn't get your report card.

J: (goofy grin)yeah

Me: I gave you your report card when I gave everyone else's.

J: (goofy grin and blushing)yeah

Me: Did you tell your dad that I didn't give you your report card?

J: Yeah

Me: Why would I give everyone their report cards but you? Does that make sense?

J: Well, I couldn't find it and then we looked through my backpack and there it was, crumpled at the bottom of my backpack.

Me: So your dad has seen your report card?

J: Yeah, we found it at the bottom of my backpack.

Me: Do you realize when you tell your dad that you never got one, it puts me in a position I don't deserve to be in?

J: (totally befuddled)

Me: Just go in and sit down.


Email from another pain in the ass parent H:
Ms. B, N tells me that he does not have enough time in class to complete all of these assignments because he wants to take his time and do really well on it. I told him to ask you for an extension on the due date.

My response:
Dear Mr. Pain in the Ass Parent H,
The assignments in question have been bellwork (starting work) every day for at least the last 10 weeks. N has had 5-10 minutes on each M, T and F and a little additional time on Th to work on these assignments. Since we came back from Winter Break, I have been giving the students 15 minutes on regular days and 20 minutes on extended days.

In addition, I informed all of the students on January 3 that these assignments would be due on January 31st. I also let every student know that, if they think they can't finish the assignment in the given time, they can come in before school starts.

N's behavior has improved greatly, however, his focus still needs work. I have to remind N on a regular basis to get started on bellwork.

For these reasons, I see this as an issue of N making appropriate use of his time rather than N not having enough time.

I will not grant N an extension at this time, however, if he shows a huge amount of effort and comes in each morning before school, I will seriously consider an extension at that time.

Funny thing is that after sending this email, N finished all the work within two days. Hm.

These two fathers are frequent emailers and finger-pointers. If people would allow their children to fail (when appropriate) then Muffin and her colleagues would go out of business.

As one of my coworkers likes to remind us when we are dealing with pain the ass parents, "We only have to deal with them for a short period of time. We won't be the ones visiting them in prison in a few years."


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