I COULD be Rude, but You Couldn't Take It

Today, as I was headed into the office with my usual (long) list of parents' phone numbers, I was stopped by one of the assistant principals.

"We got a call today from X X's mother," she began, and I knew it couldn't be good.

"She says X can't do her work in class because she has to come all the way from her math class so she is one of the last people in the room and then you NEVER call her to your desk to read."

[This part takes place in my head] Well now, that IS an excellent excuse for the fact that she wastes a full NINETY MINUTES in class. And I will perhaps not mention the fact that I, as a former student at RHS, had to walk from the band room to the EXACT OPPOSITE ROOM in the building, and I stopped at my locker AND the bathroom on the way, and we only had THREE MINUTES between classes. [End internal monologue}

"Really," I said. "How strange, because I've only noticed that she'd signed up to read ONCE in the past four weeks, and that was the day I had twenty kids who suddenly wanted to work. Coincidentally, this was the day before progress reports were turned in."

"Well," she said, "the mother is upset and thinks you don't call on X on purpose. And she wants to transfer her to another class--"

[This part takes place inside my head] Another class! What's the point, when she's just gonna do a big ol' bucket of nothing, LIKE SHE DOES FOR ME. [End internal monologue]

"--I told her that she's just going to have to do the same thing in another class. And she said you were rude to her on the phone ...? But I know you weren't. I think she's getting a different story from her daughter and I wanted to let you know. Just call on her first to read tomorrow, whether she signs up or not."

"Thanks, Mrs. AP," I said. "I'll do that."

And I went on my merry way, but on the inside, I was reeling. Because: RUDE?!?!

Well, maybe it was RUDE to express concern about the Darling's failing grade. And it was probably also RUDE to enlist the mother's help in getting the Baby to concentrate on her education. And, you know, it was RUDE to try to nip this in the bud early, so the Sugarplum wouldn't be down one credit at the end of the year. And I guess it was RUDE to offer to stay after school--ON MY OWN TIME--to give the Lambikins a chance to make up that work she didn't do during the THREE TO FOUR-AND-A-HALF HOURS PER WEEK SHE IS SITTING IN MY ROOM DOING NOTHING.

Really. I don't know WHAT I was thinking.


Lady s said...

I sometimes wish we could covertly video tape our students so their parents could actually see what they do (not) do.

I had a parent come a year or so ago to tell me I was devestating her daughter. That I yelled at her all the time. She came home every day crying because I was so mean to her.

Did I mention that I had this girl in my tech lab for 45 minutes, one day a week, with 18 other students who are mostly working independently at their computers?

Not to mention that she was a 10 year old teenager who talked to her friends through my whole lesson and then could figure out why she didn't know what to do when she got to her computer.

Yeah, I am the mean one. I make her go home every single day in tears. Because the 4 other days a week she doesn't have me, just the idea of me sets her off.

Then why is this the only mom complaining?

Mei said...

Guess what "rude" teacher has a conference tomorrow with this mother?


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