Friday, during third period, an office assistant came to my room with a phone number and a name. "He says it's IMPERATIVE that you call him today," she said.

Sure enough, it was my student's dad--I had expected a call from one, if not both, of his parents.

I took a deep breath, then made the call. It went something like this:

Father: Ms. Flower, my son is upset about this field trip. He says you told his teacher not to let him go because he has a bad grade in your class.

Me: Yes sir, that's right.

Father: Well, it's kind of a big deal for him to go on that trip. Is there any way he can make up that work?

Me: Mr. Dad, I just don't think that's going to be possible. TS has an F on his report card in my class--it's a 53--and he hasn't been doing his homework for this quarter either. I told him this yesterday, that I haven't seen any evidence that he is going to do that work.

Father: Oh, so he's failing your class?

Me: Actually, Mr. Dad, he's failing THREE classes. I spoke to one of those teachers and asked her why TS failed, and she told me that he doesn't do his work. I just think that if he won't even do his work when he is IN THE ROOM, he's not likely to make up that work if he goes on a trip.

Father: Well, now, Ms. Flower, I'm glad I've talked to you. I didn't know he was failing all these classes. I definitely agree with you that he shouldn't go, and I'll tell him that when he gets home today. Is there any time when I can come up to the school and talk to you all?

Me: Yes, sir, report cards come out next week, and we'll have parent-teacher conferences on Thursday. You can come up any time.

Father: I'm definitely going to do that. Thank you very much, Ms. Flower.

Me: Oh, you're very welcome. Thank YOU for calling and making sure all of us understood one another.

Father: Oh, I understand things a LOT better.

The thing about calling a parent is you never know how it's going to go. I dreaded this call all day, but it was actually kind of pleasant.

If only they were all like this.

1 comment:

Laura said...

Just when you need them! It's so hard to know when you're going to get a decent human on the other end. It warms the heart to know they still exist--and parent teens sometimes.


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