If I Could Say Anything without Consequence

I've said too much!

Wow. This is a loaded question.

Who? Students' parents

Why? For many reasons

I'm always very frustrated by parents whose children aren't making it. Part of that is that they always approach me with the demeanor that they just didn't know. However, when I go through the file, there are so many pieces of evidence indicating that the parent did know that I just want to smack the person. Really? I mean, really?

Here's what I want you to know.

Your child, while special, is one of 30 or 60 or 150 special students that I have in a year's time. I work very hard to establish relationships with your child during that time. However, my liking your child as a person does not give him or her reason to act out in class. Your child is not so special that he or she should behave or even be encouraged to behave in an entitled manner. If your child is entitled, I expect his or her butler, lady-in-waiting, nanny, etc to come along. I'd also like to see the estate or crown jewels.

No, your child isn't so gifted he or she is bored. I consider boredom a personal problem. Quite frankly no one is providing me with 24/7 joy and it's a ridiculous expectation that I do so for your child. Actually, if or when your child indicates to me that he or she is capable of doing ON-LEVEL work, I will happily switch to more challenging material. I know, your child doesn't *like* to do work. (eye roll) Hence, challenging materials is still a problem. Developing a work ethic will do wonders for your little bundle of joy.

DO NOT KEEP YOUR CHILD HOME EVERY TIME THEY COMPLAIN OF BEING SICK! Make the kid get up, shower, get dressed and eat breakfast. If they vomit breakfast all over, then yes, keep them home. If they lay back down and fall to sleep, yes, keep them home. If they just complain, send their butts to school. Stop being a wimp.

We know when you don't discipline at home. We also know when your child manipulates you. You think it's because of how they behave, and yes, that *is* part of it. But mostly it's because they tell us. Usually when they're throwing a fit about being disciplined. They want to call Mommy or Daddy to get the teacher in trouble for being mean to them. You really should feel ashamed for even allowing that to happen.

We know you don't read at home. Why? The kids don't read. People who read are never bored. In fact, I have to PRY the books from their fingers and give the hairy, evil dirty eye-ball to them. Readers, read. Non-readers jump from book to book and complain of boredom.

I say this sincerely, if you're going to go all over-the-top melodramatic at me, make sure that you don't end up looking like an ass. One parent went on, ad nauseum, about how they *always* checked their daughter's homework. At which point she started pulling shit out of the backpack. It was like a rock sample, oldest at the bottom, nearest at the top. Seriously, 3 months of papers that had been handed out and not returned. I didn't even go there, but I so wanted to. I just looked at her. And it's true, she didn't even have the sense to apologize or backtrack.

Your child doesn't need a phone. If your kid is calling you in the middle of the day to say hello, then you need to take a good sharp knife to that umbilical cord. We actually ask, starting at kindergarten, that your child leave his or her toys at home. The phone, it's being used as a toy. It doesn't belong in school. I don't know which I find more bizarre, that you can't make plans in the morning that still stick after school or that you buy into all the "reasons" to buy the phone. I can say, even with phones, we have more kids NOT picked up after school than ever before. But now the kid can say, "Well, my mom says she's coming." Great.

Finally, I am not a glorified babysitter. Stop complaining about the amount of money I make. For having a professional degree and being threatened with firing on a regular basis, I should earn hazard pay. For 180 days, I am ON. Some years the load is easier, some it's harder. However, given that you can't even handle your one or two kids in public, don't talk to me about what I do.

Teaching is hard, for all teachers. We do it because we're good at it, we love it, and we like interacting with students. We are skilled professionals who deserve respect.

However, it's the lip service that's killing us.

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One thought on “If I Could Say Anything without Consequence

  1. Jolene says:

    Well put!

    I have to come clean. My son probably has a load of paperwork in his back pack right now that I have not looked at as of yet. I stopped pulling it out in 3rd grade to teach him to be responsible. We had a talk about it last night, I have not seen one note yet come home from school. I think that is odd since we are now in the 5th week of school.

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