Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Third Week of School

I was under the impression that as school goes on, it's supposed to get easier and easier. So, how come this week was ever-so-much worse than the previous two? And I only worked 3.5 days out of 5! It's not the kids, really. They are tolerable. (Though my 8th graders are getting dangerously close to having a pop quiz every single day till they can close their little smart mouths.) It's the parents!! God help me if I turn into one of these parents. God help YOU if you are one!

The week before last, I went over a project with my 6th graders. As is my practice, I took some examples from the previous years to show the kids what to do and what to avoid. One of these projects belonged to a child who shall be known as LP. He and I had a rough time last year. He liked to talk and often ended up at a table alone due to his loud mouth. By the end of the year, we had it under control and he was allowed to sit with the rest of the class. We would joke around, and I was truly sad to see him move to a different language. I'd seen LP a few times this year, and always said hi with a smile. No big deal.

Well, I showed his project to the class. It's an ABC book in Latin. His was perfect, except it had the English meanings on the pages which was wrong. So I mentioned to the class that they should avoid this on their own books. I then proceeded to the next student's book, which also contained English words, which (to make it worse) were marked over with black marker. It looked really bad, and I cautioned the class about this mistake as well. The second example also had poor pictures which were hard to discern. I talked longer about this second bad example. Much longer than I had talked about LP's book.

On Wednesday of this week (a full week after this book showing occurred), there was a rather nasty voicemail left for me at work. LP's mom was ranting about how I talked about her son in class and said all his work "sucks." Hmm... some lovely child in my class had obviously set her off and told her a bald-faced lie. On Thursday, LP's mom talked to my immediate supervisor, who then went and spoke to some kids in my class. NONE OF THEM could confirm that I had said LP's work "sucks." (Amazing!) Of course, this did not appease LP's mom, who determined that the children had been intimidated by my supervisor and could not tell the truth to her. (Whatever!) Then she threatened to call a lawyer! Yikes! On Friday, my principal attempted to contact LP's mom, but had to leave her a message as she was neither at work nor home.

Excuse my language, but WHAT THE F*CK???!!! I am upset, saddened, hurt. In all my years of teaching, I have never used the word "sucks" about any child's work. No matter how bad it is! And I certainly would not say it in front of other children, even if that's what I was thinking. I don't know what to do. This woman wants to meet with me and give me a good telling off. Right now, my principal is still against this. He doesn't want his teachers to be attacked. Thank God! This woman is seriously off her rocker. Whatever happened last year between LP and I in class is long over. I harbor no ill will toward her son. I just don't get it. And I don't know where to go from here. I'm scared to answer my office phone, in case it's psycho-mom. I don't want to walk around campus because I'm scared to see LP and either A) ignore him and have mom think I'm being mean or, B) say hello and have mom think I'm saying it in a mean way. There's no way to win.

Sometimes, I wish I could just quit.


Oh, The Joys said...

Don't quit. You are a good teacher and SO NEEDED. It shouldn't have to be such a hassle to be a good teacher, but it seems that it always is - at least that is what all my teacher friends tell me...

Sayre said...

Yow-za! LP's mom sounds like she needs some help. Is she totally in denial about her son's abilities? Has she even asked her son about this? I know these are questions you can't ask, but man - I feel sorry for LP! His mom is setting a terrible example.

You hang in there. I don't think you did anything wrong - you principal obviously doesn't think so either. But keep him/her posted on developments. You may need to talk together about how to handle this nutcase.

Attila The Mom said...


Nice to read a blog from the "other" side!

Hang in there!