Thursday, March 14, 2013

I loathe parent teacher conferences

I've never had a very good relationship with teachers. Not as a student or as an adult. I really have no legitimate reason for this it just comes naturally. I posses a bizarre instinct to mock and belittle anyone who instructs, at anytime and for any reason. Without conscience effort I am always in opposition to whomever stands in a tie surrounded by little desks. If the teacher tries hard I slack off, if the teachers slacks off I become demanding. There really is no way to win with me.

I will admit though that I have encountered a few great teachers, so before I continue this blog I will quote one of my favorite authors, John Steinbeck - "I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist and that there are as few as there are any other great artists. Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit."

It's parent teacher conference time so my next three blogs will address everything I hate about this and everyone involved. Starting with teachers who are total @#$%^&*. It's because of this type of teacher that this is how I see myself every time I enter a classroom

I should probably stop addressing all teachers as Persian cowards though...

The following is correspondence between a concerned parent, the teacher, and then myself writing on behalf of the concerned/enraged parent. I have removed any identifying info. Enjoy.

The concerned parent:

I'm concerned about my daughter ******* *******. Her scores have been very low. Is she not understanding the material? Is she failing to turn in her work? Did she retake the walkway?
When I asked her she said
"I had 4 assignments I had not turned in. I have turned in two of those assignments and will turn in the other two if her class is open during pride time. I haven't retaken the walkway. I'm going to retake it tomorrow if I can get in during pride time. I think I will be able to get in but there is a small chance that it will already be full and I will have to try a different day."
Is that accurate?
Does she have a behavior problem? She told me that you have "yelled at" her. Is that something that is happening or has happened? If you are "yelling" why are you "yelling"?
She feels like she is always "in trouble". Is she "in trouble" a lot in your class?
I want her to do well in math this year and understand the material well enough to be successful in the future. I'm just trying to find out what is going on so we can find the solution.
Thank You,

The response from the teacher

******* has really slacked off this term.  I would think it is a combination of not understanding the material and not paying attention.  I would think that her lack of understanding comes from her lack of paying attention.  ******* has a tendency to be talking during class explanations and discussions.  She has not turned in the past few assignments or they have not been 90% or better.  The problem now is that those assignments are "dead".  Which means they will not receive credit.  We retook the walkaway yesterday in class, but the students were to come prepared with their review complete.  Those that had it complete were able to re-take the walkaway.  Those who were not prepared worked on the review during class and will need to retake the walkaway during pride time or after school, after Christmas break once the review has been complete.  She can always come in during Pride Time, but I am only in the math classroom every other day.  The off days I am in PE.  She can always go in and work on homework even if I am not there.  She does NOT have to be stamped and it has only been "full" once this year.
As far as "yelling" I can not say that has happened.  I have probably "raised" my voice or became a little more firm in situations after I have asked continuously for the class to work and be quiet.  If you would like to bring ******* in and she can explain to me the situation that she is talking about I will be more than happy to listen.  I don't feel that ******* is always in trouble, but I do know that I have asked her numerous times to quit talking and to get busy on her math.
If you would like to meet please let me know and we can set up a meeting after Christmas.

and now my turn to take a stab at this thing they call "communication"

Good morning 

Let me start by saying WOW and I mean all capital letters jaw dropping WOW. There are so many things I want to say after reading your email. First off, I find that I must thank you because you have answered all of my questions and I do now understand why ******* is really struggling and appears flustered whenever I mention math. If my daughter is experiencing even a fraction of the hostility that is just oozing from that email I received, then it all makes sense. I'm going to take a short break in writing this email because I'm overcome with the need to hug my daughter and reassure her that it will all be over soon. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, a light we call summer. 
I'm back.
From this email I can see you are really struggling to capture and keep the attention of your students. I received another email from you that stated none of your students were able to pass a test. If A=your students are not giving you their attention and B=your students are then exhibiting a lack of understanding of the material then A+B= teaching is just not your forte.
******* mentioned some yelling, you claim you're just raising your voice in frustration. Reminds me of that old saying tomato, to-samefrigginthing-o.
It is easy for me to read your discourteous and extraordinarily rude email and mock you. Because I am a grown man, unlike your young students I am neither intimidated or controlled by your bullying. Flippant responses aside I need you to understand you are an extremely hostile and aggressive woman. Hostility and aggression have no place in a child's classroom. I was more than prepared to sit my daughter down and let her know that her recent academic performance was unacceptable. I intended to let ******* know that she needed to increase her efforts and I was willing to accept no excuses from her. That entire speech has been thrown out the window because your email provides the best excuse ever. I honestly never want to interact with you again and can't blame your students for feeling the same way. Hulk Smash!
I would like to give you a little advice and then we should absolutely meet after Christmas Break.
1. children avoid things that make them uncomfortable. Stop making children uncomfortable and perhaps they will discontinue avoidance behavior such as not listening, not asking question, etc.
2. regardless of how frustrated you get with your students, use your inside voice. 

Thank you kindly for your time

**** " not your enemy just a concerned parent hoping to have a productive conversation and work together in the best interest of ******* " *********  

that reminds me. I should probably call and find out how that meeting went.... I bet it was awkward 

No comments:

Post a Comment