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Just a sympathetic ear


Senior Member
I had a conference this morning with a parent who blasted me. Apparently, her son was an angel last year in k, where they played for the first 20 min of the day, had a special each morning, had a 15 min snack, and went home at 11:45. I have had problems with him being rude and disrespectful, talking non-stop and bothering others, not completing work. A few weeks ago he punched a classmate in the face while on the bus. The principal called his parents. Last Friday, he first threw all of the pencils from the pencil cup at another boy at his table. Then, when the other boy wouldn't give the pencils back, he jumped up and ran around the table to wrestle the pencils back. Ok, so according to the mother, I am not solving the problem, so I had better change something to fix it. She asked if the kids have a time during the day to just talk. I told her that they can visit at snack, recess, and lunch. She was upset that I don't set aside a time for just playing and talking. She also said that she didn't consider throwing pencils worthy of being sent to the principal. I explained that he wasn't just throwing pencils, he was throwing them AT another student, then wrestling him for them. She said the other boy was using "potty words" and it bothered her son. Excuse after excuse after excuse. To top it off, I had come in early to meet her before school and she was 15 minutes late for our meeting because she had had to take an "important" phone call. Then after meeting with me, she went to the principal to complain. I am writing all of this because I am hoping it will help me to let it go so I can enjoy Thanksgiving. Thanks for letting me vent. I am thankful for all of you!


New Member
I'll give you a sympathetic ear..

I can imagine how upset this made you. I think we all have had a parent or two like that. It's sad that parents will not take responsibility for their children. We wonder why they act the way they do. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree in these cases. I think you had every right to send the child to the office. It's obvious he has problems other places too... like the bus.
The only thing I can say is that the parents will be sorry one day. I hate to put it like that but it is true.
I had a parent once that missed three appointments for a conference. I stayed late one afternoon. (missed my own child's piano recital) After the third excuse of not coming after we had set up an appointment, I let her have it. I told her that I cared enough to change my schedule and personal plans for her child and I felt she was not considerate of me or HER own child to make the appointment. I had had enough. She started crying. I didn't back down. I felt she needed to hear this. We accomodate parents way too much... but of course we care and want the child to be successful. It's ashame parents aren't the same.
Boy... I have vented now. I have been teaching 31 years. I have seen the parent take less and less responsibility for their children. It is a sad thing. Have a good Thanksgiving and enjoy your time off. You deserve it.


Full Member
Keep your head high

Boy, I can definitely relate. Stay strong and think about all the wonderful things you are doing with your students. At this time, you need to pull out your "happy box." The "happy box" is a collection of letters from former parents and students. Occasionally, when I feel down and blue, I get the "happy box" and I crack up. Keep your head high and enjoy the break. Another positive, that parent has to deal with that child 24/7. Hehehe!

I am pretty sure that you are doing an amazing job and the kids LOVE YOU!


New Member
just relax

I don't know how curriculum is in your state or district, but in mine there is no time for students to Just talk and play. The kindergarten curriculum in my state (MI) has far fewer objectives to accomplish in the year. I always use the example that in Kindergarten they have 54 letters (upper and lower case combined, text a and g) 26 letter sounds and a group of 23 words to learn all year. In first grade we read 5 books, learn to write 5 sentences on a topic, learn to decode new words, and to encode/spell a new group of 10 words each week. And that's just our morning. No, we don't have time to just talk and play. That ended with Kindergarten.
I would explain that throwing pencils at someone is simply unacceptable on many levels. Primarily because it could result in injury to another child, but also because we are here to learn that throwing something at another person is not the way to resolve a dispute, and it's simply rude behavior that disrepects the other child and disrupts the learning process.
Sometimes parents need tough love too.


Senior Member
Have a

Happy Thanksgiving! Forget about all of this. The principal will back you up because it is obvious that mom is the problem here. By the way, there is a VENT board where you can vent away, no need to apologize : )


Senior Member
Try to let it go and enjoy your break! Let her go to the principal-he should support what you are doing.

After meeting with her, I'm sure you can see why her child is the way he is. As a PP said, "the apple never falls far from the tree".

If you have another conference with her, ask the principal to join you. I'm sure she will change her tone. It would be good to have another ear anyways to back you up.

Hang in there!