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Some parents stink


fed up

Here is my tale of woe, which has me depressed, anrgy and very scornful of parents. My best make student (Grade 2) was given an F on a homework-package assignment that was being graded. Upon return to school, he hands me the package with a little note from the genius that is his mother that wonders how he can get an F when the test showed only four things checked off. Then the boy's fresh, and disrespectful sister chimed in, saying that "my mom said if the F goes in the grade book she'll be up here." Well, the class was kind of loud at this point and I was not happy, so my answer was a somwhat loud "she can come up her all she wants. I don't care who she is, no on tells me what to do in my classroom." Then everything quieted down, and I immediately lowered my voice and showed the boy all the other mistakes he made. Most were made on an odd-even fact sheet, and he was told that one day earlier. He also was told one day earlier to correct the problems. So he knew why he received the grade and he knew what he was supposed to do to change the grade. I also penned a short letter to mama at day's end to show my disappointment over her "threat," especially coming from a fine woman with fine children. It did not chastise or in any other way knock her. So she went to my principal that afternoon to complain that I cursed at her daughter and so on. My principal called me and I told him my version. I also told him that the boy in question had received at least 12 certificates of excellence and other incentive prizes since school began, all of which his prize of a mama had known about. He asked me to call her, which I did. She, however, began her words with "I believe everything my daughter tells me," so I know the conversation would do no good. Her cell phone kept breaking up, which didn't please her, but I did hear enough to know that I was going to lose her son via transfer. The kid came in Friday and stayed with us all day, doing his usual excellent work, earning yet another citation and even borrowing two dollars from me after he misplaced or had stolen money he brought from home for our school bookstore. Then the prize of a mother came to school to pick her boy up. He told her what happened to his money and his owing me the money, but she nastily, according to our secretaries, told him she had no time to deal with it and to hurry up. He returned to the room to receive his homework and get his sweater, and he announced that it was his last day with us. I just wished him good luck, as the mother is coming to school Monday to try to force my principal's hand. I didn't do anything other than raise my voice for a few seconds. In no way was that witch picked on, nor was the mother put down. Anyway, I am in a foul mood. I work in an urban area and hear of these situations all the time, but they never happen to me. I don't like loud mouth women whos best ability is being nasty, milking social services dry and raising kids who learn little about respect, accountability and reponsibility. The urban setting has some of the finest parents in the world, as well as some great kids. But when it gets ugly, it gets ugly. My love of teaching took two steps back this week, and because I don't forgive, the loss is permanent.



I was recently in a similar situation. There was a child in my room that was totally disruptive. I would handle the discipline as stated in our school policies, as would other teachers he had. During a conference with mom it became clear that even though all teachers agreed with the fact that this young "perfect" student was a behavior problem, it was only me. Principal removed him from my room because mom was that bad. I have just sat back and watched quietly. Well, low and behold he has done it again and now they are holding behavior intervention meetings!! I am so glad i don't have to deal with that child and the mom. It all boils down to whether or not children are taught respect and manners. Be thankful he may be gone----one less headache!


Senior Member
Been there too!

I hate parents like that. A couple of years ago I had the misfortune of having a "princess" who could not read, was the class bully and disruptive. No matter what I did this child's reading didn't change. Her mama came for a conference where I delicately mentioned the reading issue. I mentioned that I wanted to consult other teachers about her child'd performance and was immediately shot down. This mom went balistic. The dad was there and calmed his wife down but I ended the conference and said we could continue the conference with the principal present. Well little miss princess shows up with her parents with a list of complaints she had written about me as a teacher and the principal let her read it at the meeting! WTF!!!! My new policy became that I don't defend myself against children. I immediately left the meeting and contacted the union. I never met with the parent again without a rep from my union present. BTW little miss princess is now in 5th grade and still can't read. AWWW :) The mom is still terrorizing the school and I say good bye and good MF riddence


Senior Member
I hope...

I hope you were really frustrated when you posted this and only venting. I definitely can understand why you would want to vent!!! I hope you didn't really mean it, when you said that you "don't forgive," so your love of teaching has been permanently damaged by this ONE experience.

You cannot teach for any extended period of time, without running into a parent or two or three or four, whom you have some difficulty with. It's part of the job. And if you had any other job on earth that also required dealing with people, then you would eventually have problems with another human being there, as well. It's part of any job that requires working with humans.



...I hope that you were just joking. Please do your preaching elsewhere.


Senior Member
Sorry it was a bad day...

1. I am sorry to hear you had such a horrible, rotten, no good day. I hope it gets better.
2. I am sorry you couldn't arrange a mid point where parent and teacher could meet in the situation so that it was a win win.
3. I am sorry to hear that your school actually gives grades OR homework to second graders.
4. I am sorry to hear that a teacher has to grade homework---with a letter grade--- like it is something you "teach" rather than a "+ or - " for turned in or not. These are second graders not high schoolers.

5. I am sorry to hear that this child learned that grown ups can't work things out reasonably like we try to teach the kids to do. Your letter was an attempt to do that but didn't work out.

Was a sheet of odd or even math problems for homework really worth all of this? Maybe you could have pulled the child aside and worked with him at recess and avoided the whole thing. In a tense morning situation, your adrenaline probably got involved. That can happen to all of us. Hindsight is always 20/20. I know. Shouldn't a graded assignment be done in school anyway? Sorry. At least your class size will be reduced. : )


Senior Member
Agreeing with Lillian

I want to say that I agree with Lillian, and the PP (Really--anonymous) is off-base. This place is called the VENT so you can vent. Lillian is right, we will run into difficult parents, and it is part of our job. As we gain more experience with this type of parents (and students), we become more flexible and learn to laugh about it. Or we get out of teaching and find a job that doesn't give us these kinds of challenges (good luck there).


Full Member
It is interesting though, here is what happened to me this week.

I teach an 10th grade honors class and the students know that they need to turn in work on the day it is due or I will NOT accept it late. If they are not PERSONALLY RESPONSIBLE for their education then they need to accept the zero grade.

Well, I collected work and one student (whose mother is a behavior specialist at another school and also attends my church...) did not turn it in.

Mom sends me an email upset that her daughter now has an F in my class. We correspond and basically I inform her that my policy has been in place from day one and the students know the policy. I.E. the zero stands.

What do you think she does? Yep, goes over my head to administration to get my decision reversed. Remember, she is an educator, too and also goes to the same church I go to.

Luckily for me, adminstration told her that my classroom is my domain and all decisions are up to me. Nontheless, I get the good old "can we do something about this" email from the adminstrators.

I know what that means so I had a day that I took late papers from students. So now I have dumbed down an honors class because of a helicopter parent who can't let her daughter learn the hard way to be RESPONBIBLE!!! Nothing like being undermined by fellow educators and fellow Sunday worshippers.

Yep, parents stink, just not the ones you would necessarily expect!


Senior Member
Come on dude (or dudette)...

roll with the punches! We've all had bad days. Take some time to blow off some steam, and do some barking, but don't bite!

The girl is just growing up as she lives...you've seen the Mom. Hope the boy has the wherewithall to continue his work ethic.

Reflect on the positives in your career...and don't confuse words of encouragement (and good sense) with preaching.

Polly J.

Full Member
I can't sympathize anymore that the next person already has. I'm so sorry to hear about your terrible day. Enjoy your Thanksgiving break and go back to school refreshed.


Junior Member
Haven't been there . . .

but I do understand how frustrating dealing with parents can be! I have one who will not accept a grade less than a 90 and then blames my teaching when her son doesn't acheive to her standards. I have a drug addict who only brings her kids when the truancy officer shows up and a mom who tells her daughter that she is special ed when she has some of the highest grades I've ever seen and the best writing. Some parents are just not meant to be parents, but there is nothing I can do about it when it comes down to it. They will be who they want to be whether or not it is hurting anyone else. Hopefully the Thanksgiving holidays will make you remember what you are thankful for regarding teaching! I am certainly taking this time to think about why I chose this profession and to recharge my battery! Good luck!


Senior Member
I agree with Lillian.

These types of things happen all the time. Maybe more in the teaching profession than in some other professions. If you teach very long, you will no doubt find that this was a minor thing in the big scheme of things. It's okay to vent, but to say that your love of teaching was forever scarred by that is very sad.


Senior Member
Rude Parents

I had a child struggling with the first grade curriculum. I informed the father about the situation during the first and second conference. I explained some strategies that the child could practice at home in order to improve and build upon his first grade skills. Then the father failed to show up for his son's third conference meeting. The father decided he would pick up his child's report card the next day while I had 28 other children needing my attention. I politely handed the father the report card. The father asked "Has anything changed since last marking period?" I made the mistake of saying "Well your son is still struggling with reading strategies and writing independently." Before I could state anything his son had made progress in, he began screaming at me "You don't like my son because you say nothing but negative things about him!" I tried to explain to the man that screaming infront of the class wasn't a good idea and he ripped the report card up and left the room. Needless to say the child was removed from my classroom and finished the school year in another first grade classroom. The child never gained the skills he needed to pass first grade and continued onto second grade this year upon his father's request.



I know exactly how you feel. It can and does get ugly. Its too bad they don't warn you about this in college. Its also too bad that good teachers get treated like crap and get away with it time and time again. You even lent this child money and didn't have to. In fact. I will no longer lend money to any student because I've been burned on that too. My remark (that is practiced a lot) is to just say "I understand" then continue on with my day. Its not worth all the trouble to even argue with them over obviously stupid things. Its also too bad that not enough principals have backbones. Its also too bad that our unions can't work on improving our working conditions such as being treated like crap by some really rude parents. They should have consequences for their behavior. We would have them if we behaved in school they way they did. How come nothing ever is said about their behavior or what they say? I'd love to go to their job and give them a hard time and see how they like it. Maybe we should start doing that as a consequence.


Full Member
I'm curious

I'm curious as to how old the sister is - is she also in your class?

I know parents can be frustrating, but sometimes we do have to put ourselves in their shoes.

The sister repeated comments made by the mom - while the mom was angry. I'm sure we have all made comments that way. By bringing those comments up to her in a note you put her on the defensive which is usually not a good place to put parents. She was most likely embarrased that her daughter made those comments known, and now she will fight simply to cover up that embarrasement.

The daughter is also now in a position of having to defend herself against her mother so she is more likely to lie or at least stretch the truth to protect herself.

Unfortunately it is probably moved into a no-win situation. Do you know that this mother is on social assistance or are you assuming she is.

I am not saying that you don't have the right to be upset - but you may want to take a step back and just think about what happened and how you might handle a similar situation down the road.

I am sure that normally you wouldn't raise your voice like that, but the sister hit a nerve and you reacted as well. And if things are going to be difficult now between you and the parent it may be for the best that her son is transferred to another class.


Senior Member
I agree with what Snapshot said.

It sounds like overall he has been an exceptional student. Unfortunately we deal with all kinds of parents. Why let this one parent bring you down and bring down your love of teaching? It's understandable that what the student's sister said would cause you to be really frustrated, but she was probably just repeating something she heard without much thought. I do feel that your response to her was a bit harsh and inappropriate, but I suppose it was the start of the day, the class was loud, and you probably weren't in a place to deal with comments like that.

Maybe it's better that he is being transferred. Is it that easy for students to get transferred out of classrooms? In my district, it would be nearly impossible.

Is it school policy to grade homework-whether it's right or wrong? We don't grade homework. It's just for additional practice and marked whether it was turned in or not.

It's unfortunate that "your love of teaching took two steps back this week, and because you don't forgive, the loss is permanent". Definitely take some time to blow off your steam and realize that as teachers we deal with less than desirable parents on a regular basis. It's too bad that this one interaction has so negatively affected you. Hopefully you'll feel better by Monday.

Mrs. T.

Senior Member
Don't let one incident ruin your love of teaching...goodness...I know situations like this can put you down in the dumps..but enjoy your break and start fresh! (You don't ever forgive? I don't understand that one??)
You also have to remember that the sister was repeating something she heard at home. Probably the mother venting. After reading so many venting posts on here, would you want someone reading what has been written about them in a vent post? I think not! In this situation, the daughter revealed what the mom said. The mother may not have intended it to be repeated. (I know I have said some things I wouldn't want my children repeating aghhh !!!). When students repeat things their parents say, I just say ok. But I don't react. If their parents have a problem I wait for them to contact me about it.


Senior Member
I think that a better way to react to the comment the little girl repeated would have been to send home a note to mom, or make a phone call to her. Explain that you understand that she has some questions regarding the mark he received on the assignment and that you would be happy to discuss it with her, she can schedule a telephone conference or a face to face conference with you.


Full Member
If you don't forgive...

then you will be walking around with a lot of baggage. Lighten your load.


Senior Member
What a bite they can be...

It's bad enough when they are in the lower
grades, there is always hope that they (and
the parents) will grow up. But-- when parents
are still doing this in high school....
I am wondering about Large and in Charge---
what do these kids do when they get to
college or have a full time job where they
have responsiblities. Does mom come to the
campus or the job site?
Makes you wonder...<!--leaves_fall-->


Senior Member
I disagree with the comments from an above poster about grading. AS USUAL, excuses, excuses for children and adults who can't be responsible, respectful and accountable for their own learning. Even a second grader must get used to the idea that in REAL LIFE, you don't get rewards, awards, citations, prizes for every little thing you do that you are SUPPOSED to do anyway. Even in 2nd grade, the child must realize and be taught that if given ample time and instruction, opportunities to correct, etc. wrong work is NOT rewarded. I was a mostly As, "gifted" student in school and any time I slacked off and earned a lower grade, it only made me want to work harder. Yes, I got letter grades even in grade school. Mom didn't run over to the teacher making threats either. The latest research results show that that fakey-self-esteem movement (a-la reward them for everything) was an ENORMOUS failure.

Orig. Poster: While I agree with your stance, I would not have said anything at all to the sister of the child except, "Thank you for bringing this in. I prefer to talk with your mother and not you about this matter." Also, I give you credit for working in your urban setting. The issues are completely different and in inner cities, esp., the turnover rate is too high. Enjoy your Thanksgiving and just think that you have 1 less student. Forgive, forget and learn from it.