April 8, 2005
Dear Newly Interested Parent:
I commend you for deciding to be interested in your child's education. Parental involvement has been shown in study after study to have a positive effect on grades, behavior, and attitudes about education. It is frustrating for teachers when a child is doing poorly academically or behaving obnoxiously and the parents are no-shows at meetings and refuse to answer their phones when we call. You, newly interested parent, are not like that. You call me three times a day and send me scathing notes daily through your child who shuffles, embarrassed and red-faced, into my classroom to deliver them.
I love that you are now interested. I do, however, take exception with the fact that you used to be one of those other parents who was uninvolved and avoided contact with me. Where were you in January when I called begging you to call me back because your student called me a bitch? Why did you never sign or return any of the progress reports I sent home informing you that your child was failing English? I have a parental contact log with your name on a mile long. You didn't care.
Now it is April. There are only a matter of weeks left before this school year ends and your little angel either goes to high school or is retained here at middle school. Suddenly you are the most devoted and interested parent in the world. Suddenly you are frustrated by my lack of communication with you. You are offended by my attitude. "What do you mean he has to stay after school to do extra work?" You demand to know. "I don't have time for that!" You complain.
Well, your child has gotten 60% or lower every grading period. The only reason they even have a prayer to pass is because my administration requires that I give a "last ditch effort". Meaning that if your child completes a ridiculously small packet of work, I am required to go back and change those grades to passing. I guess we are teaching them that they can do nothing and at the very end do very little and life will work out for them.
Again, thank you for becoming involved. I wish you had been this involved in September, but I guess I'll take what I can get. But please stop calling me so much. Please change your tone from angry to sheepish. You really should be a little ashamed of yourself.
First Year Teacher
¶ 9:30 AM