Wednesday, April 13, 2005
I had to have a talk with Newly Interested Parent turned Newly Interested in Stalking Me Parent. She came in this morning and was just as rude and disrespectful to me as she has been for a few days now. Then she had the audacity to ask me why her son was still failing to turn in assignments and why he was failing. I decided that as much as I love my job, I couldn't kiss her butt anymore. I began the speech I have been rehearsing in my head but thought I would never be able to use.
"Ma'am," I started (the Ma'am is because I am in the South). "Children take cues from their parents, as they should. As much as they pretend not to, they believe in you and respect your opinion, for the most part. It must be as obvious to J that you don't respect me as it is to the rest of the room. If you don't respect me and if it seems to J that you don't think what I have to say is worth listening to, he isn't going to either. And kids aren't going to work for a teacher they believe isn't worth listening to."
Newly Interested Parent stonily looked me in the eye. She squinted a little and thought. Then, the miracle.
"I see what you're saying." She conceded. I'm sure my jaw dropped. This never happens. They never listen.
"I'll make sure he understands that he is to listen to you...and respect you. I'm gonna go."
And with that, she turned and left the room.
True story. Can you believe it?