Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hypothetically speaking...

Here's a scenario:

An experienced teacher receives word of one of his/her parents is meeting with their principal about some emotional issues their student has been experiencing at school. Said parent expresses to the principal that they do not like how their child's teacher handled a situation that occured earlier in the year (for argument's sake we'll say this instance happened 10 weeks prior to said meeting). This parent states that they do not believe that their child's teacher has an investment their child's well-being and that this teacher does not care for their child. Also, the parent believes that the teacher does not like them as s/he does not acknowledge their presence on the playground or cafeteria.

*small side note: Rumor has it that parent-teacher conferences were held 4 weeks prior to this meeting and this parent did not mention this belief to the teacher, nor did they discuss with the teacher that they were unhappy with other "events" that had happened earlier in the year. Rumor also has it, that the teacher did express his/her concerns over this particular child's well-being and made suggestions (and followed through with them) that could possibly help this child. At that meeting, the parent agreed that those suggestions would be a good idea.

While the teacher meets with the principal about this meeting, it is mentioned that it is the teacher's job to soothe the parent's hurt feelings and repair this broken relationship between parent and teacher. Afterwards, this teacher is off to pick up their class, see this parent and this child, and conduct business as usual.

After an evening of contemplation, the teacher I am referencing decides to meet again with the principal about this parent and this situation. Their prior discussion led this teacher to believe that s/he had made a mistake with this student/parent/situation and it was their responsibility to fix it. Surely, the emotionally-stretched teacher had misunderstood. S/he has never been accused of mistreating a student and this new accusation weighed heavily on his/her mind. In the second meeting, principal attempts to give the teacher some peace of mind, tells him/her that this parent said that they have heard many good things about the teacher. (Yes, heard, not experienced) The teacher was then told that it was not his/her fault, however it is still their responsibility to fix it. Just like the day before, the teacher must now go pick up their class, see this parent and this child, and conduct business as usual.

Or not. As the teacher enters the playground, this particular student is crying in addition to another student who is physically adamant that they are not leaving mom and is also crying. Please note, this is not the first time this situation has happened in this particular class. Somehow the teacher is able to gently pull the physically upset child into the classroom along with the emotionally upset child and the other 20+ students. It isn't known how, but this teacher somehow makes it through the day without an emotional melt down. Perhaps it was the promise of the weekend so close that provided the extra strength.

Ah, the weekend. In case you didn't know, weekends officially start at the end of the school day for those in the teaching profession and this teacher was in dire need of this weekend.

Unfortunately for this teacher there was one more obstacle to be overcome. Fulfilling a promise to a friend, this person went to the gym. "Good for them!" you say, "let out some of that pent up emotion!" Normally I would agree, however at the end of the workout this person walks to their car to find a smashed window. Nowhere to be seen was their ipod, sun glasses, bag of clothes, teacher bag (yes, all teachers take bags of things to do home), and their beloved Dave CD's.

Too much. It was too much. The emotional meltdown could no longer wait. So there, in the gym parking lot a good cry was had. (Yes, a police report was filed)

The conclusion: Can you blame the "hypothetical" teacher who has had these "hypothetical" experiences for not wanting to go to school tomorrow?
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11 comments:

Mcbride Family said...

Oh my heck I am so sorry. Gosh. That is the worst thing I have ever heard. I feel so bad for "that" teacher.

The Blair's said...

Oh Katie that is just horrible! Horrible that your window was smashed and horrible that the ***** of a parent can't recognize the great qualities you posses and address you personally. I LOVE YOU!

audrey said...

"Said" teacher deserves an excellent week and a t-shirt that says "bend over." Apparently it was not discussed in MY interview that my job was to kiss parents' butts. I could go on and on about this mom and I know "said" teacher has heard it all from me. So, I will continue to smile and maybe, just maybe pray this tempts "said" teacher to change grades next year. :) I know, "how selfish Audrey."

Josh said...

Sorry you had a crappy week. Tell you what, why don't you take Thanksgiving Day off, my treat :)

Tristan said...

NO stinkin' way. I was so excited to see a new post on your blog and then my high spirits were instantly dashed. I am SO sorry and please keep in mind that there are tons of people in the "We love Miss. Rigby" camp. Seriously you have forever touched our boys' lives and we absolutely love you. Hang in there.

Tristan said...

Just happened to read the other comments and must mention that Audrey's prayers are met with counter-prayers that you will not change grades next year. And yes, "how selfish" can be said to me. Even if one of my boys were lucky enough to have you again should you change grades--it would not ease the pain of my baby not having the world's best kindergarten teacher. Just sayin'.

Kathy said...

Your post made me want to cry! I really can't believe they stole your Dave CD's!!! I really hope things are looking up for you after the weekend, you deserve it!

Lauren said...

I was hoping it wasn't about you but alas, I AM SO SORRY!! I hope you are having a better week. You must know that you make a positive impact on all of your students and hopefully this one negative experience will help you appreciate all the good. Love you.

Candice said...

Ooh! This makes me SO upset! I am so not impressed by your principal!

Those parents seriously have issues that they need to work out.

Do I know them?

Fortunately the other 99% of parents know what a wonderful teacher you are!

Lisa said...

What a mess! And to EVEN consider that "said" teacher doesn't care about the well being of her children in her classroom! BUNK! I, myself, along with countless others consider you to be one of the MOST caring, loving teachers I know. Now, having said that, would I be sad if Sophia missed out on you in Kindergarten, YES. But, maybe a change would be good for said teacher and I will completely support whatever said teacher wants to do without ANY guilt placed upon said teacher by this parent! Love ya girl!

PEACE, LOVE AND PINK said...

These parents have issues, if you don't have enough guts to talk to the person you THINK is causing a problem then you have no right to raise a child. What are they teaching their children? I think you are great, who cares what they think unless they address the issue with you its just "hear say"!!! By the way their children are gonna be wimps!!