A parent hung up on me - LOL

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  1. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    My policy is that if a kid forgets their homework, they have to call their guardian. Yesterday, a student called his mom. He talked to her for a few minutes, and then she asked to talk to me.

    She basically yelled that she works nights and sleeps days. She said she thought it was an emergency, and she didn't appreciate being woke up during the day just to hear her kid didn't do his homework. I apologized to her and explained that this puts the responsibility on the kid. She, again yelling, told me basically the same thing, again. She told me next time just send a note, and then she hung up on me.

    Ha-ha. My first time to pi** off a parent. :eek:hmy:

    Beth
     
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  3. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Darned if you do; darned if you don't. It kills me.
     
  4. texteacher

    texteacher Companion

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    Yikes! Did you explain to her that it's school policy? I feel bad for the kid..
     
  5. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    Hopefully the student is a little embarrassed. I would be worried that he might see this as a get out of doing homework free card.
     
  6. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    lol my coworker had something similar happen to her....but the parent is stating that she hung up on HIM lol
     
  7. ~mrs.m~

    ~mrs.m~ Comrade

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    Well, welcome to the club. You have had your first crazy parent. I am pretty sure it won't be the last. I wonder if she has ever thought of an answering machine OR, even better, charm school for herself.
     
  8. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    In defense of the parent... I don't think she was crazy at all. If she's doing an honest night's work and is trying to sleep so she can put food on the table for junior... give her credit. There are some times things are not black and white and this is one of them. There are TOO many people out there with their hands out getting stuff free, she's at least trying to be a decent citizen.

    If you've not walked a mile in her shoes don't judge too harshly. That poor kid probably has to get himself off to school, fix his own breakfast, and may even have to get siblings off to school.
     
  9. ~mrs.m~

    ~mrs.m~ Comrade

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    I agree that it is too bad she had to be awakened, but I do not think she should have been rude to the teacher for informing her. JMO (I just meant "crazy" figuratively... referring to the rude reaction so something I think a parent should know. )

    I think a parent in this situation should inform the teacher ahead of time if he/she doesn't want phone calls during the day and would prefer notes.
     
  10. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Well maybe she will make sure her kid does his homework from now on.
     
  11. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    I hope this parent cares about her child's work in school,I do wonder if maybe a note could be sent home informing the parent of the policy and asking them if the need arrives when would be the best time to contact them.
     
  12. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    If the policy was stated in your syllabus she should have contacted you at the beginning of the school year and asked that you NOT call her at certain times of the day. There was no reason to be rude to you.
     
  13. Ross

    Ross Comrade

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    The parents of all your students were notified of your policy and you also received confirmation they understood your policy about homework?

    The parent should have exercised better manners and courtesy.

    I have worked the back side of the clock and it can be very tough on the body and mind.
     
  14. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I'm sorry...well, no I'm not, but I don't want to come across as abrassive :)...if you choose to have a child you shouldn't be irritated that the school contacts you regarding your child's academic progress or lack thereof during school hours, when the child is out in the world as you sleep. I appreciate those who work odd shifts—my stepdad did and my husband does—but you have a child.

    ETA: Oh, yeah, I worked night shift as well...for a very short period of time. :whistle:
     
  15. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    She certainly should not have been rude, but I can see why she was irritated. It still doesn't justify her reaction, she should have calmly and respectfully explained to you her situation and then that would have been the end of it.
     
  16. Hoot Owl

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    The "Ha-ha. My first time to pi** off a parent." is simply tacky on public forum. I hope a parent from Oklahoma doesn't accidentally read her cocky post.
     
  17. prek176

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    There is no excuse for being rude...none
     
  18. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Not sure why my post was included with this comment... :confused:
     
  19. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I think this illustrates one of the basic problems in the world today. When I was growing up, if the teacher called a parent during the day and woke them up to inform them of an academic deficiency or behavior problem IT WAS THE KID WHO GOT YELLED AT AND NOT THE TEACHER.
     
  20. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold up. In no way, shape, or form did I mean to come across as cocky or proud. Trust me, it was the most awkward moment I have had in my career, and I hated every minute of the conversation.

    What I mean by the "ha-ha" part was, "Well, it finally happened." I was trying to find humor in the whole situation. I used the "oh my" smilie, not the "cool" or "big grin" smilie that would have been applicable if I felt "cocky."


    Beth
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Don't worry. I read it like you just described it, not like you were being cocky. :)
     
  22. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Thank you!

    That's exactly how I feel!!! I can totally understand why she was irritated, but I think the whole yelling and hanging up thing was a little over the edge. Had I known her situation, I would have sent a note or called later in the evening.

    Parents and students know this is my policy. I guess next year I need to ask when the best time to call is. :dizzy:

    Beth
     
  23. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I appreciate you offering this perspective, Hoot Owl.

    For those criticizing the parent, just imagine if YOU got a call at 3:00am telling you Little Johnny or Suzy didn't turn their homework in yesterday and imagine how courteous you would be to the teacher for calling to let you know.
     
  24. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

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    It sounds a little excessive to stop a class day and call a student's home about homework. There are many people who work third shift, or have this, that, and the other going on during the day. If a teacher called me at home just to inform me my child's homework was not complete while I was trying to work (I currently also work at home) I'd be slightly annoyed, not rude, but annoyed, and would think it could be handled in a better way, i.e. note to home, meeting set up with parent at the parent's convenience if this were a serious ongoing problem, etc.
     
  25. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Well, when would you expect to get that phone call? It's normal for teachers to call parents during the day. Like others have suggested, if the parent is strongly opposed to receiving phone calls during her 'night' time, she should communicate that to the teacher at the beginning of the year.

    I think it's perfectly acceptable to have a policy of calling parents when assignments are missing.
     
  26. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

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    I think calling a parent at home during the middle of the day about something like your child didn't finish his homework is a little excessive to me. And again, like the above poster said, how would you like to be called at 2:00 am in the morning to be told you didn't finish your lesson planning correctly.
     
  27. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    So it would be more acceptable to wait 9 weeks and then send home a report card with an F on it, completely out of the blue to the parent?

    A parent has a right and a responsibility to know what is going on at school. If a student is failing to meet expectations at school, a parent should expect contact from the teacher early on before it's too late to fix it.
     
  28. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

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    Well, sigh, my post said, if it were an ongoing serious problem, setting up a meeting with the parent would be in order. And I guess I'm saying, I wouldn't have that policy of calling a parent every day a little Johnny or Suzy didn't have all their homework completed. I guess with having a busy family I know sometimes life happens.
     
  29. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It's fine if you want to wait for a problem to become ongoing a serious, but I think it's also fine if you want to nip a potential problem in the bud before it reaches that point.

    I have had numerous parents this year already email me to introduce themselves and tell me that they will be expecting me to contact them at the first sign of anything, including missed assignments, poor class work, and inappropriate behaviors. I definitely appreciate that these parents want to stay on top of their students' behavior and performance, and I feel like it's my professional obligation to facilitate that.
     
  30. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    My 6th graders are notorious for not completing/not handing in their work. I started this about the middle of last year. I got the idea from another teacher, and it works for me. Only one kid has called more than once, so far. To each their own, though.

    Beth
     
  31. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    So this is a personal policy rather than a school policy. How do the parents know about the policy? Do you send a letter home for them to sign and return? Did you get the signed letter back from this parent?

    I think everyone is overlooking an important part of the OP - the parent thought there was an emergency with her child when she got a call from the school, which I think is a very natural response. Then she finds out she is being called by her son to say "I'm sorry to wake you, mommy, but I forgot my homework today and the teacher said I had to call and tell you."

    To be perfectly honest, I would STILL be very upset to get a call like that even though I don't work night shift. If he missed the homework, then give him a zero and send a note home explaining the situation OR send a note telling me he needs to make the assignment up. I really do not need to be called at work or at home so my son's teacher can tell me he didn't turn in his assignment today.

    Again, if those of us with day jobs got a call at 3:00am and discovered it was NOT an emergency, how would we like the caller telling their peers "Well, I can understand them being irritated, but there was still no need to be RUDE about it."?

    I dare say, the responses would be completely different if the shoe were on the other foot.
     
  32. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

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    I notice you are a high school teacher and the parents have invited you and asked you to do so, okay, for that, perhaps different story, I'm thinking more elementary. I personally wouldn't interrupt my students' class time to do it.


    I ditto Cerek's post.
     
  33. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I wouldn't expect a phone call at any time when a simple note in the child's planner would suffice.

    If the child had missed several homework assignments and the notes had produced no response from the parent, THEN it would be time to try a more direct method of contact.

    Been there/done that. My son's 5th grade teacher did exactly that. And yes, I DID go to the principal for an explanation about why there was NO CONTACT AT ALL from the teacher. However, IF the teacher had sent a note home in the planner OR on the progress report during the middle of the grading period, the situation could have been addressed more appropriately.

    Missing one homework assignment isn't quite the same as "failing to meet expectations", in my opinion. While the parent should be informed about it, one HW grade is NOT going to have a huge impact on the final 9-week grade and simply is not urgent enough for me to place a phone call - unless the parent has requested I do that.

    There is also no indication this parent is not meeting her responsibility to keep up with her child's academic performance.

    Is it not also your professional obligation to facilitate those parents that don't work regular schedules and may not have the time or capability to send you emails requesting instant notification of anything Johnny or Suzy does (or does not) do at school?

    And now that you know the parent's schedule, would you not consider it your professional obligation to adjust your notifications to her time frame? How courteous will you be if the mom calls you during the middle of her "work day" to discuss Little Johnny's lack of performance? Will you still appreciate the fact she wants to stay on top of her child's behavior or performance?
     
  34. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    A note doesn't always suffice. At my school we are directed to avoid sending notes because there is no evidence that the parent will actually receive it. If there is actual, real-time contact made via a phone call, then that's better and it helps establish a system of communication between the teacher and the parent.

    I gave the example of emails from parents as an indicator that many parents expect contact from teachers. I contact all parents whenever there is an issue, as long as I have a working phone number for them.

    Parents are free to call me whenever they want, but I'm only at school during my contract hours. They can certainly leave me a message at school at 3 AM if they like, and I'll respond when I get to school. As I said before, if a parent prefers to not receive phone calls during the normal school day for whatever reason, they should make the teacher aware of that. I would most definitely respect that parent's wishes, but only if I knew that those wishes existed.

    It would not be appropriate for a parent to call me at home, because that crosses the line between my professional and personal lives. I wouldn't answer the phone.
     
  35. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I appreciate that it works for you, but that still doesn't answer the question of whether this parent signed and returned a sheet stating she was aware of the policy. Even if she did, was this paper sent individually, or with the usual stack of papers that have to be filled out and signed at the beginning of the year?

    I understand your intentions - I had the same problem with a few of my 7th/8th graders during my ST last year - but I also completely understand why the mom exploded after being jarred awake by what she thought was an emergency call from the school about her child, only to learn the "emergency" is one homework assignment not being turned in.

    We send progress reports home mid-way through the grading period. This shows all the grades students have - and do NOT have - at that point, as well as what their current grade is. Like I said, I had a HW problem with some of my students last year too. My solution was designating one class period as a "Make Up Day". The students were told ALL the assignments they were missing and given that class period to work on completing them. Student with multiple missed assignment were given until the next day to complete them all. MOST took advantage of that, but a couple did not, so I made appropriate notes on their record that gave a full explanation of WHY Johnny chose to KEEP the "0" he got for not completing those assignments.

    So far this year, I've not had an issue, except for one student and we've already contacted the mom (when she came to the school) regarding the missing grades.
     
  36. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    So the parent still has to conform to your time frame rather than you accommodating hers? Once you are informed of her schedule, what adjustments would you make to contact her at a time convenient for her?
     
  37. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It's not about conforming to my schedule.

    There is a standard academic schedule that exists in our country. Nearly every school across the nation meets during the same hours. Parents who send their children to school should expect that teachers will contact them during those hours when contact needs to be made. Likewise, if a meeting or conference needs to happen, it will likely happen during the school day. I have never heard of a parent conference taking place at 3 AM. I think that would be very unusual, not the norm, and for that reason I would expect that the parent would be the one who would need to make a special request of the teacher, not the other way around. I don't believe I'm out of line for that.

    Edit: I live in Las Vegas. Easily 80% of my students' parents are on some sort of non-traditional work schedule. It has never been a huge problem. The parents that I've dealt with seem to get it that their hours and their child's hours aren't always compatible. We still manage to work it out.
     
  38. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    And if our schedules didn't jive for a real-time conversation via the phone or in-person conference, then we would have to handle the issue via email or notes.
     
  39. TeacherApr

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    If I didn't want to be bothered at home during certain times then I would have COMMUNICATED that to the teacher at the beginning of the year! So what if the teacher called during her prep or whatever. It was important enough to do that....you are saying that your child's work and your child wouldn't be important??? wowo..
    EXACTLY! Teachers get bitched at because we *think* the right thing to do is wait until a conference. Damned if you do, damned if you don't!

    Also, as far as a note home...the kid can't be responsible with his/her homework so how in the WORLD is he/she going to be responsible with a note home...and a bad note home as it is?!

    Seriously! So WHAT if she called. The parent was RUDE. PERIOD!
     
  40. cali*teacher

    cali*teacher Companion

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    I'm a laid back person, there are some things worth getting all riled up about, and some things not. Calling a parent in the middle of class time to inform them little Johnny didn't finish all his homework just won't be my personal policy, not something I'd feel personally comfortable with doing. It's okay to do things differently amongst teachers.

    The word Xanax is coming to my mind right about now, lol.
     
  41. TeacherApr

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    And she chose to do it the way she saw fit with her schedule so why argue about it? That's what worked for her. The end.

    The real issue is the parent and the irresponsible child. I would be thankful that a teacher was keeping track of each individual student's work. Teachers have enough to worry about. I certainly don't have the time or the energy to track everything my 31 students do or don't do. I have enough to do and worry about.
     
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