Mini Vent...Expectations

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by JustMe, Jul 18, 2013.

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  1. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Jul 18, 2013

    I've had similar things happen several times and it annoys me. Minor, let me be clear, but just one of those little things that irk me.

    I am working at school today and a parent walks in and told me she's been in several times this summer to ask me a question and that the secretary explained to her that I don't come in over the summer. One, not true...I go in when I choose and that's usually the late afternoons. But my point is that the parent was basically asking me if this was true...kind of like I'd been accused of something horrible but she was going to give me a chance to explain myself. She had this look on her face as if to say I'm waiting.

    So that's a few parents who have indicated they think we should be at school or on-call 24/7.

    Just...silly. And an email would have been just fine. :rolleyes:
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I've had the same issue from a handful of parents over the years. Like, they'll be upset with me that I called home at 2 in the afternoon (towards the end of my contract day) instead of 6 or 7 in the evening. Or they will want me to tutor their kid at 4 in the afternoon after basketball practice, and then they'll act all put out when I politely say that I'm unavailable at that time.
     
  4. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    Parents need to understand that we have families and lives outside of school and that we do not have to be there every second that is convenient for them. Some parents just have unrealistic expectations and need to get over themselves.
     
  5. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Those are the same people who think we are in it for the high pay, short days, and long vacations!
     
  6. Croissant

    Croissant Comrade

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    In my opinion, the secretary should not have allowed the parent to go down to your room. I was caught off guard by two parents last summer while working in my room. It wasn't an open house day or anything, yet they were allowed to "visit with me" anyway. I was not happy that my work was interrupted or that the first time I met the parents and students I was in a tank top, athletic shorts, flip flops, and a pony tail.
     
  7. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jul 18, 2013

    Been there, JustMe!

    We do have a few parents who seem to think it's ok to just stop by the room after school. Um. No. You don't get to determine when I'm available to have a conference! Thats why there's a section in the handbook about who to contact to set a conference up!

    I get their frustration - planning is from 6:30am - 7:15am, and that's kind of early to be calling home - but if they don't like it, I always invite them to call the school board and complain. With utmost sincerity. Please, please complain about the ridiculous times!
     
  8. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jul 18, 2013

    I get that after school sometimes too. I do have commitments to clubs etc., so I might be physically there, but no, I can't take your call right now. I had one parent who my admin came down and asked me to "please take this call" in the middle of tutorials because the parent kept calling back after being told I was unavailable (4 times in 20 minutes). It's after school-I don't even have to be here on campus anyway-my attention belongs with the students I'm working with.
     
  9. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    When I got back to my desk after all the kids had left on the last day of school, I had an e-mail from a parent of a student in next year's class wanting to set up a time to meet to discuss some concerns. Umm...I do really care about meeting your daughter's needs, but I was NOT thinking about next year at that time! Especially as I know I will have a very difficult class this year.
     
  10. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Ugh... you're preaching to the choir!

    My favorite was when I received an email a while back:

    (Please note: I received this after dinner (of course I'm at home))

    "Dear Mr. M. My child forgot her homework at school. Is there any way you could please meet us at the classroom to pick it up. Or, if that's an inconvenience, please let us know your home address and we'll be happy to swing by and grab your classroom key. We'll then return the key after we're done."

    I didn't even respond. I was waiting for Ashton Kutcher to come out and yell in my ear: "YOU HAVE BEEN PUNK'D!!!"
     
  11. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jul 18, 2013

    OMG!

    I had a parent once who also contacted me on the last day of school about the next year wanting a conference. I emailed her back and said I would be happy to set up a conference. I said I would be available Aug 12-15 (or whatever the first week back at school was)

    By the time school started again that family had moved.
     
  12. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Was this a parent from the previous/current year? Or a future parent?

    I always wonder (to myself): "You had 180 days to conference with me. You now want to meet with me now that your child is going into the NEXT grade?"

    Disclaimer: I'm not a parent...so I need to understand that I need to put myself in their proverbial shoes.
     
  13. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Oh, wow!!!!!!

    I had two parents who called me at home last year, like more than once, always after 6:00. I never answered, we have caller ID. I just thought that took a lot of nerve. Um, hello. I'm at home, with MY FAMILY...
     
  14. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    This was a parent of a future student. At the time I was teaching a K-5 class.
     
  15. greendream

    greendream Cohort

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    Jul 18, 2013

    I've had similar experiences. I've had several parents come to me with the expectation that I would stay after school and tutor their kid every single day. When I told them I couldn't do that, they acted appalled.
     
  16. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Well, then I think you handled it perfectly - letting them know they could meet with you when school started. :)

    "But why can't teachers give up their summers for us?"
     
  17. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    I don't know whether to :lol: or :confused:. People are sooooo assumptive (if that's even a word, lol). I can tell you what my response would be - (1) I live 35 miles from the school and (2) NO.
     
  18. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    You guys have me getting nervous! This will be my first year and I didn't really have much experience dealing with parents during student teaching. I think I'm going to make business cards with my school email and encourage parents to contact me that way. Not sure how I will handle the parent expecting tutoring every day after school. Probably will tell them they can send their student 1-2 days before school.
     
  19. ebc

    ebc Rookie

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    What? You mean to say you don't live and sleep in your classroom? What kind of teacher are you?

    Sounds like one who knows how to balance her work and life. Parents can be so demanding, but you need that break for summer. I feel like...we could be working 24/7 every single day and be 50% effective as teachers, or take much needed breaks and work at more like 90-100% effectiveness.
     
  20. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Jul 18, 2013

    :lol:

    Interestingly, I never received a follow-up: "Mr. M...did you ever get my request?"

    Maybe his wife had a word with him. ;)
     
  21. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Jul 18, 2013

    That's one class I wish they would have in the teaching program: "Interpersonal Communication" - so we could learn how to deal with parents (difficult and otherwise) and colleagues (difficult and otherwise). :)

    Don't get nervous, Mr. History! You'll be just fine. I'm not sure what your school policy is, but establish some "office hours" (for example: "I'm available Monday through Thursday, from 2:40 to 3:15 PM." I've done that and it helps tremendously. Some parents have mentioned that "5:30 works better for me, as I work." and I sometimes counter with: "I could stay as late as 4:30." Compromise is sometimes good. :)
     
  22. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    Thanks Ted I'm sure everything will work out.
    My school seems to be very supportive of the teachers. Still cant help but worry a little!
     
  23. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    If you didn't worry about something, you'd worry that you were too confident! ;)

    And besides, if you stumble, we're here for you!
     
  24. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I'm DYING! :lol:
     
  25. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    My favorite is when they expect you to have phone conversations during the day. Two years ago when I was teaching sped I didn't have a school phone in my classroom. A parent had called the secretary looking for me (not even one of my students- a parent that was upset about some RtI thing) and I told the secretary I'd call back on my planning, which was several hours later. The parent called and left SIX more messages and was just livid that I wasn't returning her call right away. Obviously, I was busy teaching...what do they think we do all day?
     
  26. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I've had this happen a lot. At my current school, parents call during the day because they have the extension to each classroom. They just keep talking and I have to stop and tell them I have a class. It's happened to me in both the regular classroom and the music room. There's no way to ignore the calls, so I just have to let it ring if I know it's a parent.
     
  27. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I put a message on my classroom phone that says, pleasantly, I am teaching and will respond during planning. I just don't answer it if it's an outside number.
     
  28. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    I am a parent and I would never, ever expect a teacher to come in during the summer, come back to school after they went home, or come in on the weekends, or whatever. That's absurd. I guarantee when those parents' workday is over, their workday is over. So is ours.

    I live 70 miles from my school (15 minutes of my drive are spent on a boat for crying out loud), there is no way on God's green Earth that I go back once I leave. I would simply tell some over-zealous parent that
    A) I live 70 miles away
    B) I have 2 kids (3 come August 19th) that I have to cook supper for and get ready for bed
    C) we can't get into the school anyways, once it closes at 4:30 it closes--no teacher has a key to enter the building or a passcode for when the alarm goes off.

    As far as the summer is concerned, our rooms are stripped bare and all of our technology is turned in the last week of school. I could go there and stare at the walls, but as far as planning or prepping for next year--that has to get done at home because there is no way to do anything for next year there. Plus I wouldn't be able to get into my room--we have to turn our keys in the last day. PLUS, despite being 8 months pregnant--I have a 2nd job, I mow yards with my mom during the summers, so I am working elsewhere.
     
  29. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    Thankfully, I haven't had any overly demanding parents yet in my career. I wonder how many will have a problem if I'm not at open house on 8/22 because of being in labor/just had the baby the day before...I have a funny feeling I'm going to be a couple of days late having the baby and if I were a betting woman I'd go with the 20th, 21st, or 22nd...
     
  30. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Excuses, excuses. ;)
     
  31. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    My first reaction is "really, and we don't work?" However, having been a (single and otherwise) parent, I understand some of the struggles. I have also had jobs (prior to teaching) at which I had no access to a phone at specific times (wait a minute, that's LIKE teaching!). I have been known to text parents during the day (while my students are gainfully occupied), and to return calls after 7 at night (but NEVER after 8). Many of my students' parents have my personal cell, and I've been blessed that no one has yet to take advantage of it.

    It's not just parents, though, that think they can monopolize our time during the school day - I've had admins (and other teachers) who have come into my classroom and want to have a conversation. We have an inclusion teacher who is infamous for this - he still (after three years working with me) seems to think that if he brings papers to me in the middle of class that I will just sign them without taking the time to look - and I REFUSE to interrupt my instruction time to do so! He knows when my planning period is - it hasn't changed in 3 years!! (Of course, changing grades this year means my planning period will change, lol.)
     
  32. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    I always make my "hours" very clear to parents. Our secretary is awesome about taking messages and checking with us to see if we are actually available to take a call. I typically call right after school and leave a message with my available hours for the next day for the parent to call me back. To call parents from my home would be long distance, and I only have a cell phone so I am definitely not racking $$$ up the bill to accommodate late evening phone calls.
     
  33. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I plaster my planning hours everywhere. :haha: Doesn't much help, though. And we started the year with the policy of not patching through phone calls, but that kind of faded away. They even sent a couple business reps to my classroom while I was teaching! :eek:
     
  34. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

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    The only calls I want during teaching are emergency calls. I hated it whenever the office would call my room for something non-emergent, like a silly question that can wait until the end of the day or that can be asked through email.

    My expectation is if you are calling my room during the middle of a lesson, something is terribly wrong. There were a couple of times when my older son's school called and the office patched it through and that was fine because he was sick and running a fever, and that's something I WANT to know right away. Another time was when my younger son's daycare called because the AC broke and they were shutting the daycare down--an emergency because I had to get someone to go pick him up ASAP.

    Seriously, anything else can just wait. Take a message from a parent and send it in email and I will call them when I get a chance.
     
  35. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    This thread makes me soooo grateful for our parents and secretary!

    I emailed a parent back on a personal day I took explaining I was out and would get back to her Monday. I didn't want her to think I was blowing her off. She emailed me back saying her son had told her I was out and she hasn't expected to hear back until Monday but was so appreciative I took the time to let her know. I check my email right up until I go to bed but only respond if I feel it's urgent.
     
  36. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Yes, we have fabulous parents, too. I've had parents e-mail me when I am away and when I reply I always tell them I was away. They always respond the same way - their child told them I'd been away and they weren't expecting an immediate reply.
     
  37. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Wow.

    Our classroom phones get switched over to direct-to-voicemail as soon as the first bell rings - only internal calls can go through. And those calls are only things like, "Please send Johnny to the nurse, he forgot to come take his medicine after lunch" or "Please send Susie to the office; she's going home."

    That would drive me insane to have my phone ringing throughout the day! Any parent who stops by during school hours can't even get to the classrooms. It's after school, when campus is opened, that they sneak into the classrooms.
     
  38. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    I'm so glad that my classroom phone has caller ID. I told a specific parent that I would call him after 3pm (I don't even get planning time) but he would call at 10am or whenever. I just let him leave a message and called him back. Another parent called 6 times in one day. Obviously she didn't understand that I was OUT that day and would NOT be calling her on my day off. I think she expected them to eventually give them my cell phone number or something. Ummm...NOPE!
     
  39. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Of course you should have let them "swing by". Heck, you could have invited them in for pizza too since they were there. It is the least you could do! :lol:
     
  40. Mr.history

    Mr.history Cohort

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    I'm pretty sure my classroom wont have its own phone. I have no problem making calls to parents before school, during planning, or just after school but I cant imagine a parent expecting me to talk to them when I have a class full of students. You would think they wouldn't want the other students to hear whatever we were saying about their own student!
     
  41. Rainbowbird

    Rainbowbird Groupie

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    I once had a parent run up to me in the bus parking lot on the last day of school. All the teachers were out there waving goodbye. She was picking her son up, but had peeked at his report card and found out that I would be his teacher next year. My principal saw her coming and whispered, "Get your rest this summer, my dear." And was she ever right. This parent tried to have a conference with me right there in the parking lot on the last day of school before her son was even in third grade! Once the school year started, she was famous for unannounced drop-ins. Esp. after school. I would have to hide in other teachers' rooms. Nobody ever said anything to her, because she lived next door to the superintendent and went running with him every morning!

    She later became a teacher herself. I hope she learned her lesson the hard way. :lol:
     
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