Oh my goodness! The one thing that college did not prepare me for was dealing with parents. I have a student who is very intelligent. He is in 1st grade, reads novels and knows his multiplication facts. I was met in the parking lot at school several mornings having to start my day with complaints. One morning she met me to talk to me about a Christmas caroling trip we were taking. The other 1st grade teacher sent a note home with all of the 1st graders the day before. I was gone to a reading conference so I was unaware of the idea. Anyway...we were going to walk to the elderly homes behind the school and sing Christmas carols. This parent met me in the parking lot with the note in her hand. First, she pointed out a grammatical error. Then she questioned me about having no permission slip. I happened to know the answer to this one. Our principal told us that since it was just by the school and we weren't getting on a bus, we needed no permission slips. This mother also complained b/c she had gotten the letter the night before and couldn't get off of work to go with her child. I apologized and told her that it was a last minute idea. I also told her that her son could sit in the office if she didn't want him to go with us. Of course, she wanted him to go. Now...to top off the year, this mom came to my room the last day of school with a copy of each of the reading tests from our series (not tests that I make out). She had circled grammatical errors, including spelling and verb tense! She also pointed out a map question. The question said "upon entering the gate of the park, what do you pass first a. the boat dock, b. woodland trail?" She then asked me "what side is this boat dock facing? You can't truly answer this question without being told what side it's facing." I reminded her that this was 1st grade. After being scolded for about 20 minutes, I told her that if she was so unhappy with the series, talk to the principal. I had no control over what series we use. I'm a first year teacher. I think I have about 50 ulcers now! How do you more experienced teachers handle situations like this? This child would come to school and tell me things that his mom would complain about. For instance...one day he told me that his mom said she was so tired of seeing stupid smiley faces on his papers! ARGH!!!