Student repeated something Mom said and it broke my heart

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Pisces_Fish, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    Mar 2, 2012

    My class had a reading project that was due last week. For several days in a row, this student brought a USB flash drive to school with a note from her mom saying the project was on the flash drive and asked me to print it out because she was out of ink in her printer at home. Each time I opened the file where she told me it was, there was nothing inside. There were just a few files from her recent divorce :eek:

    Yesterday the same scenario happened, no project anywhere that I could find, and I checked every single folder on the drive. That's when my student nonchalantly said, "my mom said if you couldn't find the file this time you were a complete idiot." I was stunned. This student wasn't being mean about it, she was just literally repeating what her mom apparently said (kids say the darnedest things!!)

    It bothered me all morning, so I called the student over and asked her if that's really what her mom said. She was like, "yeah, she said you have no business being a teacher if you can't even find a file on a USB!"

    I really have to remember not to be resentful towards this student, but boy did those comments sting! It frustrates me because this student rarely has her homework, her mom has been a no-show to 2 conferences, and I basically have no support from home.

    I wish I wasn't so sensitive! Thanks for letting me vent!
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Did you call home?
    You could craft the conversation around not understanding why your school computer isn't finding the file...and see where it goes from there...:dizzy:
    So glad it's Friday.
     
  4. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    She was out of ink for several days in a row and couldn't print it? One day, maybe two, okay. After that, if she can't find the printer ink at the store then I think she may belong in the category of "complete idiot." Some people are just mean, for no reason. You mentioned her recent divorce, so it's obvious that there is some added stress in her life right now. Call her while you have the drive and ask her to tell you exactly where it is. If she can't, and it's still not there, give the child a zero and move on. I had a parent once tell a student (not knowing I could hear) to lie and tell me a project was on a jump drive and then act shocked when it wasn't. That way he'd get an extra day to do it without losing points. I'm not saying that's what is going on here, but I'm thinking if you've looked that many times it's not on there.
     
  5. ciounoi

    ciounoi Cohort

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    I have people tell me things quite a bit that are incorrect (and it's obvious to me, since I might have checked the material, read up on it, etc.). I've found it's just not worth fighting for. I'd try to just let it pass (tough, I know!).

    You might want to reconsider printing out the students' projects again, however. I think it could make for a lot of sticky stituations. Next time it happened, I might decline nicely - say that admin has detailed that printers are only to be used for instructional materials, something like that. :)
     
  6. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Fish lady, don't stress over what someone said about you.
    It only is a reflection of her and her problems not you.
    She is obviously in a bad place now and has not taught her
    child much tact. Idiots are everywhere but you certainly don't
    appear to be one.
     
  7. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Yeah this will sting for a while, but in the end you'll get over it. Having worked in customer service for way too long, I've had some particularly nasty things said to me just out of malice. Some people suck. Some don't. And that's sort of how the world works.
     
  8. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    The sad part is that she actually said that out loud to her daughter. Makes you realize who the real idiot is...
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Agreed. I think that it could get messy if the flash drive were ever lost or stolen, or if the files became corrupted or got deleted while the flash drive was in your possession. Besides that, lots of viruses can get transferred from one computer to another, possibly even infecting your school's entire network, via an infected flash drive. At my school we aren't allowed to put student flash drives into the teacher computers because of this. Students can use their flash drives on the student computers, which are protected with Deep Freeze.
     
  10. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Oh, grrr. I would direct the student to pull it up herself after instructions from Mom.
     
  11. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    So sorry. Like the others...just move on.

    You know maybe you should send a note home saying that your computer is still not seeing it and maybe a friend or neighbor could print it from the USB... maybe they'll have the same trouble you are.

    Why couldn't she email it to ya?!?!
     
  12. Purofhappienss

    Purofhappienss Rookie

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    I agree with catnfiddle. I would tell the student to pull it up herself after instructions from mom.

    OR I would tell the student that I do not want to be searching in your files as they may have confidential material. Mke a folder yourself...Name it as "assignment" Save your file in that folder. I will look into it.
     
  13. midwestteacher

    midwestteacher Cohort

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    We were told last year that we weren't to use a flash drive from home or from a student unless it was taken to the tech folks and scanned for viruses because of all the issues with viruses and the server.
     
  14. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Ooo, there is that point that you found personal / legal information on there that you didn't want to snoop. Personally, if I had seen that and nothing else, I would make a quick call to see if Mom had sent the wrong drive.
     
  15. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    1) That was completely wrong and inappropriate of the mom to say to the child

    2) It is not your responsiblity to locate the file on the flashdrive

    3) If she really and honestly thought you were an idiot, isn't it even more idiotic of her to allow an idiot to educate her child?

    Hugs to you. You are answome teacher. I am so sorry for what she said, but it definitely isn't true. I know sometimes it's hard for us to not focus on those hurtful thing.
     
  16. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I would put it in writing that you are not allowed to print out anything for students. Maybe she can try the public library. For a few cents per page they will print things out for you. Geesh, I feel for you. Honestly, some people have no business being parents when they are calling people idiots.
     
  17. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    That's what I was thinking. Put it in writing and make sure every parent knows this from now on.
     
  18. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    We have a kid who never does his homework, ever. When we told his mom during a conference she started yelling at him saying, "why do you make me look like a liar, obviously I do your homework with you every night" and vehemently insisted she does it with him. (Which I'm 100% sure DOES NOT happen.) Parents can be ridiculous!

    As for the original parent, I would be sensitive to that too but try not to let that bother you. As others have said, the recent divorce might have something to do with her attitude. I would definitely call and ask her to tell you exactly where the file is. If she can't I would tell her then she needs to go to the public library and print it or buy ink because you must have the work graded or whatever like that.
     
  19. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Wow, oh wow! I know I would take the comment personally, but I would then move on. It's not worth talking to mom about it.

    I definitely would suggest that the student use the flash drive to print out the project or that the parent go and buy ink themselves. I'm not sure that I would continue to look for it for the student.
     
  20. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    OK...the little gremlin in me would love to send a not home to mom saying "I'm sorry for the trouble with Suzie's homework, Mrs. C. I printed the files on the jump drive as per your instructions, but all I saw were documents and contents regarding your divorce. I'm so sorry for your situation.

    BTW, I went to the printer in the workroom immediately after hitting "Print". It's at the other end of the hallway, but I'm pretty sure none of the other teachers saw the printout...or at least no more than 1 or 2 at the most. Please let me know if I can be of any further assistance." :D

    On a more serious note, the best approach would just be sending a letter home to ALL the parents explaining that files from flash drives cannot be downloaded, accessed or printed on the school's computer system due to concerns about privacy and potential viruses.

    That handles the situation in a very subtle, non-confrontational manner and makes it clear that Suzie (and her classmates) will have to print their work at home or someplace OTHER than the school.
     
  21. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I would have to speak to mother. I would be perfectly respectful and professional, but, yeah...I'd speak to her.
     
  22. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    I would send home a note that says, "I hope you don't think I'm a complete idiot who doesn't need to be a teacher, but all I could find on your device were files about your recent divorce."

    Hahahahhahah JUST kidding!!!! I would NOT do that. But it sure is fun to think about doing it...lol
     
  23. ~mrs.m~

    ~mrs.m~ Comrade

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    I think I would have said what queenie said. It really wouldn't be offensive unless a person had really said that.
     
  24. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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    Oof, I would probably feel upset too. I'm so sorry about the mean comment. I would call mom and (since she probably won't answer) simply leave a message that you were sending the jump drive back home because you were unable to find the document, only personal documents, and could she possibly e-mail you the document or say that you can give the student another day or two to get it printed out and brought to school.

    Hugs to you! Let us know what happens!
     
  25. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I am glad you posted this comment from the parent. I think it can help remind all teachers that while most parents are good and kind people, that the ones who are unkind to us, are often doing so irrationally. This rude and cruel comment made about you to this parent's child, doesn't have any truth in it. For the parent to send in her flash drive with all these other files on it, and to expect you to find it, that is very rude. She could have easily provided you with a flash drive with only the necessary file on it or she could have e-mailed it to you.

    I know it must hurt to hear those cruel words. It only shows where this parent is currently at in her life. It doesn't have anything to do with you. It is not your fault, it is not your fault, it is not your fault.
     
  26. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    For those of you who aren't allowed to open up flashdrives at school, how do you have your students send you presentations? My speech class just got done giving their persuasive speeches and most used a powerpoint. Most of them brought it to school on a flashdrive though a couple did e-mail it from home to me. Our students do not have access to e-mail at school.
     
  27. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    They can email their presentations to me. Everyone at school has access to our district's email system. Students log in to one of the student computers in the classroom and send me their files, then I'll display them. Some students email them from home. We also have shared files on the server, so students can drag their work into my shared file and I can open it from there. It works out.
     
  28. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Ooh... I'd be boiling mad.

    I always tell me kids there's absolutely no printer excuse for not turning in an assignment in time. They can bring in a flash drive or email it to me. Guess now I have to rethink the flash drive thing... everyone's had valid point on privacy and viruses (virii? Help, Caesar!)
     
  29. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I have third graders in my class who have personal flash drives for their work in another class. Our fourth graders ALL have personal flash drives. Either this child pulls the paper up on your computer himself or it gets emailed to you by Monday. You have been more than patient.
     
  30. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Making Latin words plural in English can be tricky. Lots of people think that all -us words in Latin turn to -i in the plural (syllabus, cactus, etc.), but that's not true with every -us word. In English, the plural of virus is viruses. In Latin, it's a neuter word, so the Latin plural would be vira, like the word data, which is plural. Unlike the word data, no one would know what you were talking about if you walked around saying vira. :)

    In English, it's always correct to put an -s or -es on Latin-based words. For example, it's totally okay to say cactuses. You're a lot less likely to make a mistake if you stick to regular pluralization rules in English.
     
  31. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Herewith a hijack:

    Ave, Caesar!

    Pretty much that, yes. And, please, dear A to Z-ers, the plural of octopus is not octopi, it's octopuses, because -pus, -pod- 'foot' isn't Latin - though I admit to a sneaking fondness for pluralizing octopus as octopodes.

    End of hijack.
     
  32. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    :lol: I almost brought up the octopodes thing, but thought it might be too confusing. I make my students learn that plural, though. :lol:
     

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