Weird email I just got from a parent

Discussion in 'General Education' started by raneydae, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

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    Jan 18, 2009

    Math Finals are next week at our school. I was pulled out of classes on Friday for a Math Dept. Development Day (great timing, huh?) and we don't have school tomorrow for MLK Day.

    I've been concerned with not feeling that we've had enough time to review for finals, and I know that some students really want to be able to go over more things, so I decided to offer a tutoring/final review session tomorrow morning at the school. It's not at all required, just something I was offering.

    I sent out an email to all my classes yesterday, reminding them about the session, and I got this email this morning:

    "Frankly Ms. _____ I am concerned with what, if any regard, you hold for MLK day- you have no concern with addressing that rather important event?"

    That was all. I don't even know what to respond. I've met with this parent before. She is a teacher at a different high school. She knows it is my first year and had previously offered helpful suggestions about things...so I was really caught off guard with this email.

    Any suggestions? Should I respond? What should I say? It is really that bad to hold a tutoring session on MLK Day? Why would a parent have sent this?
     
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  3. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    Jan 18, 2009

    I would just reply that it is optional and if they have prior MLK plans and don't wish to attend the tutoring session, that is fine.
     
  4. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I would just forward it to the principal and ignore it. Some things you shouldn't have to explain...
     
  5. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Ugh. What an idiot. Darned if you do, darned if you don't. I would absolutely forward it to my principal.
     
  6. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

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    That would make me furious. I would forward it on and reply back to her it's optional.
     
  7. Mr D

    Mr D Comrade

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    Jan 18, 2009

    I would respond, explaining the reason for holding it (that you feel there isn't enough time in class), and reiterating that it is optional. I would also copy the administration on my response.
     
  8. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    I would NOT tell the parent that there wasn't enough time in class. That implies she didn't do her job (though it is no fault of her own). The parent is likely to reply that the final should be postponed if that is the case. I would just use the simply reply Special Preskoo suggested and forward it to your P.
     
  9. DallasTeacher

    DallasTeacher Companion

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    You're absolutely correct. Finals are set as are holidays when the semester starts. It is the responsibility of the classroom teacher to see that there is enough time. Don't open that can of worms with any parent.
     
  10. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    I would forward it to the principal or even just ignore it.
     
  11. Arky

    Arky Comrade

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    Jan 18, 2009

    I would ignore it. She did not ask you what was going on, explain or anything. She was sort of rude in her remark so I would ignore it. If she asks again, then respond.
     
  12. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    My ex-vice principal once told me that some parents like to gripe/complain to get it out of their system. I usually ignore the first email if it is like that, and tell my principal what happened (and that I am giving the parent some cooling off time). Usually she will call them for me if I wish.
     
  13. Yank7

    Yank7 Habitué

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    I might explain to the parent that you mean no disrespect to the memory of MLK and the tutoring is optional,but this is the only chance you have to offer your students extra help before the finals. I think you are a very caring teacher,to be willing to do this and the parent is very much mistaken!!
     
  14. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I actually had a similar remark made by a college student several years ago when she overheard the last half of a remark when I was griping about having the day off. I replied that he was a great man and did wonderful things for our country and deserved a holiday, but I don't think he's any more important as our nations veterans, and since we worked on veterans day.....

    But that probably wouldn't fly in this case. Sorry, it really is a sore spot for me.
     
  15. Special-t

    Special-t Enthusiast

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    I was told to always share something like that with the Principal so he's not caught off guard if the parent decides to approach him with the matter. But I wouldn't make a big deal about it. Just show it to him and use it as an opportunity to ask his opinion as to whether or not you should offer tutoring on holidays.
     
  16. frogger

    frogger Devotee

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    I would forward to the P so he knows and like the PP says - doesn't get caught off guard in case the parent still wants to make a bigger deal out of it then it should be. I'm not sure if I would respond back to the parent - maybe wait it out and if she emails or says something again then say it was optional in case any of your students wanted to have some extra tutoring for the final.
     
  17. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    I would explain to the parent that the school probably has special events or a time to remember MLK. Plus MLK is someone who is only remembered on this one day a year~ what he did was something special and wonderful that we should celebrate it every year.

    I think its really stupid she emailed you that... as if EVERY teacher needs to do something special for it.
     
  18. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    BTW, I'm MLK would be proud to see how our classrooms have progressed--- not perfectly, but alot better. I think his memory lives on every day we have our black students learning with our white students and our Latino students and our Asian students. And that as teachers, we're proud to work with all different kinds of kids without being racially biased.
     
  19. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I just did a quick google search on Martin Luther King:

    MLK graduated from Morehouse College with a B.A. degree in Sociology in 1948. He enrolled that year in Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania, and also studied at the University of Pennsylvania. He was chosen Senior Class President and Valedictorian. He was awarded the Peral Plafkner Award as the most outstanding student, and the J. Lewis Crozer Fellowship. In 1951, Martin Luther King, Jr. began doctoral studies in Systematic Theology at Boston University and at Harvard University and earned his Ph.D. in 1955."

    It seems to me that he would have been OK with a teacher offering extra help to kids on a day off-- he certainly wasn't anti-education!!!
    "
     
  20. Mrs. Mom

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    Sorry, where we're from, no one "does anything" on MLK day. Perhaps within a family, maybe, but still. I would HAVE to respond, that's just my indignant nature. I would assure this parent that this is optional and since they are obviously busy doing MLK festivities that you will make a note that her child will not be attending. Be gracious in the email and wish them happy thoughts for celebrating the day. THAT way she doesn't still send her kid. My thought is this: if the day is important enough to you to complain about the tutoring session, then obviously you will not send your child. We have parents who will gripe for the sake of griping but would then be the first one to have their kid at school for the tutoring session. Plus they probably wouldn't pick them up on time, either! I'd make it hard for her to then turn around and let her kid attend without having to eat a little crow. Yes, I'm ornery that way......
     
  21. SpecSub

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    Yes, our county also works on Veterans and Columbus Day, and has off for MLK. I don't feel we should work on Veterans Day. However, I can't really say much because they will never make everybody happy. For example, we have off for Christmas "winter break" but also Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah, and there are no euphemisms for those two important Jewish holidays. But what about our Muslim students - they don't get any special time off for even the beginning of Ramadan. Our hunting families can't take off for the first day of deer season (which was an excusable absence where I grew up) and some feel they should.

    You can't please everyone.
     
  22. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think we should be off both today and Veteran's Day, and around here we are.

    That said, I don't think it has to be a national day of mourning. Putting time towards education is most certainly in keeping with everything Dr. King stood for. So I'm OK with a teacher who offers an extra help session today.

    As an aside: I asked 5 year old Kira last night why we're off today-- what did she know about Martin Luther King? She responded that we're off because it's his day and he was a great man in our country. I asked what he did, and she had no clue!!! (Hey, it's a brand new teacher in a class of 5 year olds. She hit the biggie-- that he was a great man who did a lot. We'll leave the details for next year.)
     
  23. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Can't think of a better way for a teacher to honor Dr. King's legacy than to offer free tutoring service to promote education.

    Lady just wants you to honor it in the same way she would. How self-centered of her.
     
  24. HMM

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  25. Hoot Owl

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    Sounds like she has a huge chip on her shoulder. Ignore the email, it's not worthy of a response.
     
  26. Camel & Walrus

    Camel & Walrus Rookie

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    To be honest I would antagonise her and reply with some figures about the still ever present disenfranchisement of minorities and ask how MLK's ghost is going to solve those problems and if and how the person in question helps alleviate current minority socio-economic problems other than waving a flag one day a year (or whatever you wave/do on MLK day).

    Although you run the risk of finding out they work in a soup kitchen three nights a week and dedicate all their weekends to poor communities...
     
  27. peachacid

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    In my school district the day is called a day of service, and students and teachers are encouraged to do something for the community (or another community) on that day. That being said, you could tell this parent that your choice to spend part of the day having an extra tutoring session was your way of giving back to the community...but I would forward it to the principal and not write back. Call her if you want to say something.
     
  28. 3Sons

    3Sons Enthusiast

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    The parent is indeed being weird. You give up the day off for the benefit of the students, and she criticizes you for it? Perhaps she doesn't understand it's optional. If you respond at all, I would suggest politely noting that it is an optional review, and that you're giving up a holiday to help the students. You could go to a soup kitchen, but your particular skills are well-suited towards teaching, and education is more likely to lead to an improvement in civil rights.
     
  29. seduflow

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    I say you dont bother responding. It will only incite the parent
     
  30. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    You could have mentioned that Obama called it the National Day of Service in his honor, and that you were offering free tutoring as your service in his honor. And if her child was going to miss the tutoring for their family's community service event, then of course that was ok...

    Talk about eating crow...
     
  31. kinderkids

    kinderkids Virtuoso

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    We did not have off on MLK day. In fact most districts around here were in session.
     
  32. HMM

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    Nice :up:
     
  33. deazy86

    deazy86 Rookie

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    Weird E-mail

    That is a bizzare e-mail but you should be as professional as possible in your response and simply state that you are just trying to help students during their free time, it is their choice whether they should show up or not, not mine. Therefore how am I being disrespectful in honoring MLK day?
     
  34. each1teach1

    each1teach1 Cohort

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    SO we're dying to know: did she send her kid to the tutoring session?
     
  35. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Hahaha, good question!
     
  36. raneydae

    raneydae Companion

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    Jan 22, 2009

    Thank you SO much to everyone who responded to this! And sorry I'm just now updating...

    I did email the mother back and let her know that it was optional and that it was ok if her son could not attend. I also mentioned that I had held another study session on Sat. morning (yes, I went in TWICE in one weekend! :) ) and would be doing some review in class on Tuesday.

    The mom then emailed back and said that her and her husband did not have the day off and just wanted the day to be respected...but that she also figured that MLK definitely wouldn't look down on an educational study session. I guess maybe she thought, like some people here suggested, that it was mandatory. I also think her son didn't tell her about it beforehand and she was annoyed at that.

    Anyways - he CAME to the study session after all!! :)

    p.s. I'm loving these days of finals - three whole days of quiet classes! ha ha! :)
     

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