Saturday, February 1, 2014

Your Child is Doing Fine, I Promise.

It has been a very very difficult week. Normally, I enjoy teaching but this week multiple factors made it very difficult to enjoy it.

The biggest one was due to parent, teacher, student conferences on Thursday. I had many parents concerned about their freshmen child because they were not doing "well" with a "B." I was able to calm these parents down because I reassured them that their child has shown improvement in their organization, study skills, self-activity, etc. and that their child will be able to live up to their full potential. They are just currently struggling to figure it out.

Besides the fact that these parents want perfection from their child when they may not in fact be able to achieve it, I was fine until one conference that was extremely difficult.

It was a mother of a freshmen. Both of them came in and I figured it would be like the conferences above. However the mother decided to berate me in front of her son claiming I didn't know how to teach writing and that I didn't know basic English. The reason she knew better was because she went to a top tier university and graduated with a degree in English.

What got me was not the lack of respect from the mother, it was that she was doing this all in front of her son. Her son was sitting in the desk head down and trying to appear as small as he could. He was clearly embarrassed and only talked when I engaged him. The student even admitted that he had made a mistake on his paper and that he hadn't listened to what I told him to do (which I assured him was okay as long as he learned from it). This did not stop the mother from going on and on about how I didn't know what I was doing but she did.

What pissed me off was that the conference became more about the parent trying to validate their existence than what we could do to help her son in my class specifically with writing.

Her son was so embarrassed that he came up and apologized to me in class on Friday, completely worried that I was going to assume that he shared the same view as him mom in regards to what she had said. I assured him this was not true.

Now, I know I am not a parent but as a teacher this makes me very angry. This parent made the conference about her and completely ignored her son and his needs. She feels like she is a wiz in English and the fact that someone tells her otherwise makes her angry. She completely ignored the fact that her son is not a natural writer and that he needs to develop her skills. She completely ignored him and his wishes. It was obvious her son did not feel the same way she did but she completely ignored him and did what would validate her.

I was proud her son got a "C" on his paper because he improved from his first. He worked hard on it. Could have he worked harder and done better? Yes but he is 14. He is figuring it out. Why can't you feel the same?

Stop worrying about your ego and focus on your son's needs.

1 comment:

  1. if she's so good, why doesn't she help her son instead of wasting everybody's time telling you how good she is?