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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Bad Call and a Good Letter

A couple times a year each teacher is observed by an outside person.  We know the week, sometimes we know the day, that somebody is going to show up and watch us teach.  I actually enjoy adults in m class, not necessarily watch me teach, but to be a part of the class.  Someone to smile at when a kid says something cute.  Someone who might actually get one of my jokes.

This is my week.  I knew she was coming in the "first part of the week."  Even though I'm always prepared, some days better than others, but really, I'm comfortable with anyone coming in at anytime.  But this stranger doesn't know me.  No background on my class, my kids, or me.  Therefore, I really want to put my best foot forward.  We are one mighty awesome class this year and I really wanted that to show.  She didn't come yesterday, so I was pretty certain, today was the big day.  Everyone and their sister kept coming in to talk this morning.  So I wasn't quite as prepared for her to come in first thing in the morning.  But she didn't anyway.  Good thing because one of my students handed me a terrible "note" from her mother.  It was so bad the poor second grader scribbled it out with pencil on the bus on the way to school.

Parents who are rude, mean and just plain disrespectful to their child's teacher is one of the strangest things to me.  Here you go teacher, I just wrote you horrible things to you and about you and I even added in some lies.  Isn't it common knowledge to the general population what elementary teachers do? Isn't it common knowledge if your child cries I will hug her?  If he blows his nose and doesn't get it all I will literally hold the Kleenex for him?  I will applied bad aids.  I will touch foreheads to check for a fever.  I will put barrettes back in.  I will crawl on the floor looking for a lost tooth.  I will do whatever it takes to make YOUR child feel special each and every day.  Never mind, I will teach each one of them for six hours, five days a week.

I slipped the note under my keyboard because I was so offended I just couldn't deal with it.

I got observed.  It went well.

I went to lunch.  I came back and had to deal with the note.

I dialed this mom's number and it immediately didn't go well.  Someone else answered the phone and rudely asked who I was and said, "Yeah, it's her."

The mother got on the phone and screamed at me for nearly five minutes.  It was ridiculous.  Her daughter was sitting across the room from me as this lady spewed lies and insults and swear words at me.

When I finally ended the conversation I emailed my principal letting him know this occurred and I was pretty shaken up.  My hands were shaking and I needed silent reading to continue for a couple extra minutes until I could handle teaching.  I quickly sorted my mail that I grabbed after lunch.  I saw writing in pencil for the return address.  I pulled out that letter and it had a purple quarter sheet stapled to it.  It said something to the effect of: An assignment for our language art class each student had to write a letter to their favorite teacher.  Congratulations, you made a difference in a child's life!

My eyes were filled with tears.  It was the perfect timing.  I opened the letter and read the two paragraph letter that contained the sentence:  It seemed like you were the only teacher who cared about me.

First, how sad is it that I was the only one who seemed to care about him?  However, thank goodness I did/do.

He ended the letter with, I still miss Team 214.

It seems the times when things go wrong always stick in your mind, so tomorrow I'm going to write back to that student and then I'm going to tape that letter near my phone so I can see it often.

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