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Beginning the path of school enrollment is a pivotal moment for children and parents. Across a decade, youngsters invest a substantial portion of their lives under the tutelage of their teachers. Over this extensive period, educators encounter a myriad of interactions with parents, spanning from the amusing to the profoundly impactful, weaving a tapestry of experiences that could fill the pages of a memoir.
An online conversation starter asked, “Teachers, what is the most ridiculous/petty thing a parent has contacted you over?”
We apologize to all educators.
1. Matilda’s Mom Syndrome
You’d expect that a parent is in their child’s corner, encouraging them and pushing them to be the best they can be. However, one teacher faced a rather sad and awkward moment when a parent didn’t acknowledge or appreciate their brilliant child’s efforts.
The parent would say things like, “I knew it, she’s stupid. Doesn’t do anything. She will fail.”
The teacher adds, “Every once in a while, I’ll just get a complaint from her…. her complaining TO me about her child. Her kid’s a joy, and I’ve been so much nicer to her since I met this lady.”
2. Withholding Happiness
A parent whose grade two child wanted to be in Kindergarten class [for the toys] accused the teachers of “not wanting her son to be happy at school.”
The child was eventually located in his correct class, but he kept hitting other kids and being obnoxious. The teacher adds, “The mom’s ideas that we’re picking on him and are being mean to him still continue.”
Are teachers paid enough to handle this?
3. Cleaner’s Origin Controversy
The essential information a parent seeks from a potential school is if the teaching staff are excellent, the curriculum, and how the school’s ethos aligns with your child’s strengths. For one parent, though, the most important information was the origin of the school’s sanitation staff.
One online user narrates, “I had a parent come in and ask me where our cleaners were from to decide whether or not she trusted that her daughter wouldn’t get her stuff robbed at school.”
4. Subway Pick-up Errand
Teachers are many things—educators, comforters, counselors, and sometimes, part-time parents. What they aren’t, though, are delivery men for forgotten lunches.
One user says, “A parent forgot to pack their kid a lunch, they called the school to tell me I needed to leave the class to go across the street and buy the kid subway.”
5. A Scuffle About A Grade
A parent whose kid attended a “super expensive private school for children with social and emotional disabilities” wasn’t happy about the C his child got.
So, he got him a private tutor, right? Wrong.
“He got the report card. About 30 seconds later, he tried to lung across the table and three people held him down. Once the physical threat was over, he proceeded [to yell] at me for about 15 minutes.” The teacher says.
A facepalm is allowed at this point.
6. Cut A Failing Child Some Slack
Children sometimes take failure badly, and it’s expected. It’s not expected, though, that parents also take a child’s failure badly.
One parent’s advice to a teacher after his child got a D was to “cut him some slack.”
It’s scary that these children will be in the workforce in a few years.
7. Anger About Hungary
A father wasn’t so pleased about his child’s history class.
An online contributor says, “Once I had a father angrily complaining about the time we spend teaching third-world “bullsh**” in his own words, so I asked him if he knew what the capital of Hungary was, he said, “Hungry isn’t a country!”
Maybe we need to teach the parents instead.
8. A Pedagogy Issue
A parent who knew enough phonics wasn’t impressed with the teacher’s teaching that would lead his child to pronounce the word ‘boy’ before ‘girl.’
His motion was that “Boy” was just more important and common as a word, and teaching kids less frequent words before more frequent ones would slow down reading progress and was bad pedagogically.”
That parent needs a medal for knowing so much, and the medal should be taken away for being used wrongly.
9. No Rules, Please
Beyond a, b, c and 1, 2, 3, kids also go to school to learn basic life’s rules and how to live well. One parent wasn’t impressed with the teacher’s basic rules in class.
She complained, “That all my [teacher’s] rules are the reason her daughter acts out in my classroom. Basic rules like clean[ing] up after yourself and put[ting] on shoes after rest time.”
10. Excuse My French
You will be required to speak French if you go to a French class. A high school junior-level French class will require you to speak much more French.
One teacher shares, “I had a parent complain that I was speaking too much French in class, which would be [a] legitimate concern if it weren’t a high school junior-level French class.”
11. A Fiasco About Moving Students
One teacher used to move the students’ seating arrangement around per semester. Only a teacher knows how to control his class and to sit his students according to what he deems suitable.
Some parents didn’t like it. He [the teacher] got lots of, “How dare you move my baby! He wants to sit next to his friends!”
He adds, “Seriously folks, it’s a seat change in one period. Unless there is a medical reason that dictates otherwise, your kid will be okay wherever I sit them.”
12. A Hot Complaint
A parent didn’t like being called to the school to pick up her child, who was running a 101 fever and had thrown up in the cafeteria.
She said her kid was “unfairly sent home.”
13. A Photo Problem
A student missed a school trip and consequently wasn’t in the trip’s group photo, but the parent wasn’t impressed with his son not being in the photo.
14. A Bathroom Prop
An online conversation commenter says, “My mom was a kindergarten teacher, and she had one student who didn’t feel comfortable using the bathroom. When his father contacted my mom, he said, “Can you hold it for him; his mom always does.”
15. A Non-Existent Party Non-Invitation
It’s a child’s joy to be invited to a birthday party, but this only works when there’s an actual birthday party.
A teacher narrates, “I had a mom call and demand to know why her daughter wasn’t invited to my son’s birthday party… my son wasn’t even having a party.”
16. A Tooth And a Diaper
Accidents sometimes happen in school, especially if a child has a mild mental disability. One child broke his tooth and, unfortunately, swallowed it.
The mother had a strange request: Mom sent a letter the next day asking us to send the soiled diaper home so that she could retrieve the tooth.
The tooth fairy needed evidence.
Teachers deserve a pay raise.
17. Forever Ear Muffs
A teacher shares that a 16 year old parent came in to tell them they were concerned about a cuss word they’d heard. Upon further questioning, it was revealed that the student hadn’t even heard the word at school- but outside of school. Yet, the parent was adamant that the teacher do something about it. Um, who is the parent here? So strange.
18. Crazy Demands
Some parents like to make big demands out of the blue. While they may have children they adore, not everyone else might agree. One mom demanded to a teacher that her older daughter play music at her younger daughter’s graduation dinner, despite the music already being chosen and organized by the students collectively. The woman got quite mad when it was clear that this wasn’t possible just because her daughter was trying to launch her music career.
She then writes, “Couple days later she called the conference centre and tried to make all the meals kosher and a bunch of other stuff. Wild lady.”
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