Monday, December 12, 2011

Puppets

A few weeks ago, during parent-night, I met incredible parents, interested in their children's success.  It's quite awesome to meet the parents of my students.  I noticed a striking resemblance in the way they walk, act or talk.  

Believe it or not
Unfortunately, some parents are so gullible, it doesn't make any sense. In fact, those parents actually believe what their children say over the teacher!  Let me give you some examples:
  • Mother A :  A kid told his mother that he didn't have anything to do in English class. False. In fact, he's had vocabulary quizzes every class for the past month and he's been failing them, one after the other. When I showed the results to the mother, she said: 'Well, my son told me he never had anything to study, so I believed him.'  I replied by: 'Can't you see that those results reflect that he hasn't been studying at all? Maybe he doesn't use his agenda very well.'  And not even listening to me, she said: 'My son never brings his agenda at home, 'coz he told me he didn't have anything to do.' Duh! Unbelievable!
  • Mother B:  A mother actually told me I couldn't fail her daughter in the 'speaking competency'. She said: 'My daughter is very good in English.  She speaks in English all the time in Old Orchard (which sounded more like: Odda cheuurd). How come she has 45% ? It's impossible!'  So, I answered her : 'Well, I've never heard your daughter say more than 5 words in English. Even when I say Good morning! she answers Yes!  Another thing is that when we do conversation sessions in teams, when I approach her table, she just shuts up. I can't make her pass!'  The mother was really pissed at me and when she left the classroom 3 minutes later, she still couldn't understand why her daughter was failing this competency. Duh! 
  • A father came in my classroom and asked me if I could help his son.  He said: 'Could he stay after school to meet you and do extra work?' Surprised by that, I answered that I had two lunch time help sessions during the 9-day schedule. I also told him that I had never seen his son during lunch. 'I won't give extra time after school if your son doesn't even come and see me during lunch time' I added. Then,he cried out: 'Where is it written? There's no sign that says that you have lunch help sessions!' So, I stood up and walked to the door and showed him the flashy pink poster saying:  'Need Help?  Come and see me on days 1 and 5  from 12:20 to 1:00 '  and I told him I had another sign in the hall. He actually told me the signs were not clear enough and that I needed to put them in French!   Duh!
Anyway, these three examples are only a minority. Thank God! I actually had a great night meeting the other understanding parents. 

Why did I decide to write about this tonight? 
It's because I had a meeting this morning at 8:15 with Mother A, her son Malcom (fictive name), the principal and three other teachers.  At the beginning of the meeting, the mother made sure we weren't going to conduct a trial for her son. 

The principal asked us, at first, to mention positive and negative aspects about Malcom. I couldn't find much positive things about him, except the fact that he was always on time for class.  I told the mother that they had started a Christmas story in class. Her son was working with another student on this project, but I wasn't quite sure they had done much in the past two classes, except maybe filling in the planning sheet. So, I told Malcom that he needed to get on with his work. He then answered: 'Well, we have two paragraphs done.'  Dumbstruck, I shook my head and finally told him: 'Really? I can't wait to see that, 'coz I have a hard time believing you. Last class, you seemed to talk more than you were writing.'   I couldn't wait for the meeting to end, because I had the first period with Malcom.  The meeting was over after the other teachers' comments. 

The bell rang and I took the attendance. Next, I started walking around and checking out the texts of my students.  When I walked by Malcom, I noticed there were only three lines written down.  I said: 'That doesn't look like 2 paragraphs to me.'  And he actually lied to me straight to my face by saying: 'Oh! we erased half of our text, because it wasn't really good.'  I turned around and started laughing. I just couldn't believe what I had just heard.

The kid lied to me and to everyone in the meeting room this morning.  I was so annoyed by this, that I wrote an email to the principal and the three other teachers telling them what was noticed and said in class during first period.. I haven't had any feedback about it yet, but I'm sure I will tomorrow.

Finally, I just wanted to express myself on the fact that some parents shouldn't buy everything their kids say. I mean, they are 14-15 years old and pretend not having any homework or studying to do. Wake up, damn it! 

Right now, I can even hear some of you saying that I don't have any kids and I can't understand how it is.  Well, one thing I know for sure is that you are being manipulated by your sons and daughters. You are the puppets and they are the masters pulling the strings!

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