This Is So Messed Up
“I had a parent come in because I requested a meeting. Her son was failing 6th grade English/Language Arts. She told me, ‘Black people don’t read books.’ I had a poster of President Obama hanging in my classroom wall to the right of us. Also, our black principal was present at the meeting. We were left speechless. She later left the meeting screaming, ‘You’re both awful pricks!'”
The Easy Way…
“I had a conference with a parent about their child’s performance. The mom kept asking me if I thought there was something wrong with her daughter, who was a first grader. I explained that she was capable but needed to do the homework that was sent home and that she could use some extra practice in a few areas. She continued to ask if I thought something was wrong with her. I continued to say no. At the end of the conference, she asked one more time, and added, ‘Because if you think there is, the doctor is ready to give her meds…you just need to fill out this form.'”
English, Math, Witchcraft, Gym, The Usual
“I teach pre-k. About four years ago, I was called into my principal’s office. There was a parent requesting a conference because he had some concerns about the material I was teaching his daughter.
Imagine my surprise when the parent began talking about witchcraft. Over the next 45 minutes, with a brief pause to wait for the school psychologist, a school police officer, and the school social worker to arrive, I was accused of: being a witch, dancing on their roof, hiding behind the curtains in their living room, pinching their infant daughter, teaching the other daughter how to make the ‘mark of the beast’ (it’s the OK hand symbol, in case you were wondering, as index finger and thumb create the bottom of the 6 and the remaining fingers are the curve), as well as being a tool of the Illuminati.
The silence in the room, once he left the principal’s office, was deafening. No one stopped him when he loudly announced his decision to homeschool because we were just tools in the hands of the Illuminati controlled government.”
Level Of Drama: Reality Show
“A decade ago, I had an 8th-grade student who was in all remedial classes. Her life’s ambition at the time was to be like the girls on Jersey Shore and to have a part on a reality show. I didn’t have her for any academic classes, only for a less than 30-minute homeroom. One day, I called her mother to try to get a form signed and returned. I let her mother know that she had been in trouble in homeroom for some very loud, very explicit talk and that she wouldn’t stop after being repeatedly warned.
The mother went berserk. She demanded to know exactly what her daughter had said, and I was ready with some quotes. That morning the kid had been going on and on about ‘a super big adult toy.’ The mother demanded a conference immediately, so I let the team leader know, and he scheduled one.
The teachers who had the kid for academic classes were astounded. They had been trying to get the parent to come in or at least respond to anything all year, to no avail. The parent, before the conference, attempted to call me multiple times daily, leaving furious, accusatory messages about all the terrible ‘lies’ I was telling. She said that her daughter knew NOTHING about ‘the act’ and had no idea what an adult toy even was and that I was a sick person.
The day of the conference arrived and the parent showed up red-faced and vibrating with anger. The academic teachers started to speak to her about her child disrupting their classes, never completing assignments, etc, and she cut them off. She announced that her child had some shocking news to disclose about me.
I was about 6 or 7 months pregnant at this time. The child lifted her head and, with tears in her eyes, said that I had traumatized her, because I said that I hated my baby and wished I could just get rid of it and that she couldn’t even look at me without wanting to cry, because of how awful I was.
It was like a crazy scripted reveal moment from one of the reality shows the girl was obsessed with. It was utterly surreal.
I cut her off. I told her that it was laughably transparent that she was trying to take the heat off of herself by making outrageous and irrelevant accusations, and that I was disgusted that her mother would fall for something so ridiculous. Then I told the parent to pipe down and listen to the academic teachers because her kid wouldn’t make it out of 8th grade if something didn’t change. I had the girl put into another homeroom on the spot, got my enormous self upright, and waddled the heck out.”
Not Her Precious Boy
“My wife is an elementary school teacher and suspected that one of her students may be autistic. The kid wouldn’t communicate well at all, had issues with using the bathroom, and showed other classic signs of autism. My wife had a conference with the mother and explained that she would like him to be evaluated, but the mother refused and said that if her son did have autism, my wife was the one who caused it.
My wife has learned to handle those situations much differently now. Being accused of causing autism will do that you.”
“The kid showed up but the parent didn’t. After a few minutes, the girl said she would go home and get her mom (no cell phone/house phone). The girl was gone for about 20 minutes. She came back with her mom, who was reeking of crank. So was the girl. A few furtive calls to the police and CPS and they were both hauled away.
We never did get to talk to the mom about the daughter’s hygiene issues and academic struggles, but I feel like we solved the problem nonetheless.”
Future Gang Member
“I had a kindergartener (6 years old) that drew a picture of himself with a blunt in one hand and a weapon in the other. He also drew another kid in the class with a wound to his head and blood everywhere. He wrote ‘(his name) up in da hood’ above it. He explained that he drew it because he didn’t like the other kid and wanted to kill him.
The school counselor and I met with his mom because that’s obviously disturbing. We also had other parents calling to let us know that that the child had told their kids he was going to be in a gang. The mom laughed and said it was probably just something he heard while listening to his favorite rapper 2 Chainz. She refused to acknowledge that it was disturbing and said it was my fault that I didn’t tell her about the child he didn’t like. She also said that he wouldn’t be in a gang because he told her he wants to play in the NBA when he grows up. She actually believed that he was more likely to play in the NBA than be in a gang!”
1 Teacher VS. 12 Irate Family Members
“My mother’s first teaching job was in a small town school in Oregon, 3rd grade. A local hotel had been bought out by a family from India. All of the staff- housekeeping, maintenance etc. – were from India. My mother’s student was the son of the owners and, at home, he was apparently treated like a living god by his large, mostly female family. This kid should have been in 5th grade by his age but had been held back twice. So this means he was half a foot taller and much stronger than his classmates.
So, parent-teacher conferences come around and my mother is surrounded by a dozen women of all ages in traditional Indian dress. So she lays it out. He rarely bathed so he stank terribly. He bullied the other Indian kids, making them do his schoolwork and carry his books home. If he was walking and someone was in his way, he’d just bulldoze right through them. When he did do his work, it was terrible.
The gang did not take this well. Every woman starts yelling at the same time. Of course, the other Indian children must do what he says, they are the children of the housekeeping staff and of a lower caste! American standards of hygiene are ridiculous! Other children must show him respect because he is older! He does poor schoolwork because the curriculum is contemptible!
The conversation ended after the principal heard the disturbance, came in, asked the women to leave. Both my mother and the principal were accused of bigotry as they left.
So you’d think this kid was headed for a final reckoning? Well, who knows what happened when they all got home but the boy did stop smelling after that and moderated his other behaviors just enough to stay out of trouble.”
This Is Disgusting!
“I was teaching Grade 7 during my internship and was speaking to the parent of a high needs student. Without going into too much detail, the girl we were speaking of had little to no long-term or working memory, and limited ability to communicate needs and wants.
Anyways, her mother was complaining to us about the bus driver and told us ‘Anne had scabies last month and I don’t think he even bothered cleaning her seat on the bus…’
My partner teacher and I just stared at each other for a second. The mother hadn’t informed the school about the kid having scabies… we hadn’t cleaned her desk, the couches, or anything else. And I let this kid hug me every day.
I took, like, six showers that night”
Horrible Helicopter Mom
“I’m a seventh and eighth-grade teacher in Philadelphia. This young man’s mom had gotten him identified as ‘gifted.’ When I taught him, he was failing multiple classes, refused to do any work, slept through classes, and took no responsibility. She came into conference (all the teachers are in the same room and parents circulate), ignored everyone except for two of the teachers.
She interrupted an ongoing conference the math teacher was having to berate him for being a race-traitor and bringing down her son out of ignorance, came over to me (I’m the English teacher) and when I stood up and extended my hand, she just looked at it. She then looked me in the eye and told me, ‘No. You’re not even worth it.’ She turned around and started out of the room, cursing the staff to no one in particular. The Spanish teacher tried to talk to her and got cursed out, so the Spanish teacher called security to have her walked out of the building. The mom then tried to use evasive maneuvers to avoid security, but was eventually caught and walked out, told she was no longer welcome on our premises. She tried to sneak into the next conference but was caught.
Follow-up story: This was her middle child, her oldest had already graduated from the school (K-8), and her youngest was in 3rd grade. When the youngest was in 5th grade, they went on a trip to Canada, and she followed – against direct instruction from administration – in her own car, showed up at the place they were having dinner (where there wasn’t a seat for her, so she sat at her own table and ordered something for herself). She then tried to stay at the hotel where the kids were staying, and when there wasn’t an extra room, tried to go in where her kid was. When that (obviously) didn’t work out to her expectations, she took her kid and drove back home that night…
So, yeah, she sucked.”
So THAT’S Where Her Entitled Attitude Came From
“Not an official conference, but I work security at a school and met with a parent once. He was trying to get his daughter’s car started because it had ‘broken down.’ He wanted to know why I ticketed her for breaking down. I explained that I didn’t ticket her for breaking down, I ticketed her for parking in a teacher’s parking space. She didn’t break down. She parked in a faculty/admin space and when she tried to move several hours later, realized she’d left her lights on, and her battery was dead. And she realized it when she was trying to cut class and leave early, and her car wouldn’t start.
I explained that she can’t park there, and he pointed to the big, bold, white letters saying, ‘RESERVED.’ ‘Why not? It says reserved!’ he said.
I actually laughed out loud, and said, ‘Not for her!’
Why would any student or parent think she should have a reserved space 10 feet away from the front door, on a campus with over 3,000 students, and 900 staff? Why would anyone see a ‘reserved’ sign, and think it meant it was for them, despite never being told they have a reserved spot?
He then argued that her ticket shouldn’t include her car not having a permit because she does have a parking permit. I pointed out that it’s for another school. ‘So, what? She has to buy one for here, too?!’
And then I realized exactly why she thought the way she did.”
Blame It On The Gators
“My mom is a teacher and told me about her worst parent-teacher conference. There was a kid who had developed major behavior problems, so she called the parents in for a conference. Only the mother showed up to the conference, which isn’t all that uncommon. The mother apparently reeked of adult beverages and smoke and came in dressed in ratty old jeans and a top exposing her midriff. My mom sits the mother down and asks her if she was aware that the child hadn’t been doing his homework, and had been to the principal’s office about 4 times in the past month for harassing other students.
The mother of the student goes, ‘Yeah, I’m not too surprised by that. His dad walked out on us a while ago and they just found him in Florida.’ My mom, being an understanding lady, says she’s sorry the father did that, and offers a list of resources: attorneys so she can sue for child support, women’s shelter’s, food banks, and so on. The other mother laughed and said, ‘Oh no, we won’t need any of that. They only found his arm, the rest was fed to the gators.’ My mom sat there in horror as the mother elaborated: Apparently the father owed a few people some money, and had no intention of paying them back. So the people found him and fed him to the gators. The only reason they knew the arm was his, is because his fingerprints were in the system for several domestic violence charges. She instructed my mother not to tell the student how the father died: as far as he knew, his dad died in an accident. Not a homicide.
The kid ended up alright, in the end, he went on to graduate and get a job. To my mother’s knowledge, he never found out the truth about his dad. But I really can’t judge him for acting out in grade school”
Too Many Disney Movies For This Clever Kid
“My husband went to our son’s parent teacher interview for kindergarten, the teacher proceeds to tell him that he’s doing great, however, seems distant from group activities. She tells my husband how our son just says, ‘I need to be alone’ then quietly takes a reading/play break in the corner. My husband doesn’t think anything of this as our son hates group work, so they decide to make a plan and suggestions on how to get him more involved.
The teacher starts asking about other strong female role models my son has in his life, aunts, grandmas that could come for Mother’s Day tea so he isn’t left out… my husband just paused and looked at her confused.
Her reply: ‘Well… you know… since your wife died.’
That little bugger told his teacher I had died so he could get out of group singing and craft time.”
“Sir, Does That Sound Logical Or True?”
“I taught one 6th grade boy, who was a total pain and a troublemaker. He was hateful, naughty, and mean. He was loud, rude, and also very small for his age. At one point of the year, right after Christmas, he was really acting like a spoiled brat in class, so it was time for a conference. I was expecting his grandmother because that’s who he lived with, but nope. Here comes mama.
She had just gotten out of jail after 3 years (Ah! This is why he’s being an extra big pain). She proceeds to tell me, in front of him, that he was the worst mistake she ever made and if she could have afforded to get rid of him in the womb, she would have. The poor kid. The poor, poor kid. His face was the epitome of dejection. I immediately turned the conference around and stopped talking about his behavior and started talking about his good qualities. I felt so bad for him.
Second: In a 7th grade English class, I taught a smart kid who was a real prick. He was the kind of kid who made fun of other kids when they made a mistake. He would call them stupid in class if they answered wrong and made them feel really low. He was also that weird kind of kid who does strange things just to weird other kids out. For example, violently snapping a pencil and then jabbing the pieces at the other kids, spitting a loogie on the carpet, pretending to be deaf, etc. One day in my class he BIT another kid (yes, 7th grade) so there was a conference. The kid sat in his mother’s lap (they were nearly the same size, it was so awkward) and grinned at me the whole conference. I’d say something and she’d defend him. It was sick. His eyes were sparkling and he knew he was never going to get in trouble. The smug look on his face was unreal. He was looking at me and his eyes were saying, ‘You’re never gonna win, lady. I’ve been doing this for years.’ It would not surprise me to find out he is a criminal or something like that now.
Third: I was teaching 5th grade in 2003 when little 5th grade African American boys were super into having long hair so they could have braids. All the cool kids in my class had braids. This one kid hadn’t been doing his homework. He was failing because he was: A) stupid and B) did no work at all. Of course, the end of the year is coming and it’s found out that he is in trouble. So finally, his parents decide to take action. I get to school one morning early, and there is this gigantic man waiting outside my classroom door with this little boy. He gets right up in my face and starts telling me that I am trying to fail his son on purpose. (What? Why?) I ask him to explain. He tells me that his son told him that I taped his locker shut and that’s why he never brought any books home.
I had to sit there, staring the man in the eyes, and ask him that sounded logical or true. He finally realizes how insane that sounds and I show him his son’s locker. It is a pig sty and all the books are under piles of trash in the locker. The father apologizes to me and leaves with his son. 40 minutes later, school starts. In walks this kid with a bald head. His dad went home and shaved his precious braids off for lying. I was floored. It was awesome. That kid gave me zero problems for the rest of the year. He also started doing his work. Too bad it took so long.”
The Mom Who Flipped Out
“I’ve been at my current school since it opened 5 years ago. Long story short, when the school opened, we only had about 6 or so weeks to get our act together. As a result, we admitted some students we were not equipped to handle. I was a special education teacher at the time and had a young man on my caseload who had a dual diagnosis of Autism and Emotional Disturbance (technically not possible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, but the kid came from a notoriously shady district).
The boy had previously attended an alternative placement where, from what inferred, he’d spent most of his time being placated on the computer. None of his social/emotional goals were being addressed and his academics had clearly fallen by the wayside. Very quickly, his behaviors occupied so much of my time that I could not get other responsibilities done. I think my personal favorite time was when he ripped the electrical outlet covers off the sockets, then threw them at the guidance counselor and I while screaming that we were both ‘fat idiots.’ Given that we’d only been open a short amount of time and our resources were extremely limited, to this day I still feel my coworkers and I did our best to help the child. However, his mother was a two-faced liar and I got the impression she was into some shady stuff. The kid was a piece of work, but I can’t place too much blame on a 10-year-old when he was clearly a product of his environment.
Flash forward 3-ish months. The boy was suspended for bringing a weapon to school. We brought him and his mother in for a reinstatement meeting. The principal and I had also drafted papers requesting a reevaluation since it was pretty obvious his prior eval/IEP did not reflect his actual needs. Mom spent the whole ‘meeting’ flipping out, saying she was ‘done with [our] bull, tired of getting phone calls, etc.’ Meanwhile, the boy was kicking my shins under the conference table as I tried not to react.
Keep in mind that this was in the front office, during morning drop off, so the entire school community is witnessing this tirade (seriously, later that day, kids I’d never met before asked if I was ok). The mother is pounding the table, getting in the principal’s and my face when…WHAM. Out of nowhere, our school secretary comes out and basically body checks this woman. The secretary then dragged her from the building, screaming, ‘You need to leave, now!’ The boy follows suit and he and his mom drive off. We called the police, I had to give a statement, and I spent the next 10 days in fear that he (and his mother) would return to school before we could officially drop him from our roster.”
She Doesn’t Cry
“I taught at a private school, so I was used to the way some of the parents would make certain demands and some of the students got away with a lot more than they would have in public school. But it was part of the job. Except for This Guy, who liked to yell at the teachers and make them cry. I taught 4th – 8th grades, and I had This Guy’s daughter for her 4th, 5th, and 6th-grade years. This Guy made two or three teachers cry, and I’m an emotionless android according to the principal, which is why I got This Guy’s daughter in my class… because I’d be less likely to cry.
Everything was ok, I guess, until his daughter wants to read an Ernest Hemingway (The Sun Also Rises, as I recall) novel for a 6th-grade book report. I’m ok with students reading advanced material. I got a master’s degree in gifted education, so I’m all about that. But I’m not ok with students reading material they’re not ready for, that’s just too advanced. Also, I read all the books my students did book reports on. And I wasn’t at all interested in the eye strain from rolling my eyes throughout the entirety of reading Hemingway. So I said she had to read something else, and I gave her some ideas.
This Guy did NOT like my decision. He hand wrote a 6-page letter which his daughter gave to me the next day very awkwardly, capitalizing his daughter’s name every time, and insulted almost everything about me. Then he demanded a conference with me and the principal, where he wore a pinstripe suit and bought photocopies of all the checks he had given the school. He was a short guy, too, shorter than I am, so I think he had a bit of a Napoleon thing going on.
After about five minutes of nonsense, I called his letter garbage. This Guy flipped his lid. He stood up so fast he overturned the chair he was in, which prompted me to stand up too, and he put his finger in my face and backed me up against a set of cabinets all the while calling me names and saying stuff I didn’t care about. I couldn’t even hear my blood pressure was so high. The principal got between us, genuinely concerned This Guy was going to hit me, then ushered This Guy out of the building. He was banned from campus for the rest of the year.
I didn’t cry, the android designation was correct I guess.”
Little Jimmy Still Lives At Home
“I come from a quiet little hick valley town that, rather ambitiously, calls itself a city. It is the 1,253rd largest city in the United States and home to a huge shooting range, two public pools, and not a single solitary blessed dance club. I know her as home, but you might know her better as Oak Ridge, Tennessee (the greenest state in the land of the free), if not the birthplace of The Bomb, then at least the steamy back seat of Dad’s car where Fat Man and Little Boy were conceived. The town has some odd conservative-hippie-atheist-Christian sensibilities as, for most of its modern history, it has been ruled by the children of scientists and military personnel. All-in-all, not a bad place to live and certainly the source of some interesting stories and endless ribbing from the out-of-town hillbillies about how we all glow in Oak Ridge (all the radiation, yuk yuk, get it?).
My story does not concern Oak Ridge, actually, but a bit of background is important to give the rest of my woeful tale some context. I work in a school district at the end of a 40-minute commute that is an entirely new level of hick. You see, my little podunk workplace is really some sort of platonic ideal of hick where they have an actual, ‘mudding’ team and the third lowest average income in the state according to the 2010 census. I am the faculty sponsor of both the Fishing Club and the Tabletop Roleplaying Game Club. James Earl Ray, the assassin of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., spent much of his adult life imprisoned there in Brushy Mountain State Penitentiary (name-checked in a few Thomas Harris novels, by the way). When Ray escaped back in 1977, many locals left sleeping bags, bundles of money, and coolers full of food out on their lawns for him.
Again, this is all context, because you need to know that, where I work, I am considered ‘city folk.’ A parent came to talk to me during an open-house night and, after a 20-minute conversation on the merits of Predator versus Predator 2, he smiled, shook my hand, and said, ‘I figured you’d be some kind of stick-in-the-mud city boy after my son told me you eat pizza with a fork, but you’re alright by my account.’
I have been offered many jobs in higher-paying districts, but, back in those days, I lived by a philosophy of ‘money doesn’t matter.’ I believed then, as I still do now, that the students of my district need me — someone who cares about them and respects them for who they are and who they might someday become. I think mudding is the dumbest thing ever, but I still attend when one of my students asks me to and I cheer them on nonetheless. The hick life isn’t my style, but it is theirs and I do what I can to support them and give them a shot at whatever life they choose to pursue. That being said, these days, I question the wisdom of my old philosophy, as I have a wife and son who deserve nice things that I am increasingly unable to provide. I’m not too proud or private to admit that I have a Master’s degree and make around $30,000 USD each year. Anyway, remember that I’m the outsider here and not especially trusted by the locals, okay?
There was this one Little Jimmy who came into my sphere as a freshman. He wasn’t a big fan of any aspect of school that didn’t involve World War 2 and generally failed everything. I managed to get him involved in class by offering him alternative reading assignments about the Battle of the River Platte or the assassination of Isoroku Yamamoto and so on, but I couldn’t replace my entire curriculum for him. So, by the end of the first half, he was making a 17 (yes, out of 100) in my class. He hardly ever turned in any assignments and my gradebook showed a huge number of zeroes, plus a few As from the World War 2 assignments. I tried to talk to him about it, but his standard response was always, ‘I don’t care, I’m Special Ed so they can’t fail me.’ I don’t mean to cast any shade on students with disabilities, as most of them are among the hardest working people with the most heart-wrenching stories that I have the pleasure to meet each day, but this Little Jimmy was kind of a tool.
When I gave a multiple-choice test, he would Christmas-tree the answers. When I gave an essay test, he would just write ‘gimme yo watch’ for every answer. Joking around with him, I even wrote up one test where the last question read ‘This one is just for Little Jimmy: What should I do with my watch?’ His answer? ‘IDK.’
So, this Little Jimmy’s mom decides to come in for a conference. She was mad that her precious baby was failing every class he was taking and wanted to have words with his teachers. My principal called me into his fish corpse-strewn office to meet with the lady and, beneath the preserved carcass of a particularly big bass, asked me to explain myself. That was no good way to start, I assure you when your boss sits you down with a red-faced parent and starts the conversation with ‘explain yourself.’ My palms immediately became sweaty and mom’s proverbial spaghetti began to stretch its legs in anticipation of a grand adventure.
There is a certain amount of ‘old boys club’ going on in my district. In fact, during my job interview, the principal actually said: ‘We can’t offer much money here and I know you live a-ways out, but my nephew is the sheriff and, trust me, you won’t get any speeding tickets.’ Congratulations, you have earned ‘Good Old Boy Club perk, Rank I’! Well, this lady was in charge of finances and offering collection at the church (Good Old Boys Club perk, Rank IX) where my boss was a deacon (Good Old Boys Club perk, Rank LVI), so you can see where this is going, right?
‘My boy has nothing but zeroes in your class, Mr. Verdantgreen,’ she said. Not technically true, but whatever.
‘Ma’am, that is because he hasn’t turned-in those assignments,’ I said.
‘Do you have proof that he didn’t turn them in?’
At this point, my miserable excuse of a boss actually had the gall to turn around, look me in the eyes, and say, ‘Well, Mr. Verdantgreen, do you have any documentation?’ I tried to argue that manually typing in the number ‘0’ on all of those cells constituted documentation, but the boss wouldn’t have it. He ended up telling me that I had to give Little Jimmy credit for those assignments because I had no proof that he didn’t turn them in. I guess if one is capable of believing in God without proof, then believing in a Canterbury Tales essay without proof is small potatoes.
I kind of lost it there, as much as my generally-relaxed personality is capable of ‘losing it’. I came the closest I have ever come to insubordination when I asked what score should I give to these phantom assignments? 100? 70? 88.3? I then pulled a dice out of my pocket (yeah, I’m a nerd, what of it?) and suggested that I roll randomly for the grades. I was dismissed from the meeting and came back the next day to find that all of Little Jimmy’s grades had been changed to the minimum score considered a passing grade.
As a sort of epilogue, I had a second meeting with this Little Jimmy’s mother at the end of the second half when, as expected, he had made nothing but zeroes since the first half and his average score was now well below passing. The same stuff started up again, but, this time, I had a logbook that listed every day when he failed to turn in an assignment with date and time clearly printed next to a description of the assignment should he have decided to attempt some makeup work. This time, she led off with ‘Little Jimmy says you didn’t give him enough time to finish his work.’
What she didn’t realize, was that after the first meeting, I had taken to having Little Jimmy fill out a brief explanation of why he didn’t do his work that day. Tucked into the back page of my logbook were over sixty pages of Little Jimmy’s neatly-printed but poorly-spelled notes, most of which read ’cause I don’t want to.’ Some of which, however, had interesting things like, ‘Too tired, mom was sleeping with a fireman all night’ or ‘ different fireman tonight, wow mom.’
Though I ‘won’ in the end, I consider this the worst parent conference I’ve had. My time was wasted and the mother looked like a fool, but ultimately her son went on to get fired from Hardee’s because of uncleanliness and, to the best of my knowledge, still lives at home eight years later. I was so close to making a connection with the boy (with the World War 2 angle), but, ultimately, he did not allow me or his other teachers to help him. I don’t believe that his life situation is, in any way, my fault, but I still remember my interaction with him as a failure and I always will.”
“Background: I currently teach 10th grade World History. I had a student who refused to take any notes of the lecture I was teaching that week, which was the history of the ancient worlds. It covered Greek Mythology, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Confucianism etc and how these religions and practices changed Early Civilization. He cited that I was anti-Christian and was pushing other religions on him. I had to explain to him that the knowledge of these different religions was necessary to learn about why empires rose and fell as they are a key part of history.
He still refused, so I gave him a warning stating, that when I do the Notebook checks on Fridays, I expected him to have these notes down. I advised him to ask the members of his team (I put them in groups of four so they could rely on each other for help) to allow him to copy their notes or he’d get a zero for the Notebook grade that week. Come Friday, I do the weekly notebook check and he has nothing written down. The designated Team Captain told me she offered to give her notebook to him to copy her notes, but he refused. He gets 0/10. The Weekly Friday Quiz is next. He refused to do the quiz. He gets 0/17.
In my class, if you got the questions wrong on the quiz, your weekend homework would be to correct them and receive 10 pts. Come Monday, he did not do his homework and gets 0/10. So far he has missed 37 possibly points in class. That Monday, I talk to him and tell him how refusing to participate in this class will hurt his grade. I send out a note to his home, informing his parents their son has refused to participate in class and has missed a significant amount of points.
The very next day, I get a call from the Vice Principal about an issue concerning a student of mine. The mother of the kid had come in and complained about how I was pushing my religious agenda on her son and that I failed her son on purpose. She demanded that I get fired. The VP obviously sided with me and explained the curriculum to her. She exploded and starting hitting things and cursing the school and how everyone here wasn’t going to heaven. We literally had to call campus security to take her out of his office”