Monday, July 10, 2006

Parent-School Connections... tested....

I was wrestling with the problem of an irate parent. She had been receptive, in the school's corner for the 6 weeks since her son started, responding positively to calls and notes home, getting him to school on time, etc. When the principal had to call about her sweetie-throwing rocks at the windows of the trailer units out back of the school, she shape-shifted to a venom spewing supervillian, projecting her intense disatisfaction through the phone.

"Don't you be calling me at work, Moth** F***er!! I can't help what shit my boy does there at school. What you think I can do about it, anyway? He don't listen to me, and now he don't listen to YOU!"

I'd been standing at my boss's desk, at the ready in case the mother had any specific questions I could answer. I was glad from the start that she wanted to call the parent herself, but as I heard the yelling coming across the lines, I was doubly grateful. There are few things less troublesome than a screaming, yelling parent.

In years past, I was so surprised by the tantruming adult, I didnt' get a quick handle on many of the outbursts I faced. It took me three times to learn to quietly hang up the phone on a parent who was threatening to hurt me or cursing voraciously. Believe it or not, I had thought hanging up wasn't even an option.... like I was obligated to listen attentively to the threats/name calling because, after all, we are trying to build the parent-school partnership.

This said, strengthening the home-school connection is one of my goals next year. I've already started dreaming about school again, so I guess summer is farther along than I let myself believe!!


Dree said...

Um... WOW. I can't fathom my mother using such words, ever. And especially not to a principal. It's amazing the lack of respect people have these days.

Our school also lists parent communication as a goal for the upcoming school year. I'd be interested in hearing any success stories you have this year! Good luck!

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