Friday, June 24, 2011

Parenting skirmishes…

When my daughter was in  2nd or 3rd grade ( I am not quite sure which one now, it’s been such a blur) she had a teacher who we will henceforward refer to as Mrs. Z, since I have willfully banished her name from my mind as well. Mrs. Z was a control freak who liked to pontificate on the behavior/misbehavior of her students in great detail. She would go on and on, in a humiliating manner about this student or that student, and expected that no parent would ever know  what was happening. Mrs. Z obviously didn’t know my kid, who had been attending college classes and study groups as long as she had been alive. My kid wrote all these disparaging remarks down on her hand,  came home and reported them to me.  I was appalled! In my loose frame of parenting, one of my big rules is respect. Mrs. Z was obviously not showing these students respect. It was not long before my daughter was targeted by her teacher’s sermon, and I go the full report. Luckily this was right before parent-teacher conferences. I tried to play nice, and listen to her blather on about the importance of standardized tests, but then she veered into a topic that I had not expected.
“You need to schedule your daughter more. She needs more structure outside of school.” Said Mrs. Z. I cocked an eyebrow, and looked at her sharply.
“Excuse, me? She’s eight. She gets structure all day at school. I want her to be a kid,” I retorted.
“Structure is the most important thing she can have now,” the mad woman replied. Playing nice was killed  dead, so I unloaded…
“No, I think the most important thing she can have right now is the respect of authority figures, such as yourself, which I am pretty sure is lacking in your classroom,’ I then proceeded to ask her why she thought it was acceptable to treat children in such a manner.
“I am always respectful to the children. Your daughter is a liar.” She snarled. I hadn’t even begun to describe how she had talked to my child, so I decided to tell her what I knew. As I recounted the story my child had told me, Mrs. Z began to get pale and concerned. The level of detail my child had given me was hard to deny. She began to stutter denials and random condemnations.  She was obviously sweating by this point. Her red pen clattered to the floor.  I stood.
“ I think there is nothing more to talk about here. I will be speaking to the principal about changing classes.” I left, without giving her another minute.

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