In Her Shell
Sunday, June 18, 2006
Here is an excerpt from an e-mail I recently received from a parent:

"Iknow quite a few teachers persopnally, some really truly care andrealize that they do effect a child. Some are just collecting apaycheck. We have never met so I don't know you, but I hope you are onethat really truly cares, because whether you know it or not you have thepower to change a childs life!"

This after a courtesy e-mail I sent to inform her that after 3 failed quarters, one quarter (the 1st) when he passed by one point (given out of the kindness of my heart), and a 90 on the final exam, her son did not manage to pass my class.

This after I have been e-mailing her since March about the fact that not only does her son not do any work in my class, but he probably has a myriad of other issues.

This after I have spent hours talking with her son, trying to motivate him, talking with the Child Study Team about him, and encouraging him when he was ready to throw in the towel.

This after I agonized about whether or not I should just give the kid another 5 points on his yearly average so he could pass, but decided that that would be enabling him.

She's right. Clearly I don't give a shit.
That sort of thing never fails to amaze me. I'm sure she knows quite a few teachers personally because she has brow beaten them into submission over the years.

You *know* that you are a caring and talented teacher, and that mom should just go fuck herself.
I once had a mom yell at me until I was in tears. She told me I was ruining her son's life by refusing to pass him (which kept him from graduating). The kid had attended class LITERALLY 32 times over the course of the school year.

I think parents tend to do this to the teachers they know DO care, otherwise it wouldn't work. If you were just collecting a paycheck, you wouldn't agonize over whether or not to pass a kid, and her playing the "power to change lives" card wouldn't have any effect on you.
Thank you, both. It helps to hear this stuff.

I just got an e-mail from another student in the same class:

"Hows it going! our class is over, but that doesn't mean that i'm not going to see you anymore and not say hi. I just wanted to say that you were a great teacher/FRIEND (OOOH), so good job!

That helps too.
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