Monday, May 31, 2010

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.

Mercifully, this school year has come to a close. I stopped writing about it because of how atrocious the parents and children had become - well, one particular parent and child. It all started with an email I received from a mother who basically said that I was picking on her son and taking the side of (and I quote) all the "colored boys. I think she was calling me a racist, but we share the same race.

Her son was one of those problem students - I could never catch him doing anything, but he was always the one getting the finger pointed at him. He was sneaky and mean. He was a bad seed. And with that email, I figured out how and why.

Our favorite custodian had to speak to badseed at lunch shortly thereafter and all hell broke loose. Our favorite custodian is African-American.

His mother then sent a KRAZY email to my favorite superintendent. (I'm all about emailing the superintendent - just keep my name out of it.) With that, local administrators leapt into action. There was a meeting with the parents and me and the guidance counselor, and the principals. I kept notes because that was the only way I could keep quiet. These parents (and their child) were angry not only over some clashes that this student instigated with students of other races, but they launched into a diatribe over standards which required that we teach the origins of slavery, the Civil War (we apparently teach it biased, down here in the South), the civil rights movement. They criticized our music teacher and her program of "biased" music. They went on and on until they finally, finally, ran out of steam.

I can't convey the venom they released. Their hateful diatribe would have been funny if it hadn't been their honest feelings.

We had to implement a plan to make certain that this student was "having a good day." Thumbs up/thumbs down. Seriously. "Honey, are you feeling all right today? Are any of the big, bad "minority" students that you have incited picking on you?" Silver lining: one day, I heard the music teacher blasting some country tunes in her room. Of course, it was for our special problem child.

I had a crappy year. Dealing with this kid and then the disaster that was springtime summer school was horrible.

Someone wanted to know if we were sad to see our class leave. I've never been happier to see a group of kids hit the road.

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Blogger Ginger Snaps said...

I felt like that last year! I moved down two grade levels to 3rd and now I love it!

6/11/2010 11:56 AM  
Blogger Lennye said...

That is the way we felt this year too! I don't know if 1998/99 was a bad year or what!!! Anyway like a fool in need of money I signed up to teach a mini-summer school for 5th graders (11 days). Guess What? We've now merged three schools of 5th graders that all act the same!! Holy Cow!!!

Plus we now are getting 12 days of furlough for 2010-2011. No county step increases. Plus, we get the privildge of coming back 9 days early to attend professional learning classes.

6/11/2010 3:05 PM  
Blogger John Deere Mom said...

Ugh. What a horrible situation. And it's so difficult because you know it will never change. Those parents will continue that prejudice and the children will continue that pattern. Just ridiculous. Glad it's over for you. Enjoy your freedom!

6/14/2010 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A situation repeated many times each year. Good teachers persecuted by a parent who is inherely mean, mentally Ill, or just out to make life miserable. Instead of working with the teacher and administration to work for the Childs wellbeing the teacher becomes a foe of the parent and administration. Who loses? Everyone except administration. The administration can report to the board that they are working hard and justify their job in the process. And now the parent knows they can crucify a teacher.

7/14/2010 11:22 AM  
Blogger Kold_Kadavr_flatliner said...

God bless you, girl. It's everywhere: the violence, MissTrust, hate... and the stanky BO ain't doing a thing about it. He's provoking/stoking it, actually, through abortion/homosexuality. Just be thankfull, girl, you have a place Upstairs in Heaven after this --- See my abundant, unlimited blog: wacky, tacky, backed by God - not to mention a lil' efficacious avant-garde'ness thrown in. You'd love it if you're as nuts as I am about Heaven. So, why don’tcha meet me Upstairs where we can play ThumbWars while we wait for our beer??? God blessa youse -Fr. Sarducci, ol SNL

7/17/2010 9:46 PM  
Blogger Kold_Kadavr_flatliner said...

'Wiseabove' - the last one of the four. Bless your heart.

7/17/2010 9:50 PM  

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