this is the school

Closing the Teach For America Blogging Gap
Dec 03 2008

Nor Is His Bad Eyesight

Note to parents: If your child is caught selling drugs, that is NOT MY FAULT.

So many good things happen (they do! they do!), but I find I never want to write as much as when a parent has just yelled at me. Mother:”What I don’t understand is, why are you calling me about his behavior when he was selling and I didn’t know?” Well, ma’am, the thing I want to know is, why did you raise a child who was selling drugs at twelve years old? (My actual response, of course, was a calm, “Honestly, ma’am, I didn’t KNOW he was selling drugs. In fact, the staff remained uninformed of the incident until after your son was suspended.”)

It’s one thing to get angry with me because you don’t think I’m a good teacher. Frequently, I would agree! It’s another, however, to get angry with me because of your child’s pathology. Some of these parents literally expect to drop off their children and have us “cure” them of all misbehavior, so that when the misbehavior does occur, they get angry because we were supposed to fix the problem.

I didn’t raise them, people — you did! I’m just trying to help them learn to read!

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