I had this very insightful post ready about how my mood affects my kids and blahblahblah...but it disappeared, and I don't have the energy to re-write it...so, I'm going to complain for a minute...or two...
I have a parent who took issue with her son's teachers, myself included. Instead of emailing us with her concerns, however, she waited until two days before the end of the quarter and emailed our superintendent and principal. They told her she needed to discuss her concerns with his teachers, so I got a nasty email from her and a visit from the principal.
Her issue was (and still is) that her son is failing. For the first half of the quarter, he didn't turn any homework in to me. He missed several days and didn't make up the work...never even asked me about it. I notified our freshmen intervention coordinator. I sent a progress report home to get signed by the parent (it came back signed). And I talked to the student's case managers (he has an I.E.P.). At that point in time, out of the fifty freshmen I have, twenty were failing. I couldn't call all those parents, hence the signed progress report. We were also told that case managers contacted parents in those cases (while they were told it was up to the regular ed. teacher).
Any student who didn't return the progress report got a phone call home, but because his was returned, I assumed she knew what his grade was. This cut down significantly on the number of phone calls I had to make, and my students began turning in homework, which was the main reason for poor grades.
After recieving this nasty email, I attempted to call her and never got a call back. A couple days later, I emailed her, letting her know I did attempt to contact her through the progress report and that her son had gotten better about turning in assignments. She didn't reply.
This mother was nasty to me and also to the student's other teachers and especially his case manager, so I decided if she wanted contact, I'd give her contact. I've now emailed her four times and called twice to date. I have recieved one nasty reply to my email where she asked if there was anything further to discuss. I told her that yes, there was.
I told her in no uncertain terms that her son is doing poorly because of his own actions. I told her that I'm holding up my end of the bargain by following the I.E.P., while she and her son aren't. I told her he's lazy and wastes time, and if he wants to earn a passing grade in my class, he better get his act together.
I have yet to hear from her.
What bothers me about the whole thing is that I feel like I'm treating the son differently. Normally when a student sits and does nothing when given class-time to work, I'll say something once. After that, it's a choice the student is making. But with this kid, I'm constantly on his back. He's been diagnosed ADHD and does not take meds, so this is a frequent thing. I don't lash out at the student, but I am watching him more closely...and I email what I see to his mother. If he sits for twenty minutes and stares at the wall, then I let her know that. I know I shouldn't be on him because of his mother, but no matter how hard I try, I do. It's very difficult not to...