The mother went berserk. She demanded to know exactly what her daughter had said, and I was ready with some quotes. That morning the kid had been going on and on about 'a super big adult toy.' The mother demanded a conference immediately, so I let the team leader know, and he scheduled one.
The teachers who had the kid for academic classes were astounded. They had been trying to get the parent to come in or at least respond to anything all year, to no avail. The parent, before the conference, attempted to call me multiple times daily, leaving furious, accusatory messages about all the terrible 'lies' I was telling. She said that her daughter knew NOTHING about 'the act' and had no idea what an adult toy even was and that I was a sick person.
The day of the conference arrived and the parent showed up red-faced and vibrating with anger. The academic teachers started to speak to her about her child disrupting their classes, never completing assignments, etc, and she cut them off. She announced that her child had some shocking news to disclose about me.
I was about 6 or 7 months pregnant at this time. The child lifted her head and, with tears in her eyes, said that I had traumatized her, because I said that I hated my baby and wished I could just get rid of it and that she couldn't even look at me without wanting to cry, because of how awful I was.
It was like a crazy scripted reveal moment from one of the reality shows the girl was obsessed with. It was utterly surreal.
I cut her off. I told her that it was laughably transparent that she was trying to take the heat off of herself by making outrageous and irrelevant accusations, and that I was disgusted that her mother would fall for something so ridiculous. Then I told the parent to pipe down and listen to the academic teachers because her kid wouldn't make it out of 8th grade if something didn't change. I had the girl put into another homeroom on the spot, got my enormous self upright, and waddled the heck out."
"I had a kindergartener (6 years old) that drew a picture of himself with a blunt in one hand and a weapon in the other. He also drew another kid in the class with a wound to his head and blood everywhere. He wrote '(his name) up in da hood' above it. He explained that he drew it because he didn't like the other kid and wanted to kill him.
The school counselor and I met with his mom because that's obviously disturbing. We also had other parents calling to let us know that that the child had told their kids he was going to be in a gang. The mom laughed and said it was probably just something he heard while listening to his favorite rapper 2 Chainz. She refused to acknowledge that it was disturbing and said it was my fault that I didn't tell her about the child he didn't like. She also said that he wouldn't be in a gang because he told her he wants to play in the NBA when he grows up. She actually believed that he was more likely to play in the NBA than be in a gang!"
"I taught one 6th grade boy, who was a total pain and a troublemaker. He was hateful, naughty, and mean. He was loud, rude, and also very small for his age. At one point of the year, right after Christmas, he was really acting like a complete and total jerk in class, so it was time for a conference. I was expecting his grandmother because that's who he lived with, but nope. Here comes mama.
She had just gotten out of jail after 3 years (Ah! This is why he's being an extra big pain). She proceeds to tell me, in front of him, that he was the worst mistake she ever made and if she could have afforded to get rid of him in the womb, she would have. The poor kid. The poor, poor kid. His face was the epitome of dejection. I immediately turned the conference around and stopped talking about his behavior and started talking about his good qualities. I felt so bad for him.
Second: In a 7th grade English class, I taught a smart kid who was a real jerk. He was the kind of kid who made fun of other kids when they made a mistake. He would call them stupid in class if they answered wrong and made them feel really low. He was also that weird kind of kid who does strange things just to weird other kids out. For example, violently snapping a pencil and then jabbing the pieces at the other kids, spitting a loogie on the carpet, pretending to be deaf, etc. One day in my class he BIT another kid (yes, 7th grade) so there was a conference. The kid sat in his mother's lap (they were nearly the same size, it was so awkward) and grinned at me the whole conference. I'd say something and she'd defend him. It was sick. His eyes were sparkling and he knew he was never going to get in trouble. The smug look on his face was unreal. He was looking at me and his eyes were saying, 'You're never gonna win, lady. I've been doing this for years.' It would not surprise me to find out he is a criminal or something like that now.
Third: I was teaching 5th grade in 2003 when little 5th grade African American boys were super into having long hair so they could have braids. All the cool kids in my class had braids. This one kid hadn't been doing his homework. He was failing because he was: A) stupid and B) did no work at all. Of course, the end of the year is coming and it's found out that he is in trouble. So finally, his parents decide to take action. I get to school one morning early, and there is this gigantic man waiting outside my classroom door with this little boy. He gets right up in my face and starts telling me that I am trying to fail his son on purpose. (What? Why?) I ask him to explain. He tells me that his son told him that I taped his locker shut and that's why he never brought any books home.
I had to sit there, staring the man in the eyes, and ask him that sounded logical or true. He finally realizes how insane that sounds and I show him his son's locker. It is a pig sty and all the books are under piles of trash in the locker. The father apologizes to me and leaves with his son. 40 minutes later, school starts. In walks this kid with a bald head. His dad went home and shaved his precious braids off for lying. I was floored. It was awesome. That kid gave me zero problems for the rest of the year. He also started doing his work. Too bad it took so long."
"My mother's first teaching job was in a small town school in Oregon, 3rd grade. A local hotel had been bought out by a family from India. All of the staff- housekeeping, maintenance etc. - were from India. My mother's student was the son of the owners and, at home, he was apparently treated like a living god by his large, mostly female family. This kid should have been in 5th grade by his age but had been held back twice. So this means he was half a foot taller and much stronger than his classmates.
So, parent-teacher conferences come around and my mother is surrounded by a dozen women of all ages in traditional Indian dress. So she lays it out. He rarely bathed so he stank terribly. He bullied the other Indian kids, making them do his schoolwork and carry his books home. If he was walking and someone was in his way, he'd just bulldoze right through them. When he did do his work, it was terrible.
The gang did not take this well. Every woman starts yelling at the same time. Of course, the other Indian children must do what he says, they are the children of the housekeeping staff and of a lower caste! American standards of hygiene are ridiculous! Other children must show him respect because he is older! He does poor schoolwork because the curriculum is contemptible!
The conversation ended after the principal heard the disturbance, came in, asked the women to leave. Both my mother and the principal were accused of racism as they left.
So you'd think this kid was headed for a final reckoning? Well, who knows what happened when they all got home but the boy did stop smelling after that and moderated his other behaviors just enough to stay out of trouble."
"My husband went to our son's parent teacher interview for kindergarten, the teacher proceeds to tell him that he's doing great, however, seems distant from group activities. She tells my husband how our son just says, 'I need to be alone' then quietly takes a reading/play break in the corner. My husband doesn't think anything of this as our son hates group work, so they decide to make a plan and suggestions on how to get him more involved.
The teacher starts asking about other strong female role models my son has in his life, aunts, grandmas that could come for Mother's Day tea so he isn't left out... my husband just paused and looked at her confused. Then we figured out what our kid had told the teacher.
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