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Angelo Angelo is offline
 
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Angelo
 
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"We'll discuss it when we see you"
Old 06-22-2019, 06:30 PM
 
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How many times has this happened to you? It happened occasionally when I was a classroom teacher, but I feel like I get one of these every week or so since I started as an academic counselor.

A parent sends an e-mail or leaves a voicemail. Wants a return call. You call back. The purpose of the call is to request a meeting. You ask about what. The parent says, "We'll discuss it when we see you." Refuses to provide any additional information.

Why do parents do this?

Reason 1: It's a power trip. I (Parent) know something you (Teacher) don't know. I want you to worry about what it might be between now and the meeting. Not telling you about it gives me leverage.

Reason 2: My kid told me a half-truth which I intend to treat as the Gospel truth. I'm afraid I might not be able to communicate the depth of my rage over the phone. I need to show you the extent of my anger and upset with decisive body language (scowling, baring my teeth, sneering crossing my arms across my chest, pounding the desk in anger, etc.). This doesn't have the same effect over the phone, so I'll save it all for the meeting.

Reason 3: I want to blindside you. I'm afraid if I tip you off about what I'm going to say in advance, you'll have time to prepare a "defense," and I don't want that. Shock and awe.

Reason 4: The thing I want to ask you is fundamentally unreasonable and runs counter to multiple school regulations. I know you'll have an easier time saying no over the phone, and if I tell you what it's about now, you'll have time to research the regulations and prepare an articulate "no" in advance. Whereas if I sit down with you face-to-face, you will have a harder time saying no. You will be so charmed (or intimidated) by the strength of my personality that you will offer some compromise just to get me to leave your office.


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UVAgrl928 UVAgrl928 is offline
 
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Old 06-22-2019, 06:54 PM
 
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Ugh, I hate this!

I had a parent send me a Facebook message (school is out and Iíve left the school) this week asking if she could call me regarding something that happened during the school year, but didnít go into detail. I was freaking out because I hate conflict. Turns out it wasnít anything major, but she wanted to let admin know about another child in my class. She said she didnít want me to feel blindsided if admin contacted me about it- it was so refreshing!

Sometimes I think building those relationships up front helps in situations like this. Iím guessing thatís much more difficult at the HS level when you have so many kids on your caseload

I donít get these much from parents, but I have had admins send messages like this and I hate it! I do think itís done as a power trip to get you sweating the meeting.
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Old 06-22-2019, 08:11 PM
 
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You got it right, itís totally a power trip on their part. Iíve had those meetings. Now if parents do that, I tell them I will need to review my records or notes or whatever, and either schedule a 2nd meeting or tell them Iíll email the information. Yes, itís a pain, but Iíll deal with a second meeting. Iím at work anyway, itís more inconvenient for them to have to come back.
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Old 06-22-2019, 10:01 PM
 
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I just have one parent who regularly does this. It's totally a power trip thing. This is also the same parent who tries to insist that she can't possibly come to a meeting during the school day (one time I gave her TWO MONTHS notice), and wants to meet before 7 AM or after 6 PM. She has a professional job, so it's not like she's working under the table somewhere and will be fired if she goes to her kid's IEP meeting, so I don't play this game with her.

Then she gets upset about various things throughout the year and will call or email and request a meeting, the topic of which she will discuss at said meeting. Okay, great. You can make an appointment between the hours of 8 and 4. You're not willing to do that? Okay, then I guess we're not having a meeting.

Would you call your Dr. and insist on an appointment outside of their office hours? Your dentist? Then why is it okay to just assume you can do that with teachers?
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Stress
Old 06-23-2019, 11:05 AM
 
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It is summer. There is no need to be stressed about school now.


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Old 06-23-2019, 02:22 PM
 
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I agree with Dutchgirl. "Since you wouldn't tell me what this meeting was about, I don't have the necessary paperwork ready to close this matter today. I'll get back to you within a week."
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Once again,
Old 06-23-2019, 06:27 PM
 
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Angelo captures the essence of the madness we deal with each day school is in session.

I've seen parents use the tactic you describe, and it's clearly a very calculated. It's usually driven by the last two motives you described in your post. They're asking for something they know is unjustified AND a violation of codified policies, while also trying to ensure school personnel don't have time to think rationally about the situation beforehand.

As good as the "I don't have the necessary paperwork" response sounds, if you did that at any district I've worked at, you wouldn't have a job for very long.
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Midnight confessions
Old 06-23-2019, 07:02 PM
 
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As a parent, if I ever did that would be reason number three.

Usually I just ask for a meeting. I never leave a message. I call and call until I get a response. And if I have to leave a message I state just that.

I hate to admit this, but I am a paranoid person and if I did this to a counselor would be reason number three.
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Really?
Old 06-24-2019, 03:14 PM
 
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Parenttoo?? Wow! How unfair
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Old 06-29-2019, 08:55 AM
 
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Yes! Peanut! yes. I wasn't trying to justify it or say it was OK. Please forgive this imperfect human being and parent I was just trying to be honest and admit that I may have done it too.


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