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Angelo Angelo is offline
 
Joined: Mar 2011
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Angelo
 
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,073
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The Blind Side
Old 02-04-2019, 06:04 AM
 
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In honor of the Super Bowl, do you ever encounter parents who seem to enjoy blindsiding school staff in meetings? They call to request a meeting, and something about the flint in their voice gets your spidey sense tingling. You ask politely what the nature of the meeting will be. They respond coldly, “We’ll discuss it at the meeting.” You weren’t aware of any problem and so are genuinely perplexed. You take the student aside and ask nicely, “So it looks like your mom’s coming in after school today.” The student avoids eye contact and acts evasive.

The parent sits outside the office before the appointed time. An observer would note that, with the pursed lips, the lack of engagement with the front office staff, the irritable stabbing of the phone and the obsessive rearranging of the belongings, the parent seems to be trying to work herself up the exactly the right level of anger and umbrage for the meeting.

The parent nods curtly in response to the teacher’s warm greeting, sits down, and launches into a vitriolic litany of complaints.

What’s weird is the strategy behind this. The parent actively evades any attempt to address the situation before the meeting and seems intent mainly in blindsiding school staff so as to inflict maximum damage on their intended target.

What’s really odd in my current role (academic counselor) is the amount of misplaced anger I get directed at me. The parent comes in and unloads on me about some incident I was not there for or about a school policy I did not create. The parent is “mad at the school” and apparently I am “the school.”

I guess I just don’t understand why some people’s default mode is to be combative and angry with people who are more than happy to work with them on friendly terms. And I really don’t get how they think shooting the messenger will somehow help their kid.

It’s a head scratcher, but some parents really seem to get off on these blind side meetings.


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Keltikmom Keltikmom is offline
 
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Blind side
Old 02-04-2019, 08:02 AM
 
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In my years I have learned that there is a certain type of person who thrives on drama...it’s how they exist. If there isn’t drama going on, they will create it. School is the ideal place to create long, played out stretches of drama.

As exhausting and supremely annoying as it could be, I would nod my head, mumble positively, ask if there was anything particular they wished me to do, tell them I would see if snowflake and I could work something out, then send them on their way. 9 out of 10 times I did nothing because there was nothing to do.

Agreeing from the get go could deflate their anger quickly.

Sometimes it worked.
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HoHumBeachBum HoHumBeachBum is offline
 
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Old 02-04-2019, 10:08 AM
 
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This brings back a great memory. Some of snowflake's teachers sat in this mystery meeting wondering what it could be about. The mom had come prepared with her dukes up and ammunition all ready to go. She went through each class saying she couldn't believe we teachers were counting a homework assignment as 59% of the quarter grade, a quiz as 77% of the overall quarter grade, a homework as 38% percent of the quarter grade, etc.
Finally, the principal caught on and kindly asked if snowflake's report card arrived in the mail earlier in the week. Then, the principal informed mommy that since we have only started the new quarter, the online grade book will appear to have such high percentages since only a small handful of assignments have been given so far in the brand new quarter. Of course more assignments will accumulate as the quarter progresses.
It was a glorious moment to see the reaction of the mom. At first she was embarrassed but then invented something else to bring the drama (blame) back on the teachers.
"Well, snowflake is also coming home to tell my husband and me that he's getting picked on in his classes......."

(In the voice of a supermarket employee on the PA system looking for a price check...."Can I get an accountability on Line 6, please?)
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