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How dare you do this to us
Old 09-17-2019, 07:12 PM
 
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I opened up my school email for the first time since I had my surgery two weeks ago. As per usual, my out of the office and someone else's out of office have been playing tag, so I have 500 unread emails, that are all the same

But hidden among that mess was not one, not two, but three emails from three different parents essentially blasting me for taking the first quarter off for medical leave.

In my district, we have to provide parents with a letter explaining how long we will be on leave, who they should contact, and (at the teacher's discretion) the reason for taking leave. I chose to disclose that I am on the tail end of my cancer battle, which involves an invasive surgery, and that I will be back for the second quarter.

Like, I am sorry. Believe me, I get that having 3 subs in five weeks is a lot, I get that your student isn't being taught by a highly qualified educator. That is never an ideal situation. But when subs (yes, even long-term subs) are only paid $83.45 a day, attracting the best and brightest is pretty hard. But I did everything I am required to do, and then some! All I had to do was provide a general overview of what needed to be taught when. I developed PowerPoints, note-taking sheets, homework assignments, tests, quizzes, specific lesson plans, and resource materials. I did all of this over the summer while I was going through chemo.

Why would I do this? Well, I want your students to succeed in all the assessments (that will still be used against me and my record, regardless of when I actually get there) so that they can graduate. Believe me, I could have been one of those teachers who sent an outline and called it a day to let the sub figure out what needed to be taught. But I know the struggle that causes for the students AND for the other teachers.

I didn't even respond to those emails, I forwarded them to the AP for Curriculum. That is who parents should email for my class until I return.


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Old 09-17-2019, 07:57 PM
 
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First of all, I hope you are doing and feeling well. I hope that you are winning your battle and I hope your health improves.

I am appalled by the lack of compassion and empathy for others that the parents of your students are displaying. They should be ashamed of themselves. You can’t very well teach of you are incapacitated due to illness, now can you. What do they expect? I would not respond to these e-mails until you return. I MIGHT if I was feeling generous...and that is a very tiny MAYBE...pass those in to your admin to handle in your absence.

Ignore it and focus on your health. Self care is important and the class will be there when you at well enough to return.
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You are a bigger person than I
Old 09-18-2019, 12:16 AM
 
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I would have replied "Sorry my cancer was an inconvenience for you" THEN forwarded to the AP.

I hope your treatment is on track!
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Wow!
Old 09-18-2019, 04:02 AM
 
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First of all, I hope you are doing okay and on the road to a full recovery.

Second of all... wow! There’s a word for people who are as selfish, callous, and lacking in basic compassion as the parents you describe: psychopaths. If your admin has a spine, they will tell these parents exactly where to stick it. The message should be “Shame on you for sending such thoughtless, cruel missives to a member of our staff - indeed a member of our community - who is seriously ill. Pray that nobody close to you ever needs to fight cancer, and that, if they do, they will encounter more concern and compassion than was demonstrated in your e-mail. Perhaps it was your not your intention to be cruel, and we understand and share your concern for your child, but when we communicate, we must consider not only our own intention and motivation, but also the impact of our words. As we try to teach the students, we are how we treat others. I hope you will give this some thought.”

If your admin has no spine (as is the case with many), they will decide the prudent course is simply to ignore the nastiness (they’ll shake their heads in disbelief but ultimately offer justifications for a non-response like “you can’t argue with crazy” and “pick your battles”, which are the typical cop-outs admins use to justify a policy of toleration for abusive, bullying parents) and simply offer some bland reply that does not address the parent’s belligerence. “We understand that your child’s education is a top priority. We are taking steps to ensure continuity of instruction and to ensure the success of all students this year. We regret any inconvenience to your family that this unfortunate but unavoidable disruption may cause, but we promise to do our best to maintain the high level of instruction and professionalism on which we pride ourselves as a school. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have additional questions or concerns.” *puke* As they say, we sometimes need to teach people how to treat us, and school leaders often do a piss-poor job at teaching the parents what constitutes acceptable communication and what does not.

We had a teacher die suddenly in the middle of the school year a few years back. Certain parents didn’t even wait for the funeral to wrap up before calling the Head of School and asking what the plan was for the classes the deceased teacher had been teaching and demanding assurances that the school would not permit the students’ grades to suffer as the result of an unexpected change in staffing. A teacher DIED, and your first thought is for your kid’s GPA. People with their priorities and basic decency so far out of alignment probably shouldn’t have children in the first place.
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Old 09-18-2019, 05:13 AM
 
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Please focus on your health and don't let those selfish, ignorant people cause you stress. Let administration deal with them since that's what they get paid to do.


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Wow!
Old 09-18-2019, 06:30 AM
 
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Just when you think you’ve heard it all about parents!

I love Dee’s response. O.K, I know it wouldn’t be “professional,” but it sure would be tempting!

Hope you are doing very well.
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Old 09-18-2019, 08:23 AM
 
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I hope you are getting better. Those parents are demented.
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But when subs (yes, even long-term subs) are only paid $83.45 a day, attracting the best and brightest is pretty hard.
Wow. I would go sub for that much.........our county is AWFUL paying subs.....
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Old 09-18-2019, 09:02 AM
 
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The most important thing here is for you to focus on your health, and you seem to have your priorities in order in that regard. I’m wishing you a a smooth and complete recovery, Teacher_twins.

Good for you for not responding to those tacky messages, instead taking the high road and forwarding them to the AP for Curriculum. It’s much better to avoid the negativity and bad vibes, anyway. It reminds me of the old saying, “If you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas”.
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Horrible
Old 09-18-2019, 01:24 PM
 
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How horrible! I honestly would probably reply with something along the lines of what Dee said. Maybe something like, "I know, I wish I did not have cancer either and I hope that I am able to be back soon. In the future, please feel free to reach out too...".

I wish I could reply to those jerks for you
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Old 09-18-2019, 02:50 PM
 
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Unbelievable, but not! Shame on them. I applaud you for creating lessons, etc. for your subs while undergoing chemo. I felt lucky if I managed to get dressed during my chemo.

Please take care of yourself. If you've had chemo & surgery, you are likely well on your way to a more normal life.


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Old 09-18-2019, 05:24 PM
 
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I experienced parents just like this last year. My daughter's fiance 's parents were murdered & then my dad died less than 2 weeks apart. There were a lot more issues going too. I came back to school the day of conferences. My dad's funeral had been the day before & one of the parents kept sending me hateful emails & complaining because I didn't send home graded papers the day of my dad's funeral. She started the conference with "I know it was your dad's funeral but you should have made sure papers were graded & sent home." My supt even came to talk to me at conferences about everything that had happened. I think in cases like this some people really show how awful & clueless they are. I know this really let people at school know what kind of person this parent is. I know some people have lost all respect for this parent.
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Time off
Old 09-18-2019, 05:29 PM
 
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Quote:
I would have replied "Sorry my cancer was an inconvenience for you" THEN forwarded to the AP.
Agreed! And for goodness sake, 5 weeks with subs is not gonna kill anyone. How ridiculous.

Sorry you're going through this.
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Old 09-18-2019, 07:34 PM
 
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How callous. That’s just disgusting. I hope your health is improving TeacherTwins! Sorry that happened to you.
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