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IPOY IPOY is offline
 
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IPOY
 
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Coping with Angry Parent
Old 11-09-2018, 03:43 PM
 
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Hello all,
Long time listener, first time caller.

I've been teaching for a while now, and I usually have very, very good parent-teacher communication. This year though, I have been blessed with more than a few helicopter parents this year. One in particular has been extremely difficult to work with and treats me and my assistant as her employees.

In any case, this week she changed her child's transportation schedule. Today, I misinterpreted how her child should get home. There was a confusion of carpool times, and this caused a lot of stress for Mom which resulted in a lot stress for everyone else. She snapped at the office, at my assistant, and refused to talk to me. While things certainly could have been worse in terms of dismissals, I was completely thrown by the anger of the parent. Yes, I misinterpreted her note about the change in transportation and this mistake caused her stress, and she processes stress through anger. However, I'm human too and her child was safe. Many of the parents send a reminder when their child's transportation is altered (especially in early days), but this one parent sent one email that I misinterpreted for this one day. My heart feels terrible though my brain processes that this mistake is not one that should be eating up my self-esteem.

I'm not used to dealing with such demanding and angry parents. I did send an email of apology, as my principal directed to after I sought advice (a few teachers told me of the mother's anger). However, I have not received a reply and my principal told me that it would likely be a rude reply and that the Mom may complain about me. I know I need to grow a thicker skin, but I'm just stunned and terrified of what's to come over a mistake. I just don't know where to turn for help.


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mooba1 mooba1 is offline
 
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Old 11-09-2018, 04:01 PM
 
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Mom should’ve called the office or sent a note w/ her child, period. Parents at the school where I most often sub are told that from the first days of school. It’s one thing if you’re notifying the teacher a few days in advance of a transportation change, but you cannot expect that the teacher will have enough time to read your email during the workday. What I mean is, don’t email to relay a same day change—call!


My take is that mom was ticked b/c she knew she should’ve confirmed w/ the office or w/ you, rather than relying on email. This is about her, not you. Relax over the weekend and try to put it behind you. Sounds like mom is a PITA.


BTW, welcome to the sub board! Not sure if you’re a sub or a full-time teacher, but I’m glad you moved from being a listener to a caller!
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dietcoke99 dietcoke99 is offline
 
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PITA parent
Old 11-09-2018, 04:37 PM
 
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I'm confused about who the PITA parent is going to complain to?

The principal? If it is anybody that matters, they would contact the principal and he/she already supports you, so there is nothing to worry about there.

If it is other parents, they already know and like you, and aren't going to take the word of the PITA parent (they will know by their behavior, they can tell, and the parent already has a reputation since other teachers know about it). The other parents probably know about their reputation, too, since the other teachers know about it.

If it is a "word of mouth" thing, the same applies.

It's easy for me to say since I'm high school and can't even IMAGINE having to deal with how students get home.
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mkesub mkesub is offline
 
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Old 11-09-2018, 04:51 PM
 
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Ugh! Not fun.

I'd suggest take a deep breath and remember these things: You made a simple human mistake. Nobody was hurt. You did all you could do about it (asked for advice and sent an apology email). The staff at the school know this parent is a PITA.

It might also help to feel sorry for her and her kid. It's gotta be tough to live with that kind of over the top drama all the time.

Enjoy your weekend! Do something relaxing.
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IPOY IPOY is offline
 
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Old 11-09-2018, 04:57 PM
 
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Thank you for taking time time to respond! It fills my heart and makes me feel a bit better.


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