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Angelo Angelo is offline
 
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Close race for "Parent of the Week"
Old 01-20-2019, 09:16 AM
 
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Okay, folks. Two contenders for Angelo's "Parent of the Week Award." For your consideration...

Parent A: Student messages me (why me I'm not 100% sure -- I'm his academic adviser) Friday evening to say that he forgot to bring home a book he needs to complete a project. Is there any way he can get into the school to retrieve it? I respond to the effect that I believe the school is closed until Monday. Sorry.

I get a prompt follow-up from Dad repeating the request (rather more forcefully) that Junior be admitted to the school on Friday evening or Saturday morning to retrieve his book. I respond that I'm an academic counselor. I don't control access to the building. An outside company is contracted to provide our custodial services and they aren't authorized to let people into the building after hours, and we don't have direct contact info for them anyway. Dad responds crankily that he KNOWS teachers have key cards, and isn't there ANYONE who could meet Junior at the door and let him in for five minutes to retrieve his book. Would it be too much to ask that YOU (i.e. Angelo) arrange a few minutes on Saturday to let Junior into the building to get his book. Or could I ask around (I guess I'm supposed to call/text every teacher I know?) and see if anyone would be willing to do so?

Nope. I am NOT making a special trip into the school on Saturday or Sunday just to let Junior Snowflake into the building. Even if I did, there's no guarantee I'd be able to access the part of the building where his book is located.

Dad demands to know who he can speak to about this. I say, you could try e-mailing Admin, but I wouldn't get my hopes up. Dad grumpily replies, I already did. They said the same as you. Thanks for nothing.


OR


Parent B: Sends me an e-mail marked URGENT on Saturday morning. We need you to call us at X number IMMEDIATELY. When I haven't responded to the first message, follow-up messages start streaming in. Words like "urgent" and "emergency" start being used, so I begin to worry that there's been a death, serious injury, something like that. I reply tentatively asking what the nature of the problem is. Within seconds, Mom replies, "PLEASE CALL!" Well, if it's life and death... So first I block my number and call. No answer. I call again. No answer. I leave a voicemail. I call again 15 minutes later.

Parent: Hello?
Me: Hello. It's Angelo Santi from the school.
Parent: Oh... it says blocked number.
Me: Well, it's Saturday. I'm not at school.
Parent: Why does it say blocked? We almost didn't answer.
Me: I'm calling from home.
Parent: *edge to the voice* And I suppose you don't want us to have your number?
Me: It's nothing personal. I don't give out my cell number.
Parent: Uh huh.
Me: Maybe you should tell me what the emergency is.
Parent: Right. Well, the thing is my son is so-and-so. He's a senior.
Me: Right. Is he okay?
Parent: He's under the weather.
Me: Uh... okay.
Parent: He has a project due on Monday for Geography.
Me: Okay.
Parent: I don't think he's going to be able to get it done. He needs to rest.
Me: Okay. What's the emergency?
Parent: Well, it's due on Monday and he's not well enough to do it.
Me: Right. That isn't exactly an emergency. I called you because you made it sound like a life-or-death matter.
Parent: The problem is that the teacher has a history of taking a punitive approach to late work. He's been known to take off ten per cent a day.
Me: Late policies are up to the individual departments offering the courses. Forgive me, but I'm not understanding what the emergency is.
Parent: Junior's grades are being sent to colleges next month.
Me: Right.
Parent: So he can't afford for his GPA to drop.
Me: Listen, I'm sorry... this is not an emergency. This is Saturday, and you made it sound as if there were an emergency. Junior should come in and discuss it on Monday.
Parent: But the project is DUE on Monday. That's the problem!
Me: Then it's a conversation you need to have with the teacher.
Parent: The teacher is unhelpful and generally inflexible.
Me: I don't know what to tell you. I'm an Adademic Counselor. I don't tell the teachers how to run their classes.
Parent: What I want from you is some assurance -- some confirmation from the school -- that a late penalty will NOT be assessed if he turns the project in a couple of days late.
Me: That's not up to me. That's up to the teacher.
Parent: But if you agree... the teacher will have to be flexible.
Me: That's not how it works. I'm not the teacher's boss.
Parent: Well, I need somebody to help us out here, because he can't afford for his GPA to drop. If you can't assure me that my request is reasonable and will be honored, I'm going to have to drag a sick kid out of bed and make him complete this project.
Me: I don't know what to tell you. I can't give you that assurance, and I really don't think it's appropriate for us to be speaking on a Saturday under the pretense of an emergency when there is not emergency.
Parent: Well, it's an emergency to us.


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Well,
Old 01-20-2019, 09:33 AM
 
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this and your other postings show that your private school is just not staffed correctly.

Have they advertised for a guarding angel or a magic fairy that could resolve these issues and make all their wishes come true? Because other than that, these students and their parents are just left out on left field. It is all about the right people in the right positions.
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Wow, tough choice!
Old 01-20-2019, 09:56 AM
 
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Hm. Let me think. In this corner, the parent of a kid who "forgot" his book and needs to get into the building ASAP so he can do his HW. In that corner, the parent of a kid who needs dispensation because he's so sick he can't finish the geography project that was assigned, oh, probably a couple of weeks ago and thus should have been doing all along BEFORE he got sick. I think the "emergency" calls and emails decide this one. I'm voting for Parent B as Parent of the Week!
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Old 01-20-2019, 10:09 AM
 
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If you get a magic fairy or guardian angel that you feel is good and you are willing to share their number send it my way. I have a crazy grandma that emails me on weekends and Christmas break to contact other students parents to set up play dates for her angel. I delete them. I am trying to break her of thinking this is our job, but she will be one that will contact you about late papers and books left at school. Sorry, insane!
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Everyone knows that geography
Old 01-20-2019, 01:44 PM
 
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projects can cause terrible illness. In fact, the word "project" is lethal to students.

As for the forgotten book, you mean you could not have jimmied a window for this poor kid? And BTW, did all his friends also forget their books?


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Are you required to check email on the
Old 01-20-2019, 02:59 PM
 
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wkends?
If not, I would not check it after your work hours are over on Friday. Man, you do have some really entitled parents!!
Definitely Parent B would win the contest for me. I do not like the tactic of scaring you with an emergency.
When they replied they would have to drag their kid out of bed to complete a project, it seems the kid CAN complete it. They just don't want the hassle. To me, they'd win hands down.
Where I am at if a parent was on top of and cared about their kid's homework enough to get in the car and drive to the school for a book, I'd be shocked.
I guess that clouds my judgment too.
You really do need to write a book and do the talk show circuits after you retire!
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:11 PM
 
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Parent B gets my vote.
Parent A backed down too soon, and exerted no effort whatsoever. Next time, Parent A better show up at your doorstep in tears.
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:13 PM
 
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Definitely parent B. That was like a bait and switch! Emergency my ass.
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Old 01-20-2019, 03:38 PM
 
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These people are so ridiculous. What if you lived far from the school? Thatís so entitled to think someone would leave their family on a weekend to travel to the school to let in a student. Complete buffoonery.

The second parent actually called you out on blocking your number when youíre taking the time to call her on a weekend!

I canít decide.
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Old 01-20-2019, 05:11 PM
 
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It is a hard decision to make. One parent wants you to go to school so DS can get a book the other wants you to override a teacher's grading practices. I am leaning toward Parent A because they admitted admin told them no and they went to you, Suppose you didn't check with admin before letting student in, the trouble that could cause would be horrible.

You must make your DW so happy with your stories


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Parent of the Week
Old 01-20-2019, 05:51 PM
 
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I vote for Parent B. They contacted you multiple times under completely false pretenses, and then had the nerve to criticize you for wanting to keep your personal cell number private.

I would not check school email on the weekend, period, and I would continue to block my cell phone number. Otherwise, these ridiculously entitled parents who see teachers and counselors as their personal "gofers" will never allow you any peace.
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Parent of the week
Old 01-20-2019, 05:56 PM
 
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And the Oscar goes to....parent B for best dramatic performance of a false emergency. However, parent A would get best supporting actor for trying so desperately to support his so .

In all seriousness, as much as I love your stories, wouldnít it be wise next year to send out your actual,job description to the parents? With an attachment titled ďnot my jobĒ?

Otherwise, use Chipmonkeys idea.


Oh, wait...itís just dawned on me!!! These parents might think their kids are at Hogwarts and you can perform magic for them!
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Definitely Parent B
Old 01-20-2019, 06:21 PM
 
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I'm guessing the project was not assigned on Friday, so the child waited until the last minute - life lesson in why we shouldn't procrastinate!
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Old 01-20-2019, 06:45 PM
 
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Are you required to check your email outside of school hours?

I say Parent B. I do wonder, though why the son of Parent A couldn't borrow a book from a kids that lives nearby.
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I vote
Old 01-20-2019, 07:07 PM
 
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turn off your email these people are NUTS
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:30 PM
 
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Geez! Theyíre tied.
But seriously, why do you check or respond to email on the weekend? Iíll occasionally check it, but no way will I respond to any any emails outside of school hours. My time for my life.
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Oh WoW!
Old 01-20-2019, 08:58 PM
 
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I would need to further scrutinize the details to determine which parents are further off the deep end however I have heard similar crazy stories like the B story. NEVER would anyone. . . even admin. ask a teacher to come to school on their own time on a Sat. for nonsense like this. From the top of my head I believe we only have 3/30 teachers that live in town or within 30 min. The majority of the staff commutes. Our principal even tackles numerous congested frwys to get to school. ( 70-80 min.) So for me the A story sounds like a joke.
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Weekend Emails
Old 01-20-2019, 09:59 PM
 
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Yeah. This is a tough one. I could simply ignore all emails after 4:30 on Friday. The trouble is that I occasionally do get legitimate cases of students in crisis, and there are cases where my life is simplified by a quick response to something on a Saturday rather than letting it hang over me until Monday.

I donít think Parent A really expected me to make the trek into school (although Iím not 100% sure). He either thought I had a ďcontactĒ who could let Junior in or he was trying to create a paper trail of good faith attempts to collect the book in anticipation of trying to get Junior out of the soup for not doing his work.
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Parent B
Old 01-20-2019, 11:16 PM
 
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My vote goes to Parent B for sheer entitlement on so many levels (though Parent A is a close second for admitting they came to you after admin already said no.)

I'm also kind of surprised Parent A didn't just order the book from Amazon and Parent B didn't just do the project themselves.

I've really got to wonder, though, how we got to a place where kids (and their parents) believe one bad grade is end of their academic lives?
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Yeeeaaahhhh....
Old 01-21-2019, 10:20 AM
 
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Parent B kind of wins the day with sheer gall. And on so many levels. Fake emergency, pissy about the blocked number, expecting you to make guarantees on another teacher's policies...

Parent A? I suppose a good question could have been "did Junior remember to bring his cell phone home?" Priorities, son.
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Old 01-21-2019, 10:46 AM
 
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Parent B is the clear winner here. Highly suspect that Parent B went into Red Alert mode and seemed on the verge of a nuclear meltdown over their kid being too <cough> <sniffle> *ill* to turn in a project that wasnít due for two more days.

You donít think...could it be possible...that Darling Boy hasnít done a shred of work on the project, and is now in panic mode? Nah. Iím sure he has a rapidly progressing illness which will render him incapable of getting out of bed for days.
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I think you need to do a workshop on
Old 01-21-2019, 01:45 PM
 
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the differences between a "counselor," as in therapy, and a guidance or educational counselor. It seems a lot of these parents believe you are actually their children's personal therapist. It stands to reason they would be horrified when you fail to take care of little johnny's emotional needs. You are his counselor. Your job is to make him feel worthy, valued, and important. At least in their minds. When baby boy is upset, it is up to you to go the extra mile to make sure his life stays on track.
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parent engagement
Old 01-21-2019, 06:11 PM
 
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I think Clarity had a great idea! Maybe you CAN hold a parent workshop or simply send out a school letter defining responsibilities and roles of school staff. Maybe give examples like the ones you describe to us. In my school and in all of NYC we have one day in which we stay an extra amount of time and it's aimed at Parent engagement. We can do anything...meetings, workshops, emails to parents what ever as long as it involves parents. You may not havae anything like that but possibly on a prep? Great idea Clarity.
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Old 01-21-2019, 07:13 PM
 
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Parent B hands down wins.

Unless you are required to check and respond to parent emails on the weekends, I would stop responding or even checking them until Monday.
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Old 01-22-2019, 06:19 AM
 
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I vote Parent B; intimidating and entitled. "What I want from you is assurance...."
Parent A should just tell child... that's a bummer. What can you do? Maybe the library's open??

Emails... keep closed, unless you know already that there's something going on with a specific student. Hope the rest of your weekend was relaxing~
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Old 01-22-2019, 10:07 AM
 
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Parent B wins!

Also, stop checking your email at night or on weekends! These parents don’t own you! I would not even have acknowledged or responded to those messages.
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I agree
Old 01-22-2019, 10:12 AM
 
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that you could do a From The Desk of Mr. _____ . It could be a parent newsletter, and have a list of what your responsibilities. I. E. .. *Coordinate the ACT and SAT tests for the school. On the not side: *Advise or contact teachers about changing grades (etc).
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I think we found
Old 01-22-2019, 11:39 AM
 
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a win-win solution for you!

Beginning of school send out specific details of things that describe your job on a list down one side of the handout.
On the other side list the things parents have asked you to do and are NOT your job, include phoning after hours.
Write a price list next to each item on the "not my job" list and make sure it would be worth your time as a professional. You know like what an attorney charges per hour and per phone call.
Then there is little to discuss. They call, you say..please check the "not my job" portion of my handout. How would you like to pay? Credit card or paypal??? !

If only!
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