Parent of the Week - ProTeacher Community




Home Join Now Search My Favorites
Help


      The VENT

Parent of the Week

>

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Angelo Angelo is offline
 
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,203
Senior Member

Angelo
 
Joined: Mar 2011
Posts: 1,203
Senior Member
Parent of the Week
Old 05-22-2020, 02:25 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #1

It's that time again. I know you long-timers have been looking forward to this! Uncle Angelo (School Counselor in HS) has a PotW candidate for you!

Our first candidate is a repeat offender. Parent A. Seems to have no idea what a school counselor actually does (and doesn't do) despite my repeated attempts to educate on the subject. Parent A likes to say "your job is to advocate for my son" which they take to mean I'm supposed to run around the building cleaning up his messes and running interference when he doesn't like the answer he gets from someone else. At least once every couple of weeks I get a "Can you help?" or "Please help!" message from Mom wanting me to weigh in on something that has nothing to do with me academic counseling generally. This parent once asked me to "speak to the coach" who cut her son from a team. Another time asked me to "speak to the Chemistry teacher" who gave her son a zero on his lab report because he (the teacher) witnessed the student openly copying from another student's lab. Another time, left me a frantic voicemail demanding to know where I was and saying her son had just been suspended by the Assistant Head of School and that I needed to go and "speak to the administrator" immediately and explain why being suspended from school for two days would be the worst thing for her son and that I should "negotiate an alternative consequence" for her son in lieu of a suspension. None of these requests constitutes anything even close to a reasonable expectation for a school counselor. Counselors don't direct athletics, Chemistry labs, or discipline.

Anyway... this week Parent A announces that the family has had a long discussion and determined that Junior should take AP Calculus next year. In order to take AP Calculus, you need to take Pre-AP in Junior year. Junior did not take said Pre-AP. Therefore, Junior cannot take AP Calculus next year. This is not MY policy. This is school policy. Actually, it's the standard policy in this state (and, I suspect, many other states).

I explained repeatedly and ad nauseum that I could not enrol Junior in AP Calculus. I explained countelss times that this is not my decision to make, and those who do have that power will not make an exception under these circumstances. Parent calls back an hour later to request a phone conversation to discuss the matter further (Seriously??).

Me: Hello. This is Mr. Angelo from the School.
Parent: Oh... hi! Thanks for taking the time to speak to me again. I hope I'm not taking up too much of your time.
*You said it, lady. I didn't.*
Parent: It's just that these are such mportant decisions.
Me: How can I help?
Parent: Well, I just wanted to make the case that it would be really good for Junior to take AP Calculus... *launches into the exact same speech I've already listened to twice*
Me: As I explained the last time we spoke, the pre-AP requirement is firm. I can't enrol him in AP.
Parent: But you mentioned the Head of School can make exceptions. A principal friend of our family says there's a waiver they can grant.
Me: They can. But our Head of School won't do that under these circumstances. I'm quite confident of that, but if you'd like to ask him yourself, you're free to do so.
Parent: Okay, I hear you. We discussed that as a family. And we feel very strongly that the request would be better coming from you.
Me: I beg your pardon?
Parent: We could go to the Head of School, but he'd probably just say no. But he listens to you. You have his ear. If you went and pled Junior's case for a waiver and showed that you really support the request, it would carry more weight.
*Wait just a damn minute. I never once said I supported this request. Quite the opposite. I'm fine with the policy as is.*
Me: That's not my role. If you'd like to request an exception, you need to speak to Head directly. I have no influence in these matters.
Parent: Oh... but that's not true! I've spoken to some of the other moms...
*of course you have*
Parent:... and they said that you are very well-known and highly respected at the school. What you say carries a lot of weight.
Me: I appreciate the compliment, but that's incorrect. I don't have that much influence.
Parent: Still... we think if you argued this case for Junior, his chances of success would be much better.
Me: Sorry, but I'm a school counselor, not a lawyer.


Angelo is offline   Reply With Quote

tctrojan's Avatar
tctrojan tctrojan is online now
 
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,509
Senior Member

tctrojan
 
tctrojan's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,509
Senior Member
It never ends
Old 05-22-2020, 02:48 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #2

You are much kinder than I would be.
tctrojan is online now   Reply With Quote
dutchgirl's Avatar
dutchgirl dutchgirl is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 4,495
Senior Member

dutchgirl
 
dutchgirl's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 4,495
Senior Member

Old 05-22-2020, 03:09 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #3

Quote:
Sorry, but I'm a school counselor, not a lawyer.
OOOOO, way to put an idea in the parent's head! That should be the parent's next logical step, right?

I don't know how you keep from telling them off. I sure would want to!
dutchgirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Ruby tunes's Avatar
Ruby tunes Ruby tunes is online now
 
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,913
Senior Member

Ruby tunes
 
Ruby tunes's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 3,913
Senior Member
Idiot parent
Old 05-22-2020, 05:24 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #4

And if next year her son were to take AP Calculus without first fulfilling the prerequisite requirement, *you* would be expected to make sure he got an A even if he did nothing.
Does this fool of a parent not understand there's NO way her lazy entitled son could possibly pass Calculus under such circumstances!??

You have the patience of a saint!
Ruby tunes is online now   Reply With Quote
tia's Avatar
tia tia is offline
 
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 8,272
Blog Entries: 6
Senior Member

tia
 
tia's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 8,272
Senior Member

Old 05-22-2020, 05:49 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #5

these parents don't seem to have much luck engaging you in their shenanigans. I find it laughable that they continue to try...


tia is offline   Reply With Quote
Gogogo Gogogo is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 661
Senior Member

Gogogo
 
Joined: Apr 2015
Posts: 661
Senior Member
Family decision
Old 05-22-2020, 07:44 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #6

I just loved that they had a family discussion and decided that you would be making the case for the son.
Gogogo is offline   Reply With Quote
klarabelle's Avatar
klarabelle klarabelle is offline
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 20,341
Senior Member

klarabelle
 
klarabelle's Avatar
 
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 20,341
Senior Member

Old 05-22-2020, 10:09 PM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #7

I always look forward to your dealings with these parents. I don't know how you can not tell the parent what you are really thinking. I think it would come out of my mouth at some point especially with repeated phone calls..
klarabelle is offline   Reply With Quote
amiga13's Avatar
amiga13 amiga13 is online now
 
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 19,910
Senior Member

amiga13
 
amiga13's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2014
Posts: 19,910
Senior Member

Old 05-23-2020, 05:06 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #8

Quote:
Originally Posted by Angelo
Sorry, but I'm a school counselor, not a lawyer.
I once had a parent bring her attorney to a conference about her 3rd grader. The attorney spoke once. He turned to the mom, nodded at me, and said, “Let her speak.”
amiga13 is online now   Reply With Quote
LazyLake LazyLake is offline
 
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 1,098
Senior Member

LazyLake
 
Joined: Apr 2019
Posts: 1,098
Senior Member

Old 05-23-2020, 07:18 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #9

Different scenario:

1. Parent: (says all that you mentioned in your post)
2. Angelo: Just a minute, I will need to put you on hold.
(Angelo puts the parent on hold and
- laughs uncontrollably.)
3. Angelo: (takes the parent off of "hold.")
I'm not quite sure I understand. Would you mind going over that
again?
4. Parent: (not catching on yet, repeats everything.)
5. ( Angelo repeats steps 2, and 3 over and over until the parent hangs
up.)


Seriously, the phrase parents are now using about it being your job to be their child's advocate has nothing to do with counseling a child. It seems to means something along the line of doing what the parent wants to see happen. That's clearly not in a counselor's job description!
LazyLake is offline   Reply With Quote
km's Avatar
km km is offline
 
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 518
Senior Member

km
 
km's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2005
Posts: 518
Senior Member
Advocate
Old 05-23-2020, 08:52 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #10

It seems like parents try this one on you every year. You would think they would learn.

I expect my daughter to advocate for herself. I have made it a point to make sure she understands that it is up to her to deal with teachers and school staff. It has served her well. She is a leader and highly respected by teachers and school administrators and she has been accepted to a great college. In the last six years, I gave only emailed once about an issue and that truly wasn’t needed as she had reached out to the admin for help - the issue just really bothered me and I wanted to voice my concern and also thank her admin for supporting her.

It is doing the child a huge disservice when their parents never teach them how to be independent - but we all already know that.


km is offline   Reply With Quote
TeacherPK6's Avatar
TeacherPK6 TeacherPK6 is offline
 
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 3,958
Senior Member

TeacherPK6
 
TeacherPK6's Avatar
 
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 3,958
Senior Member

Old 05-25-2020, 10:20 AM
 
Clip to ScrapBook #11

I would be so tempted to reply that, "actually, if I go to him about this then Jr. will almost certainly NOT be granted that waiver, as that would be my advice to him regarding Jr. Not having the pre-AP calculus class will put him at a huge disadvantage."
TeacherPK6 is offline   Reply With Quote

Join the conversation! Post as a guest or become a member today. New members welcome!

Reply

 

>
The VENT
Thread Tools




Sign Up Now

Sign Up FREE | ProTeacher Help | BusyBoard

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 09:55 AM.

Copyright © 2019 ProTeacher®
For individual use only. Do not copy, reproduce or transmit.
source: www.proteacher.net