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Angelo Angelo is online now
 
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I heard you fine the first time
Old 11-07-2017, 07:19 PM
 
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Dear Parent,

Repeating a request/demand more forcefully will not change my answer or the school's policies. I heard you fine the first time, and I explained patiently why I couldn't accommodate your request. Getting angry and raising your voice doesn't change the situation. It doesn't work when my five-year-old tries it, and it won't work for you. In what universe do people imagine that getting loud and combative will somehow make others more inclined to help them?

Student: I'd like to drop Chemistry.
Me: The drop date was Friday. It's too late to drop it now.
Student: But I don't want to take it.
Me: Sorry. Friday was the last day to decide.
Student: So what can I do?
Me: You can complete the course to the best of your ability. It's the only thing, really, that you can do.

*an hour later*

Parent E-mail: Please permit Jason to drop Chemistry. We are aware that the drop date was Friday. However, we did not see Jason's most recent test score until today. Chemistry will bring down Jason's GPA at this point. We understand and respect the school's policies, but in this case, forcing Jason to remain in a course where he is struggling is not in his best interests. Should you have any questions about our position, please phone me at ###. Kindly confirm by return message that the drop has been completed. Thank you for understanding.

*A day later. Parent shows up in person.*

Parent: I'm not sure how else to explain it. Jason can't complete this Chemistry course. He needs to drop it.
Me: As I explained yesterday, the drop date has come and gone. It's no longer possible to drop a course.
Parent: I understand that. But as I explained, Chemistry is bringing down his GPA.
Me: Yes, I understand. Has he spoken to the teacher about getting extra help in the subject?
Parent: We don't want extra help. We want him out of that class.
Me: Since that isn't possible, we should probably look at options to help him do better in the class.
Parent: You aren't listening. We want him OUT of that class.
Me: I'm listening. I understand the request. I can't accommodate it because the date has passed.
Parent: So who do we have to speak to about an exception.
Me: Exceptions aren't granted in cases like this. The drop date is the drop date.
Parent: *shouting* WE WANT HIM OUT OF THAT CLASS!!!

I can only think this must work for people in other contexts: repeating a declined request in a raised voice and expecting a different outcome. Well, folks, you didn't get what you wanted from me. Did the actual outcome match the desired outcome? No? Maybe have some dignity and skip the temper tantrum.


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Old 11-08-2017, 02:02 AM
 
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Since you work in a private school, Im suprised they didnt bring the whole "I pay your salary" or anyother money issue into it.
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Old 11-08-2017, 02:32 AM
 
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I love reading your posts.

I can't say that my admin. would stick to the policies. When staff members are informed of policies and enforce them on behalf of the administration, it seems that my administration frequently will make exceptions. Then, the staff members come out looking like the idiotic bad guys. Administration can walk away looking like a hero to the parent for violating the very policy that administrators made in the first place.

Does your administration stick to its policies, or do your administrators reverse their own decisions to please parents and students?
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Old 11-08-2017, 03:46 AM
 
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Ugh, I'm so sorry. Gotta love it when parents pull the whole "understand and respect the policy" line, and then prove that they absolutely don't.
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Old 11-08-2017, 05:19 AM
 
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Years ago when I worked retail the same thing happened. They would yell at me because I couldn't return some antique or give them a discount until I called a higher level manager. That manager would give them what they wanted, therefore reinforcing the bad behavior.

So, what did I learn? The process works to get them what they want. Why would they do anything else?

I can't imagine how it is now if that was going on close to 30 years ago.


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The problem is
Old 11-08-2017, 06:54 AM
 
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Angelo, the problem is you can hear the parents just fine the first time but they choose not to hear you! It sounds like your administration supports you and that's wonderful. All you can do is become a drip drip drip drip constant and calm reminder of the rules and regulations.
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Old 11-08-2017, 07:00 AM
 
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I don't understand why the parent is harassing you about a drop date which is certainly a deadline established by the school. Doesn't the principal (or whatever the title of the head administrator) get paid big bucks for that wonderful privilege?
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Old 11-08-2017, 07:43 AM
 
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The entitlement is so frustrating! My son asked to drop a class last year, but he wasn't passing the course and the rule at his school is you must be passing and I think there is a time limitation too.

He went to the counselor because he REALLY wanted to drop it. He was told the same thing the teacher told him (I am sure she would have loved him to drop it as he clearly was not putting in the effort!) Then at home, he told us that he tried, failed and now was going to be stuck taking the class all year.

We said that's unfortunate, but at least you know now it's not your thing, all you can do is put in some effort, do your best and get through it. And he did...not well mind you, but lesson learned.
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:59 AM
 
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It makes one wonder how things are at home. The person with the loudest voice gets whatever he/she wants.
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Old 11-08-2017, 01:27 PM
 
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Two years ago I had a pre-kindergarten student whose mom was a teacher. One student kept asking me the same question over and over. This little girl said to her peer "If the teacher says no once, you don't need to ask again!" and then she rolled her eyes and shook her head. If only adults had this knowledge.


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Old 11-08-2017, 02:26 PM
 
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Can you just direct the parent to talk to the principal so you can wash your hands of this mess? (Of course, tell your P that you've already gone round and round and round with this parent.)
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i think...
Old 11-08-2017, 06:04 PM
 
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that this behavior must have been reinforced somehow, somewhere...

surely it must have worked in the past????
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