Spewing Beats Stewing

The title sounds gross, but it’s better to get things out of the system instead of allowing them to fester and make things worse. I had several students absent on the last two days of the previous school year. Some of them had been disruptive to the learning environment. Others would not have caused a bit of trouble or planned anything “cute” as revenge of some sort. I read another teacher’s blog about some parents’ habits with their kids.

  1. Enabling bad behavior. “I can’t discipline him or take away his XBOX. He won’t give me the controls.” A well-wielded claw hammer will deal with the XBOX controls nicely when Junior is asleep.
  2. Being a child’s friend. Nope, you’re mom or dad. It’s your job to make and enforce rules, even when they are unpopular.
  3. Badmouthing the teacher in front of the student. This never has a happy ending.
  4. Not being connected or seemingly concerned (no response to emails and phone calls about academic and/or behavioral issues).
  5. Expecting life to be “fair” or easy for their students. Some students have legitimate educational issues that may or may not require meds. That’s fine. Expecting me to bump a grade on a project because Mom disagrees with the rubric is not going to work.
  6. Expecting a student to pass a course’s marking period with zero effort. I cannot grade air. If I could grade good intentions successfully, my failure rate would be close to zero. There is always one bad apple who doesn’t care what I think. Nor does the bad apple care what Grandma, Aunt Bunny, or Santa Claus things. Bad Apple has it all figured out. “You can’t make me.” Correct. I can make your life miserable with lunch detentions and TNRs (Thursday Night Reflections – three hour long detentions for academic and behavioral concerns). Bring. It. On.
  7. Writing emails on Friday after school hours expecting an immediate response about a daily or minor grade. Not a test grade. A daily or minor grade that will not affect the student’s grade point average for the marking period.
  8. Wanting to meet multiple times about the same issue we discussed in the first meeting last semester: he’s avoiding work, being stubborn and insubordinate, and doing things to aggravate the other kids to the point one of them nearly took a swing at him the other day until they heard me walk up behind them. Fix it at home.
  9. Demanding special treatment. Period. You’re on the school board. You’re the PTA president. You’re related to the mayor. You’ve been to the World Series the last twenty years. Nice try, but no cigar. It’s bad for your health.
  10. Taking kids on vacations during the school year does not place an emphasis on their educations. It would be fine during the days off; however, trips are planned for Disney World, Universal Studios, or overseas when we have grades due in the next week or two. Could you give me the assignments he will have for the next week since he’s going on a cruise with our family? Sure. Junior’s going to concentrate on my assignments while he cavorts at a water park, theme park, beach party, etc. And that online component will be easy with the Internet so readily available. Here’s the ship’s Wifi code. Good luck, kid.


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