Anyone who follows me has probably seen my other two MyTakes, 5 Hilarious Yet Inappropriate Things Parents Have Said To Me, A Teacher and 5 More Hilariously Inappropriate Things Parents Have Said To Me, A Teacher. Now, I haven’t done one of these in a while because I decided to give it a break so it wouldn’t get old.
Well, it’s back, and summer is officially upon us! And with summer comes…. *drum rollllllllllll*
SUMMER SCHOOL!!!!!! Yes, summer school, the place children come to pass a class they previous failed or to get ahead for the next year instead romping around outside on their phones all day.
It’s not all bad, though. With summer school comes students and their parents with their ridiculous comments. So here it is.
Please note: I teach summer school in a different district than the one I teach at during the regular year. Just goes to show you stupidity is everywhere, my friends.
1. “The only reason I paid you people was so my kid would pass. If I had known it was possible that he could still fail, I wouldn’t have sent him!”
This wasn’t said to me, but it was said to the summer school principal my second year and it was a parent of a student in my class. This kid was failing hardcore because his writing was atrocious (I teach 9-12 Language Arts) and it was very evident. He was from another district than the one I teach summer school at so no one had any idea about his performance in class during the regular year. While I had 9-12 in my room, he specifically was a 11th grader retaking 10th grade Language Arts, but he wrote like a 4 year old. There were spelling errors everywhere and he had trouble understanding 10th grade text so much that I was basically his ‘partner’ for every assignment. Of course, I don’t mind this as I’m a teacher and it’s my job to help a kid, but if he doesn’t comprehend it then I still can’t pass him.
Anyway, I was leaving for the day when the principal asked me to step in his office. I didn’t know what I did but I soon realized he was on the phone. He put his finger to his lips, ushered for me to sit down, and then put the phone on speaker. The woman (this kid’s mom) and the principal went back and forth about his grades. Well, the PRINCIPAL talked about his grades and assignment. The mom called us names and said we were incompetent and then when she learned I was 24 at the time asked if I had even graduated college yet. The principal told her he was going to hang up if she didn’t calm down. And that’s when the infamous line came.
“I’m only upset because YOU people are making my this way! He already failed at [his district] and I was told that this summer school was easy. The only reason I paid you people was so my kid would pass. If I had known it was possible that he could still fail, I wouldn’t have sent him!”
Yeah, the principal and I still laugh about that to this day.
2. “I mean, to be honest, that would annoy me, too. Maybe the kid is a retard. Did you ever think of that?”
Yes, you read that right. I had an 11th grader my first year who failed 9th grade English twice and he was a handful. I mean, I knew why. I’d be embarrassed if I was 17 and still taking a class designed for a 14 year old. So overall I wasn’t mad at him or anything, even though he made the first week a misery. One of the rules of any decent classroom is respect your fellow classmates. It may not be SAID all the time, but it’s a common sense rule.
Well, this little gift from above called another student a retard. Why? We were reading out loud and the kid had a stuttering problem but he loved to read so he wanted to try. And the kid was 14. I told the student to leave to which he called me a stuck up c***. Two other boys in the room, who were much bigger than him and seniors, made him leave, though, so it really ended there. BUT when I had to call home and tell dad what happened, he actually laughed. LAUGHED. I wasn’t necessarily mad that the kid called me a name. I’ve been called worse by other students. I was more upset that he insulted a kid in the room while he was reading. When I told his dad that it was NOT funny and how would he feel if someone said that to his kid, that’s when he said it. “I mean, to be honest, that would annoy me, too. Maybe the kid is a retard. Did you ever think of that?”
The kid who stutters passed. The kid who called him a retard? Failed. Hardcore.
3. “It was a cigarette. That’s not big a deal. It could’ve been worse. It could’ve been heroin.”
I had this kid my first year. He was a junior who talked out loud out of turn a lot. He did for the two days he was in my room. Yes, two days. Summer school that year was 3 weeks long, 4 hours a day, 5 days a week. So what happened?
Well, he got kicked out. Why? He was trying to sell cigarettes to some freshman in the bathroom. The freshman actually recorded it and showed it to the principal so the junior was removed from the summer school program. Since I was his teacher, I had to be part of the conference call to the parent so I could describe his behavior in class. That part of the conversation went smoothly. The parent seemed very understanding. And then the principal jumped in.
He told mom that he was calling to inform her that her child had tried to sell cigarettes to a freshman in the bathroom and it was caught on camera. She told him, “It was a cigarette. That’s not a big deal. It could’ve been worse. It could’ve been heroin.”
The fact that it’s not a heavy drug isn’t the problem. The problem is that 1, he’s underage and, 2, even he wasn’t, it’s against district policy to smoke anywhere on campus. That includes all employees. Him even having it was enough to kick him out, even if he didn’t try to sell it to someone. She then said that was the dumbest rule and demanded her money back. After my principal told her that summer school has no refunds (which is explained clearly in the brochure, on the website, and in the email sent to parents prior to the start of summer school) she then proclaimed that she ‘hated this fucking school’ and then hung up the phone.
4. “Please call me every day to update me on ----------‘s progress. If not, I’ll have to report you to the board.”
This one wasn’t said to me, but it was emailed to math summer school teacher from two years ago. It was my third year teaching summer school and I saw all the teachers gathered in his room as I was walking out. When I asked what was going on, he had me read an email. It was a very loooooooooooong email about how her daughter needed to be watched at all times and that even though there were other students in the room that he was to give all his attention to her daughter. But the best part was how it ended because she wanted him to call her every day to let her know about her daughter’s progress. This girl was apparently a straight A student and was only in summer school because she wanted to be eligible to take Calculus her junior year instead of her senior year. But she hadn’t failed any classes so she didn’t technically have to be at summer school. And apparently, she had told him in an earlier email to call her every day before he left to let her know what her daughter was doing. He didn’t, which is why she sent him this email ending in this:
“As I recall, I instructed you to call me each day so I can check on ----------‘s work. How can I be an effective parent if you don’t tell me what’s going on? I’m hoping this was just a misunderstanding. Please call me every day to update me on ----------------‘s progress. If not, I‘ll have to report you to the board.”
We all laughed and went to the McDonald’s across the street.
5. “He has a really good job. He can’t always be here! You’re all just mad you’re making less than a teenager with your ‘degrees’.”
Again, this student wasn’t mine, but the comment was said to myself and the other teachers in the building. We were all walking in for the day when we saw the principal arguing with a man in front of the office. We all walked up behind the principal since the one this year was a small woman and we didn’t feel comfortable just leaving her there as we walked up to our classrooms. We came in during the middle of the conversation so I don’t know how it started, but it ended pretty bad. Apparently, the principal had just informed the parent that his son was being kicked out of History for too many absences. The dad said that he was only absent 3 times. However, 3 absences for a 4 hour long school day that covers only one class is 12 hours. A class during the regular school day is 55 minutes. That factors out to about 13 missed regular school day classes. And it was explained on the website, information sheet, payment confirmation emails, and orientation that more than 2 absences was an automatic removal from the program with no refund as the program was only 3 weeks long.
The history teacher knew this parent and tried to explain to him this rule. He said we were all ridiculous and then told us that he can’t be here all the time because he had to work. He said that his son, “has a real really good job. He can’t always be here! You’re all just mad you’re making less than a teenager with your ‘degrees’.” Yes, he actually did the quotation marks thing with his fingers when he said ‘degrees’. He then stormed off and said he was reporting our principal to central office.
Oh, and the kid worked at local grocery store as a cashier four days a week.
Hope this brought a smile to summer!