Parents never learn. Content edited for clarity.
“I worked in a poor school teaching kindergarten. It’s not unusual for students to enroll late. I don’t know why, but it was just the way it was. School started in late August and I had 14 students that year. My last student enrolled in mid-October, giving me a final count of 22. Try teaching classroom routines in that mess.
Anyway, so it was week eight and a parent enrolled her daughter. She sent her teenage daughter to bring my student to the classroom while my class was on the carpet. I got up, had my class play a game, greeted both of them, and specifically told the teenager, ‘Let your mom know that if she has any questions for me or would even like to come to sit down and observe for a minute, she is more than welcome to. Just have her walk on in and I’ll talk to her in a break.’
I showed the girl where to put her stuff and had her sit down on the carpet. Now, I had given everyone assigned seats and since my class was bigger, I had to find a random spot for her close to the back.
I started teaching again when I heard a knock on my door. I went to answer and it’s the new girl’s mom. She was livid. ‘Why is my daughter in the back of the room?’ she exclaimed.
I tried to use my professional voice and explain that this was not her permanent seat, that seating is based on the needs of the students, and that I do regularly change seating. She didn’t want to hear any of it, just wanted me to move her to the front and promise that’s her permanent spot (which I refuse to do because I really do look at student needs).
After an exchange that lasted way too long, I basically told her that I needed to return to my students and she can contact me later for a conference if she feels I’m not meeting her daughter’s needs. She stormed off, apparently said something to the office that made no sense and left. Later on, the AP came by and asked what it was all about, and I told him exactly what was said. His reply? ‘What does she expect enrolling her kid late?’
You’re darn right!
Another time I had a first grader’s parent come in after the first day of school obviously very upset. She told me that her daughter was touched inappropriately by a boy and I didn’t do anything to help. I informed her that I was not told of the incident until this moment. I also got the details from the daughter. So apparently the daughter was bent over to get a drink at the water fountain, felt a tug on her skirt, and turned around to see a boy letting go of it. She didn’t know the boy’s name (which is fair, it is only day one).
I told the mom that I would have her secretly point the boy out tomorrow and that I’ll talk to him to get his side of the story.
‘What do you mean his side? He’s a perv. That’s the story,’ she said.
‘Ma’am, he’s in first grade. There are lots of reasons a 6-year-old might touch a skirt that is completely innocent. He could’ve been trying to figure out the material. He might’ve seen a bug. Until I know exactly why I can’t assume he was doing something with the intention to do harm. Not at age 6,’ I told her calmly.
She wasn’t happy to hear that, but that was pretty much the end of it.
So, the next day, the girl lets me know which boy it is. I talked to him privately. So, the girl had been wearing leggings. The skirt was a polka dot. The leggings were striped. He was trying to figure out if it was one whole unit or the leggings were separate for the skirt. I talked to him about appropriate touching and what to do if he’s ever curious about a girl’s outfit again. That was the end of it.”