Monday, September 25, 2006

Tracking Down the Elusive Parent

Have I mentioned that we have some of the wackiest parents - ever - this year?

They are so bad, and so off the wall unpredictable, that even Mr. Social Studies (who's the King of Calling Parents) was saying that there's a number of parents whom he's never calling again. They are just that freaky. (I, however, win the prize for the Wackiest Parent Phone Call of The Year for the parent who answered the phone, said "hold on," put the phone down and proceeded to scream and curse AT THE VERY TOP OF HER LUNGS to someone in the room with her for about two minutes before picking up the phone and then breaking down in hysterical sobs about how she was a Katrina survivor and she had post-tramautic stress syndrome, and she just couldn't deal with anything. And to think that all I wanted to do was introduce myself.)

I digress.

In any case, I've been trying to track down Mr. Ga-Ga for about three weeks since his daughter, Ga-Ga Girl, has hit new lows in her ability to not only take tests (she actually scored a zero on an eight word vocabulary test, and she had the words for over a week; I don't think she's scored over a 40% on anything else) but to actually do anything more than stare at boys, write notes about boys, giggle about boys and generally obsess about boys. She has a whopping 37% in my class and 70% is passing. Too bad we don't study boys. She'd be on the honor roll.

I've emailed the email address on the emergency card requesting a meeting with the team. I've called and left three messages requesting the same thing. I've never heard a single response.

Until today.

Today, Ga-Ga Girl turns in a signed progress report (with that whopping 37% plastered across the bottom) along with a note from her Dad indicating a concern with his daughter's grades and a desire for a conference.

So, on the positive side, at least he's communicating. On the negative, what the heck happened to all the emails (which never bounced back) and the phone messages? Sigh. So I scrawl a note back to Mr. Ga-Ga telling him I would try to contact him later that day to set up a meeting and if, by chance, we don't connect, he can call the office and the Secretaries can set up the meeting. Later this afternoon I called and left a message - yet again.

And then I got really, really lucky.

After school today, I'm up at the copier when I see Ga-Ga Girl rushing back to her locker.

"Don't forget to give your dad my message," I yell at her as she zips by.

"Oh, he's outside waiting for me," she says. "I won't forget."

He's outside, is he?

Copies done, I head up to the office, grab the team calendar from one of The Secretaries, and follow Ga-Ga Girl out to the car where her father is waiting for her (along with an entire collection of what must be more Ga-Ga siblings- all girls).

"Hi there," I say as he rolls down his window. "I'm Mrs. Bluebird. I've left some messages about setting up a team meeting."

"Oh yes," he says, "I just got one today. I'm glad to be able to talk to you."

"How about we schedule it right now?" I say. In two seconds I've got him nailed down to Friday afternoon and he's asking about what I think the problem is (Hum, no studying, no work, writing notes, obsessing about boys, shall we go on?). He's obviously upset, shaking his head, and giving his daughter, who's slunk down in the back seat, That Look. I get his email address again (it's the one I've been using..go figure why he's not getting them unless his daughter has figured out how to get into his email account and is deleting them - not unheard of), and he's off.

Now, we'll see if he shows up on Friday.

But hey, at least I got the meeting set up!


CaliforniaTeacherGuy said...

Great job tracking down Mr. Ga Ga, sleuth! Sherlock Holmes would be proud of you.

Do let us know how the meeting goes with this "concerned" parent.

You know, I tend to agree with you: I think the kid has figured out how to access dad's account and has deleted the e-mails from you. Maybe you'll get to the root of that story too!

Ryan said...

Maybe his firewall is set too sensitively. I've had messages to parents get eaten up by the spam filter when I was trying to get a hold of them.

Perhaps I shouldn't title the emails "FREE HERBAL VIAGRA!"