Monday, November 07, 2011

There's These Things Called Parent Conferences...

This morning, at around 7:20, which is pretty chaotic as it's homeroom time, and kids are arriving at school, going to breakfast, going to the school store and so forth, my phone rings.  My homeroom kids are a pretty good bunch and I've given a bunch of them jobs, including answering the phone so I can do things like help kids with work and watch the hall.

So, the kid that answers the phone comes to me and says, holding out the phone (I have a 25' cord on it) and says, "She wants to talk to you."  "She" being one of our secretaries up front (the Ditzy One).

"Hi there, I have Lazy Boy's mom up here and she wants to know if she can schedule a team meeting this week at 9:00 am," she says.

I've been having a lot of email conversation with Lazy Boy's mom and she is, to put it bluntly, fed up with him.  The last I talked with her, he'd been grounded until sometime in 2012, she was changing his meds, and she was at her wit's end.  I guessed that the reason she was asking for a meeting was that she got his progress report and Was Not Happy.

"Well, the only problem with that is we have to be in our rooms by 9:04 as that's when 2nd period gets out and the kids start showing up."  The Ditzy Secretary should know this as it's plastered across the front of our team calendar which should be right in front of her as she's scheduling a meeting.  

"Okay, but she drives a school bus and she can't get here until 9:00 am," says the Ditzy Secretary.

Sigh.  "I understand that, however, we Have Kids Coming to Our Room so We Can Teach Them at that time.  The only way we can have a meeting at 9:00 am is if Administration can find someone to cover our classes."

"Oh, I understand," she says.  "So what should I tell her?"

Oh.  Good.  Gracious.

"Tell her that we can't meet at 9:00 am unless someone from administration okays someone to cover our classes."

"Oh, okay," she says and she rings off.

A few minutes later, after the kids have gone on to their first period and I'm running around getting a lab together, I run into Mrs. Sparrow, one of the administrators who happened to have been approached by Ditzy Secretary about the situation.

"Where in the hell was this parent when we had two days of parent conferences for the past two weeks?" she hissed.  "Did she ever schedule an appointment with any of you?"

"Not that I know of," I answered, "and we had room in the schedule even before the no-shows."

"Please!  She has two days of conferences which she could have utilized, but instead she wants us to get subs to cover your classes so we can have a meeting!  That's ridiculous!"

I had to agree with her on that one.  Mr. Enforcer later told Ditzy Secretary to go ahead and call Lazy Boy's mom and tell her we could meet with her at 8:50 and that we'd have to be done by 9:00 and if that wasn't enough time, then she might have to get a sub for her bus and come on in when we could meet with her.

We'll see if she shows.


Tracey said...

I feel your pain!!!!!!!!!

EHT said...

I sympathize. It's quite frustrating trying to schedule meetings like this to get all the parties in the room at the same time since being on the same page is so important, often, I've tried to do this, to be so accomodating and flexible I could be nicknamed "Gumby" and then the parent be a no show with no explanation at all.

Thankfully this parent is contacting you often through email, and that's a blessing. Hopefully, she is is contacting the other teachers as well.

In the past I have advised parents who fit this description to stay in contact with us individually and the teachers will discuss among ourselves to make sure we are all on the same page.