A sampling of just some of my responses today...
"Well, you are right. This really isn't a good time to talk. Did I forget about an appointment? Oh, well, you see, we have a few teachers at a training and I have to be out here at car duty. If you don't mind, could you leave your name and number with the secretary. I'll call you back as soon as I can and set up an appointment. I'm sorry that you don't like the teacher. This really isn't a good place to discuss this. Would you mind if I called you back. Really, I can just look up your phone number. I'm not in a position to decide to move your child from the teacher's class. I'm sorry if you think I'm being rude. I'm just trying to safely get all the kids into the building. Please understand that I will call you back as soon as I have a chance."
"I don't know if we are going to have any furlough days. We'll find out when the governor announces whether or not we are having furlough days. From what I hear, it could be up to four days. Let's be thankful we still have jobs. Don't forget to focus on the positive. Remember, we still have our jobs and our benefits. Aren't you glad you aren't one of teachers laid off like the ones from ___ system? Isn't this math time? Shouldn't you be teaching?"
"Sometimes parents can get arrested. Why do you ask? I've never heard of someone getting arrested because they smoked cigarettes. Yes, I know cigarettes are bad for your lungs. Usually people get arrested when they break a law. Yes, I know your grandmother loves your uncle. And I'm sorry for your cousin. Oh, say that again? Uh.. umm.. I think you should ask your mom about that."
"Why were you crawling on the floor? But the teacher said for you to sit in your chair. Oh, you didn't take your vitamin today? Well, even so, you are responsible for your choices. Yes, I know that your mom says the vitamin helps you be good. Yes, I am going to call your dad. Well, if you were my little boy you'd be in trouble at my house, too. Really? Well, not playing with the Wii for a whole day should remind you to do what the teacher says to do. No, Johnny didn't make you crawl on the floor. Just a minute ago you said you crawled on the floor because you didn't take your vitamin. Yes, I know your mom always believes you. That's why I'm calling your dad."
"Why did you take your friend's purse? Well, just because you wanted to see what was inside something doesn't give you the right to take her purse. No, I don't believe that it was an accident. What can you do to make it right? Well, I don't believe it was the devil making you do something. That was your choice. No, I'm not saying your mom is wrong. I'm just saying that you have choices to make."
"I was just doing a walk through. Relax. I know I haven't walked through so far this month. No, I'm not looking for anything. I've just had a lot of meetings at the school board office. Please, just carry on as if I wasn't here. You are doing fine."
"I understand that you are stressed. What can I do to help? Well, there is nothing I can do if there is a furlough day. Please just don't worry about it. We don't even know if it is going to happen yet. Let's just worry about it if we find out it is happening. Remember that it could be worse. Let's just focus on the kids for today."
"Yes, can I help you? Well, I'm the principal. Yes, really, I am. Thanks for saying I look young. Yes, really, I am the principal. Oh, you want a tour of the school. I'll be more than happy to show you around. Where is your child currently going to school? Oh. So, do you live in our school district and just go to ABC School? No? Well, are you planning to move into our district? Oh, well, I'm sorry but our guidelines state that only students who live in our district can attend this school. I'm sorry you don't like ABC School. Have you talked with the principal there? Yes, you are right, he is older than me. I hope you get the situation worked out."
"Are you okay? Yes, I know. Technology can be a bummer when it doesn't work right. Well, the media specialist can't fix everything right away because she is teaching lessons. You'll just have to wait until she can get to you. No, I don't know how to fix the computer. I'm sorry that it messed up your lesson. Maybe you could just go to Plan B. Oh. Well, I would recommend having a Plan B on hand at all times. Well, I'm sorry you don't roll like that. Let's look on the bright side. I'm sure you could find a bright side if you really tried."
"Oh. I'm sorry you are upset. I'm sure the teacher didn't mean to hurt your feelings. She was just concerned because your son wore shorts and a t-shirt to school without a jacket. You did realize that it was 21 degrees this morning. Yes, I understand letting kids pick out their own clothes. No one is mad at you. We just wanted to be sure that everything is ok. You are right. There is no law against wearing shorts in cold weather."
"So the nurse called you? Hold on, let me find out what is going on. Uhmmm...ummm... it appears that your child was scratching.. uhm... a lot.. in her private area. Well, yes. Children sometimes scratch there. But she is doing it so hard that she made a hole in her pants. And her underwear. We think something could be wrong. Oh, I see. Yes, I remember when my children liked to take bubble baths. Well, we need for you to come get her and take her to the doctor. We will need a doctor's note about what is going on. Well, so that we know everything is ok. We are not in a position to make decisions like that. I'm sorry that you think we are thinking poorly of you. Let's just agree that we are all looking out for your daughter."
Whew! I'm exhausted!