Thursday, January 22, 2009

I'm just talked out

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!

16 comments:

only a movie said...

Do yo miss being in the classroom? :-) You must be exhausted... I don't know how you have time to blog and read and... have a life. Hang in there!

Beth said...

I do miss being in the classroom. More than you know. And if I were to ever go back, I'd probably never ever have anything to say in the office other than "everything is great!" Just a dream, I know.

Sarah's Blogtastic Adventures said...

I am going to use the "I didn't take my vitamin" excuse next time I don't behave : )

Your job sounds like alot of work!! But those posts were hilarious! I hope the your teachers don't lose any jobs!

nikkicrumpet said...

That is beyond funny. And I have no clue how you do this 5 days a week. My mom was a secretary at a middle school for 28 years...and boy oh boy some of the stories she told. You should be sainted!

Threeboys1mommy said...

me too ;)

Sunny said...

You're doing just fine!

The new director at my school has to explain to a lot of people that she's actually a director,too.

You definitely need a drink! :)

dizzblnd said...

OK.... nevermind... I wouldn't want you job for a million dollars! I'm exhausted and I only jusr EARD about your day. If it makes you feel any better... my day sucked too!

Christine said...

oh my god... now I need a drink.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

You do such a wonderful job of capturing the side of education most people don't realize. I loved this post.

Recent two hour parent meeting with the most control freak parent I have had in a long time. She complained to the principal that the teachers do not communicate with her enough. I asked how often she expects us to call or email her. She said, "eveyday." I have 6 classes and 150 students...

amy said...

oh my, beth. yes, i've talked to some administrator friends and they've told me that working with adults is really not much different than working with kids. in fact, one of the best pieces of advice i've ever gotten came from my last principal, when i told her i was feeling kind of nervous about giving a presentation in front of a roomful of adults.

"amy," she said, "i'm going to give you some advice. and if i hear that you told anybody else i said this, i'll kill you. but here's what i do: i just treat them like they're K-3 kids. because that's how 90% of them act. whatever works with your kids, try it. it'll work with them."

i really miss her.

....there's a furlough?? i'm going to go bug my new principal about it. thanks! :-D

Anna Lefler said...

Oh, my god. Might I suggest a more relaxing career choice? I hear they're looking for air-traffic controllers...

:^) Anna

Deb said...

oh dear lord in heaven. all in one day? why aren't you catatonic? or are you?

Kulio said...

Thank goodness you have the gift of humor -- how could someone survive that without seeing that absolute hilarity and tragedy at the same time??

p.s. I just wrote a note to one of my child's teachers, just thanking her for how much she cared and the time she spent helping my son. The letter I got back sounded like someone parched with thirst from crawling through the desert...who had just gotten a tiny sip of water - she was so thankful I was embarassed.
Everybody - don't forget to thank your educators just for showing up each day!!! I don't know how you do it.

Kulio said...

I should have said....

but so glad that you do.

Comedy Goddess said...

Whatever they are paying you is so not enough!

Rachel said...

oh dear. i knew being a principal was tough, but this is ridiculous. you deserve margaritas and fast!