Today has not been a good day. It had real potential this morning. I woke up for the second morning in a row to a Metalica song, which amused me as my alarm clock is set to some random radio station. Since I was running a little early, I decided to stop by the store and pick up some little chocolate donuts. After all, what can go wrong when there’s a tiny little chocolate covered piece of cakey happiness in your hand?
I got to school, got all my pre-school stuff done and was just checking my email when my phone rang. It was all downhill from there. It was a parent I can’t stand. In the last four months, I have talked to her either through email or on the phone over thirty times. Every time I see an email from her in my inbox, I cringe. She’s the type of parent teachers hate. Nothing is ever her kid’s fault. She’s got 100 excuses and just as many requests for extentions. And they all started the second day her daughter was in my class.
A seemingly innocent assignment to have kids read any grade level appropriate novel turned into a nearly week long debate because according to her, her child preferred non-fiction, and since she’d had a “lot of tough times in her life,” her mom thought she deserved to read whatever she wanted to. We were already doing a unit on non-fiction, reading from various biographies, essays, articles, etc, and the second big project could be either fiction or non, so I put my foot down and said she had to do find a fiction book. Turned out the kid was fine with it. It got her more books. GRRRRRRRRR!!!
At various points this year her mother and I have butted heads. Their computer went down and her daughter was just devestated that her “opus” wouldn’t be perfect because she didn’t get to make changes. Could she possibly have an extension? She missed a day of school, so shouldn’t she get one more day for the project she’d already had 60 to do? She wasn’t feeling well, couldn’t she take the test another day? And my personal favorite, her computer crashed (for the umpteenth time this semester), so couldn’t she get a few more days to work on a timeline project that didn’t need any actual computer work? No. No. No. And yet again, no.
Today it was yet again a computer error and her daughter was up until 1 am trying to fix it and just balling her eyes out. Considering it isn’t due for another week, why any of that happened, I have no idea. I have a feeling she was actually up until 1 am finishing the project, tried very quickly to do the computer portion, didn’t read the directions clearly, gave up, threw a fit and asked mommy to get her more time. It took me three tries to explain how to do it correctly and how she still had seven more days before mom stopped emailing me.
It didn’t get any better after that.
On the way to newspaper I stopped a former student in the hallway over his cel phone. Our policy is fairly clear. They can’t be seen or heard during the school day. They have been told repeatedly. They sign a handbook agreeing to the policy. This particular kid has already been in trouble with his phone a number of times this year and at least three times with me last year. When I told him to hand it over, he put it back in his pocket and refused. Instead, he argued. Luckily one of the vice principals was around, so I called him over. He repeated the rule and when he asked for the phone, it was handed over. While this would have been enough to annoy me to begin with (damn sexist twerp), the fact that when I was walking back to the classroom after getting a quick nip at the water fountain, he turned to his friend and said, “That bitch took my phone,” made it worse. I told him I could hear him and he was making the situation worse, to which he replied, “shut up.” And people wonder why our schools are failing…
The end of the day was looking up. I was invited to a late lasagna lunch by a few of my kids who also take home ec. Alas, it was not meant to be. A colleague had a major emergency and I agreed to take over her classroom. Unfortunately it was the same classroom my phone junkie was in. I had just enough time to talk to the vice principal who yanked him from the hallway before he even got to his class. Part way through the period one of the subs came in and offered to take over so I could have my prep. That was really sweet of her. Sadly I’d already missed the start of my lasagna lunch, so I went to my room to finish some grading.
I didn’t get too far before my department head had something she wanted to talk about. I can’t complain about that. It was fun talking to her, but I ended up having to stay after school to finish grading the projects because we talked too long.
My son decided to cry most of the way home and nothing would calm him down.
Finally I made it home. I refused to cook, so we went out, where I got a big margarita. Things have been much better ever since.