Friday, June 1, 2012

Bad Manners and No Class

If your doctor makes you angry,
do you barge into her appointments with other patients to tell her so?

If you think your lawyer made a mistake,
do you choose his courtroom time to inquire about it?

Today's hero is my colleague. As he is doing his job, educating the ignorance out of his jillion 8th graders, into his classroom DURING CLASS TIME strides a parent who begins to berate him. My colleague keeps his calm. Instead of reaching for the phone to call for the VP to bounce her out, or the cops, or Chuck Norris, he asks for the parent's work address so he can return the favor. "Really, tell me, where do you work? Sharp Hospital? I will come by to conference with you when you are on the job because apparently that's ok with you."

I want to shower him with accolades and palm fronds and leis and ticker tape and whatever heroes are showered with. I want to carry him on my shoulders before cheering crowds of teachers who have been disrespected in similar ways simply because they are public servants. Why do some parents treat teachers differently than they do other professionals? Could it be because they don't value what we do? I can't stand it when a parent comes by before or after school without an appointment; invariably I am tutoring or counseling kids or setting up my classroom or on my way to or from a meeting or from the workroom. (Why? BECAUSE I AM AT WORK, WORKING. Imagine that.) They always seem a little surprised when I ask if they have an appointment. ???

Parents are ALWAYS welcome to visit my class as observers. I am ALWAYS glad to conference with them at appropriate times. I just wish some parents would use good manners, because they are teaching their children how to behave, and trust me, that is getting to be a scary proposition these days.

Hmm, some people need to work on #1.

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