Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Destroying Lives.... One Child At A Time

V@led!ctor!an (from here on out referred to as V) is a big deal at our school, we usually have between 9 and 16 kids with a perfect GPA each year. As an AP teacher I will have a few of them in my class. At the end of third quarter one of my students had an 89%, I knew she was a V candidate and expected her to really pick things up the last quarter. But she didn't, 4 weeks before the end of the year I emailed her parents and informed administration she was likely to get a B. At that point she needed a 100% on everything including the final to get the A. I added some stuff in the last few weeks to give her (and others) more opportunities to bring up their grades. But she still got the B (87.7%).

She was in my room the last day of school crying for 2 hours. Her mom called me during that time and ripped me apart for about a half hour. She told me I could be an inspiration to her daughter and the whole family, that I didn't like her daughter and was trying to screw her over and that I don't care about any of my students, I am playing with lives. She saying if it was my child I would want the teacher to change the grade. I refrained from telling her, no if it was my kid I would want them to actually earn it themselves. Then when she was on the phone with her girl she told her I was just a bitch. The phone calls and emails kept up for three days. The mom kept saying the girl would do some extra project, which kills me. What about the other kids, how is that fair to them? I'm not going to give an opportunity to one kid and not others. gahhh

I got wind of a few people bashing me, a few of my students and a teacher, and that was frustrating. It irked me that it all fell on me, not so much the student. My administration was supportive, with the exception of one, so that was helpful. Overall, it was all very stressful and hurtful. I did get an email from another parent thanking me, I actually burst into tears when I read it.

If nothing else next years class will get wind of the fact that I don't "give" grades, you need to actually earn them.


Swistle said...

That is an ASTONISHING story, and as a parent I would like to EARNESTLY THANK YOU for not "giving" grades. You are doing the right thing. Anyone turning this on YOU as if YOU were the one responsible for earning the student's grade for her is a KRAZYPANTS.

Swistle said...

And, AND, how would that other mother have felt about it if it had been between her daughter and another student, and the other student came in second place because of getting an 88%? And what if that other student's mother came to the teacher, saying the things she said to you? Would she want the teacher to buckle, which would bump her daughter out of first? NO SHE WOULD NOT.

Mimi said...

Unbelievable! Those parents and the student should be totally ashamed of themselves.

wm said...

Good for you. I went through this as a teacher overseas (but with many more than one upset parent) and it was miserable, but I think now the time to teach honesty and hard work. The boy who gave me the hardest time about his B ended up not doing well in college. He later told someone that if all his teachers had been like me, he would have been better prepared and wouldn't have had to drop out.

Aunt Becky said...

That makes me INSANE that people could possibly EXPECT you to just hand them a grade that wasn't earned. I grew up in a town (where I still live, actually) that was like this. But disgusting. I would NEVER, EVER teach my children to beg for a grade they didn't earn.

Joanne said...

Oh jeez. One of the things I admire most about my mother is her ability to believe absolutely ANYTHING about her children. I'm so sorry that you had to go through all that, but I hope you know how RIGHT you were. Maybe the student will realize it some day? Maybe that's how you'll be an inspiration to her?

p.s. I know! About Veronica's bangs. What to do? She will NOT keep in a barrette, and it seems silly to cut it while there's so little of it. Every day, BOINK!, right into her eyes it goes. :)