Monday, November 15, 2010

Parents Just Don't Understand

I have been in tears most of the afternoon after meeting with a concerned parent after school today. She admitted that she complained to the principal a few weeks ago, but she told me that since the principal hasn't done anything about the situation she decided to come to me about it. If you'll remember, my principal told me that a couple of parents had complained about my recent absences and that there have been multiple substitute teachers in the classroom.

I told her that my health and the health of my unborn child come first, and that I will stay home when I need to. I showed her how detailed my plan book is and that there's no reason for a substitute not to cover the content as planned or assign the homework correctly. She complained about the substitutes' lack of classroom management, and I told her I have no control over their inadequacies.

She said she's not the only parent upset about my absences and since the principal isn't doing anything about it, that they are considering going to the school board or the superintendent. I told her I have ten sick days to use, and that I haven't used them all. I'm not in violation of any district policy. She asked me what she should do. I told her to do whatever she feels she should do. What do they think they will accomplish by going to the board or the superintendent? Do they want me to lose my job? She knows what I've gone through in the last year. People can be so cold.

All of this was couched in a "I'm your sister in Christ, and I really feel badly for all you've gone through and are going through, but. . .".

But nothing. I sure hope she doesn't have to learn the hard way that life isn't perfect and you can't control every outcome. People are imperfect, wounded, and fragile. They won't always live up to your expectations. Heck, they don't always live.

On another note, my OB called today. He was concerned that my screening test has come back with a 1:150 chance that my baby has Downs Syndrome. That's not a positive test, but he doesn't like those odds. Another blood test next month will be somewhat more conclusive. I'm not too worried about this, but it's just another concern after everything else today.

I saw my GP this afternoon. I've had the runs for five days, and I'm still dealing with that terrible pain on the right side of my head. She thinks both complaints may be related to having a virus. She didn't want to prescribe any medicine for me because she thinks it will get better on its own soon. I told her all about my work stress and she told me to give people her number when they want to complain about me. Oh, if I only could!


  1. Oh friend, I am SO sorry you have to deal with this! I mean seriously!! You should have asked her, "What would you like me to do? Risk the life of my unborn child so your child doesn't have to have a substitute? Because that is what I think you would like me to do, and I can't believe you would suggest that." WHAT BS!!!

    I wish I taught at your school so I could give this woman a piece of my mind!! I hope she DOES "go to the school board" so that they can tell her she is FREAKING CRAZY and vindictive!

    And DO give people your GP's number! Why not! Say something like "Well, my doctor won't let me teach, but if you want to call her up and try to get her to change her mind, here's her number." LOL! I would love to see the look on that mom's face...

    Caden had a 1:150 chance of DS and of course he didn't have DS. And that was after a blood test. I think that number is common and you have no reason to worry! :)

  2. Thanks, for sharing that about Caden, April. That's very encouraging.

  3. Oh my that Mom sounds like a selfcentered hag!! I'm so sorry that you have to deal such uncaring people.

    My sister had my niece this past June and she had a similar test result, my niece is perfectly fine today.

    Hugs to you!

    Boo, hiss hiss to that nasty Mom!

  4. I'm sorry Joannah. You really don't need this right now. Hugs.

  5. Joannah ...That is no "sister in Christ." If she was she would not even have come to you with her "concerns" ...ESPECIALLY knowing what you've been through. I've got another descriptive word for THAT woman ...and anyone else who shares her "concerns." Don't waste one tear on her. Although I'm sure the hormones aren't helping.

    Your focus is in the only place it should be at the moment. While you have always acted professionally for your students (and have conducted yourself admirably in the face of constant illness), you still have a responsibility (first and foremost) to protect the life your your child and your own. (but of course you know that)

    Obviously, she does not have a leg to stand on. But just to be safe, I would talk to someone ...a teacher's advocate ...and do what you need to do to cover yourself and to put your own mind at ease. Then PURGE this person (and anyone else like her) from your mind ...for she really is isn't worthy of a moment's thought.

    Hang in there, Girl. You can do it. You're stronger than anyone I know. : )



  6. I am so angry with that mother and whatever mothers she managed to get their panties in a bunch too. I am glad they are actively participating in their childs education and give a rats ass, however to think that tou would sacrafice your childs health or safety to prevent having to get a substitute teach is absurbd! I too hope she goes to the board, because she is off her rocker! You answered everything perfectly and I hope this situation just dissipates. Can you have somebody else present next meeting to reinforce what you have told her? I think she needs to hear it from somebody above you, unfortunately. What cold hearted human being knows your situation and shows no sympathy?! Wow I am floored.

    I think the second test for Downs will ease your mind. Women our age automatically have a higher (or lower) ration due to age....our age alone skews it....I forgot how old you are but I think your close to my age. I am sure it's nothing to be concerned about. xoxoxoxox

  7. I'm confused about why your Doctor is worried about DS and gives you 1:150 odds. Women over age 40, statistically, have a MUCH higher risk than that. If your Dr is correct then your odds are BETTER than the average pregnancy and that's good news!

    I'm sorry you're getting grief from some of your student's parents. It's not like you're taking time off work to get pedicures!


    Our Blog: Double Happiness!

  8. Joannah. I find the "Concerned Parent" to be a selfish, self centered, piece of work. You know you are doing the right thing but it hurts to be confronted by someone so callous. Perhaps next time you should tell them to feel free to call the superintendent but unless the "super" has a magic cure for being ill during pregnancy it won't make a spot of difference.

    You have so many people supporting you and only a couple of trouble makers. I like those odds.

  9. You give that lady MY number!! OYE!!!!! She quiet obviously has no clue as to what the true meaning of "a sister in Christ" really is. You said the exact thing to her that you have to keep telling yourself....the health of your baby and yourself comes first!

    Hugs my friend, you're in my prayers.

  10. I would not worry about the screening numbers at all. They are actually rather safe for a woman over 40.

  11. That number is far better than your statistical risk number -- I should think your doctor would find it to be a good result rather than a bad one!

    As for the parents, how about writing them an open letter? Just explaining your situation, telling them you understand their concerns, etc. -- and letting them know your plans for when you are absent and also for when you are on leave (if that will overlap with the school year). Have your principal co-sign it -- or perhaps it can be from the both of you. It may go a long way with parents, especially if they don't feel like they are in the dark. Do they understand that your pregnancy is through IVF and that it is Michael's child? I'm wondering if some of them may be confused and not knowing what to think. You shouldn't HAVE to do any of this or explain anything, but maybe one letter could go a long way toward easing concerns and could make the whole year work better? Just trying to be creative here!

  12. Ohhh how angry this makes me... Has she or any of these other mother's who are complaining volunteered to help in the classroom when there is a sub. Why is it that parent's no longer feel the need to take an active role. Let her go to the board... move her kid out of your class... it will be one less headache for you. Keep on taking care of you... family comes first, even the most passionate of teachers know they need to make themselves and their families first priority... even if you love it (and I know how you and I feel about it presently...) it's just a job, a paycheck, a mean to provide.

    Give her my number... I got a few things to enlighten her about!

    praying on the DS testing...

  13. I would suspect that this parent is the ring leader and other parents are not really that upset.

    Don`t hesitate to enlist your union rep if you feel the need.

    Any update on the barking dog?

  14. I like the idea of an open letter to the parents.


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