Parents are the wild card in my career. Some are fantastic, some never believe the good or bad things you say about their children and some are just awful.
Sometimes you get great parents like Saul and Brent's mum whom I've now known for four years. She's always ready to back you up, she's active on the PTA but she's not in the classroom all time and so she's not in your face. I've known Matt's parents are just as long too and though Matt isn't always the easiest kid in the classroom to deal with, his parents are willing to discuss the problems in a rational how-can-we-help-each-other kind of way that I really appreciate.
Then there are those that make me really uncomfortable. Gilbert's family, whom I've also known since moving here is one. They are really really religious which in and of itself is not a problem. But they push religion into every part of their lives. The Christmas card from them had such a strong pro-life message that made me feel so icky that I tossed it in the trash when no one was looking almost immediately after it was handed to me. Also, when I was their daughter Loo Loo's teacher, she panicked after she head the girls from my class doing "Bloody Mary" in the bathroom. She decided that this was some sort of "spell." She went directly to the board meeting and tried to ban Harry Potter from my classroom. I did not let this occur. This post is another example.
Another mother, of whom I'm not going to say, for further anonymity is really hard to understand. When she speaks to us, Ms. Jenson and myself, she speaks in ebonics. Now, I have a lot of parents that speak exclusively in Spanish. I understand almost everything they say and am usually only about a half sentence behind in understanding. When I speak to this mum I'm usually around three sentences behind in understanding.
This is one thing. The other thing is the way she is dressed. It's embarrassing for us and I'm sure even more so for Sr. Callejo who has been in on many of these meetings with us. She is wears shirts that are so revealing. Shirts that show her underthings and doesn't seem to ever leave much to the imagination. That's not the worst of it. She stores her cell phone IN her cleavage. And when it vibrates/rings...need I say more?
So after one of these meetings, it somehow came up that some parents occasionally join their kids at lunch. That next week, in she came complete with three bags of food from McDonald's. Now whenever someone unexpected comes in all my students (eating separately from the third graders) turn to see who it is.
Fred, who seems to know a bit more about the world than is healthy for a boy of ten, turns to the boy sitting next to him and says, "You know what fruit I like best?" The other boy shook his head. Fred replies, "Watermelons." The other boy looked confused, but I wasn't.
It took all I had not to burst out laughing while I was telling him that I understood perfectly well what he was talking about and that he needed to knock it off this instant.
3 years ago