My friends at school call me the passive/aggressive queen. I know being passive/aggressive isn't always a good thing. But when dealing with annoying parents or administrators, it sure comes in handy. I wasn’t always like this. I had the passive part down pat, but when I began my career – and for the next eighteen years, no one would have ever called me aggressive in any way.
Then I grew up. My protective partner retired, and I was forced to stand up for myself. Fortunately, that was about the time I began blogging. The joy of writing and support I got from my friends here, not to mention my closeness with Nick made me a whole new person. My current partners can’t picture the wimpy me who always kept her mouth shut and never, ever wanted anyone to be upset with her.
It was that last boss that I had that really helped me hone my passive/aggressive skills and I haven’t needed them nearly as much now that he’s gone. But Thursday morning I received an email from a parent and I just couldn’t help myself. I’m posting the mother’s email and my response. Names were changed to protect the stupid.
Little Precious explained to me why she has an F in your Social Studies class. She said that she was talking when she finished a test and you took the test from her and gave her a zero. Because she was talking during a test I asked her where she sits in your classroom and she told me that she doesn't sit close to you. This was something that we discussed during the 123 plan meeting. I said that sitting close to each teacher would be better for her. She would pay attention and be less likely to misbehave. Preferential seating is written on her 123 plan under classroom aides. Is this not something that you have to follow? It is my understanding that her seat is close to the teacher in every other class she has.
Dear Idiot parent,
Little Precious’ choice to talk with another student while the test was still in progress and she still had her test at her seat was her choice and had nothing to do with where she was seated.
Preferential seating means that the student needs to be placed in the best seating for that student. For some students this is at the back and slightly isolated for them to concentrate and do their best work. For students with serious behavior problems it’s often best for the student, and the safety of the class, that they sit right next to the teacher. I felt the best place for Little Precious was on the other side of the room away from my less well behaved students and in the front half of the room so that I keep her attention well. Since she had a B last nine weeks I feel that this seating was working well. Her current seat is closer to the front than last nine weeks and closer to where I often stand when I teach. However, since I often move around the room as I teach it’s hard to say.
I will move Little Precious right next to my desk for the next six and a half days I’ll be teaching. If this is not where you prefer her to sit, please take it up the teacher who will take over the class when I retire.
Slightly Pissed Teacher
The next day I had a reply from the mother:
I know that it was Little Precious' choice to talk during the test I never said that it wasn't but where she was sitting had a lot to do with it. I also know exactly what preferential seating is, I did not need you to tell me. I was just asking you a question about the 123 plan. I will make sure that her plan is revised.
I think that the three page paper she has to write to bring her grade back up is a little extreme for a sixth grader so I'm letting her decide on whether or not to do it.
Because I only have a few days left I decided not to let it go - I've done that too many times when I really wanted to say more.
My reply :
I agree it should be Little Precious' decision. I told her that when I gave her the chance to improve her grade. The other two students had ask for this chance to bring their grades up, so I only thought it was fair to offer it to Little Precious too. These others brought in the 2 1/2 to 3 pages the next day. Neither seemed to think it was excessive. There is no requirement at all for Little Precious to do this. It's totally up to her.
I know I should have probably let it go - but darn it felt good to simply tell the truth, reasonably politely, and not worry that it will come back to bite you in the ass.