Monday, April 20, 2009

Parent concerns and a stinky visitor

One of the most important facets of my job is listening to parents and students. Some weeks I receive as many as one call a day. Other weeks, I don’t get any calls. One call this week stood out and I share it with you to illustrate a point.

The parent began by saying she was quite concerned with her son’s grade (an F) in a core class. The parent expressed serious reservations about the boy’s performance in the class and shared information with me that the child had told her about the teacher and class. She felt the teacher was targeting her son and said she was considering asking to have him moved to another teacher. I listened and then asked “Have you visited with the teacher about your concerns?” The mother allowed as how she had not because she believed her child’s statement about his grades and other issues. I asked if she wanted me to meet with the teacher. “No but you can have her call me if she wants to,” she replied. I passed the message along to the teacher who promptly called the mother.

Lo and behold, the child had not told the mother the entire story. The child had a B, not an F. And the other concerns the mother had heard about were also not as bad as the child had led his mom to believe. In the end, the parent and teacher agreed to work closely together to help the boy succeed. A partnership was forged for the benefit of the child. Thank heavens the mother didn’t just rely on adolescent misinformation but had the gumption to call me and complain. And thank goodness the wise teacher was courageous enough to call an unhappy parent and respond to her concerns. The moral: don’t believe everything you hear and if something sounds funny or weird or wrong, call me or call the teacher and check it out.

On an unrelated note, we removed an unwelcome visitor from Taylor this week. This fellow had taken up residence under one of our portables. And when he was removed on Tuesday, he made a real stink! Can you guess who it was? Yep, a skunk.

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