Queen of the Quadratic

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Freshman misconception

A young lady in one of my Geometry classes asked me today if I was her friend. I told her without and ounce of malice that I was not her friend. She was genuinely shocked and acted completely hurt by this.

She asked why I wasn't her friend and I explained that I am her teacher which is very different from being a friend. She asked again, claiming that her mom is her friend and she just couldn't understand why I couldn't be her friend.

I've seen many teachers start their careers with that fatal mistake of trying to be a friend of the students. All of these teachers are no longer teaching. I wonder if this young lady had a few one-year wonder "friend" teachers while in middle school.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


This morning, I had a parent conference scheduled at 8:15. I knew about it since about Thursday last week. Yesterday, I was off-campus to attend a meeting about writing the semester exam for Algebra 2. As we all know, a day out compounds the workload when you return. This parent conference was going to take up most of my morning.

I had already planned for that since I do have 1st period conference. I knew that I would have enough time to prepare for my classes even though I'd lost the entire morning.

After listening to the parents chastising their son for 30 minutes in front of myself and 4 of his other teachers, I was off to get ready for the rest of my day. On my way back, one of the contact teachers stops me in the hall and tells me that I am supposed to be in a meeting for another of my students right that moment. I let her know that I hadn't been informed of this meeting and needed to prepare for my day. I ran off to make my copies while she checked to make sure that I really needed to be there. Then she came back and insisted that I come.

I checked my email while I waited for a grade report to print out for said student and found that they had in fact sent me an email to inform me of the meeting. When was it sent? 8:55 am. When was the meeting? 9:00!!!!!! I was supposed to get this email notification and be at the meeting in FIVE MINUTES!?!?!?!

After school, when I finally caught my breath, I sent her a brief email informing her that I would need a minimum of 24 hours notice before I could attend a conference in the future. She responded thanking me for attending and claiming she had set it up (and therefore somehow informed me) 2 days prior. The email this morning was NOT phrased as though it were a "reminder", but she never once alluded to owning any fault. I guess once the initial scheduling shift is over, the counselors lead a leisurely life and forget that the rest of us are still busy as hell.

The result of the first parent meeting? Kid skipped my class today (again). I tried to call his parents after school to inform them only to get no answer and no answering machine.

Result of parent meeting number 2? Kid is supposed to come in during lunch tomorrow to make up a test she missed (which is the reason she was failing). We'll see what happens.