I had a conflict with a parent today. Sort of. She was a nice woman over the phone, but beneath each nice remark, there was a cutting critical remark. Her daughter clearly does not like me. I'm not looking forward to the meeting next week with her. I found myself getting angry with her over the phone, even asking her once not to interrupt me, with a "please," of course. Her daughter has done next to nothing this year, and I'm hearing from her for the first time in March, despite requesting conferences on her last two report cards.
At school this year, parental contact is nearly impossible. I have no phone in my room. Today, there was a fight in the hallways, and the only way for me to get any security guards to help was to sprint down to the office and get them. I shudder to think about whether it was a real emergency.
To call parents at home, we must use the English department phone. However, the line out was inadvertently cut a few weeks ago by custodial services, and now there is no way to call out from that office. Therefore, I had to go to the main office, and speak in the very public area there while I had a 25-minute, intermittedly angry phone call with a parent.
A few times this year, I've used my cell phone to call parents, but my cell phone gets poor service at school, and I got tired of the dropped calls. Therefore, I've made very little parental contact this year. It sucks, because in past year, I've prided myself on this. I've been known to call a parent of a problem student in front of the whole class, and make the kid talk to the parent right there.
When the new contract this year is negotiated, I wish this would be written in - that the school should provide a convenient line out for teachers to administer parent contact. It's just not fair to expect parental contact and then not give teachers the access to do it.
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