Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Why I don't miss teaching in the suburbs...

There are things I miss. I miss having the lion's share of my class being on grade level. I miss the hordes of parent volunteers. I miss a well funded PTA.

Tonight though, I heard a mom who gave me flashbacks to the suburban dark side.

My daughter is going to be a muchkin in a local production of the Wizard of Oz. Though it is a local production, it is ambitious. We went to the first cast meeting tonight, and the directors were dynamite.

Because there will be an enormous amount of kids involved in the play, the directors were very specific about expectations of the children's behavior during rehearsals and in the green room. The parents and their children were required to sign a contract that listed the expectations.

After the meeting, I went with my daughter to sign the contract. Those with speaking parts were having an extended meeting with the director. A mom and her daughter stepped next to me at the table to sign.

"Just remember" the mom said, "If the director yells at you, I am pulling you out of the play".

She was saying this rather loud, but I thought maybe she was just trying to reinforce the director's expectations.

"I remember the last play" the mother continued, "when she yelled at the children. I have been in plays before, and directors do not yell at children. Just remember, if she starts yelling again I am pulling you out. No one yells at my children but me. Hmmmph!"

It took everything within me to hold my tongue! EVERY knuckle-headed parent I have ever dealt with as a teacher came flooding to my mind. I silently exited while a song from South Park rolled through my head.

How MANY times, as a teacher, have I had to deal with parents like that? ... I cannot even begin to count. If my daughter said the director had yelled at them, my first question would be, "So what was going on that caused the director to yell? and you better not have been a part of it!"

So, to the mom from this evening, and all the parents out there who perpetually defend their misbehaving children (and for every teacher who held their tongue when they wanted to cut loose).... I dedicate this video:

(If South Park offends you DO NOT push play!!)


societyvs said...

I personally love South Park - I'll have to watch the clip when I get a chance.

Mike L. said...

Perfect clip for the occasion.

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