Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Getting the Last Word

I did end up talking to Josie's principal yesterday when I went over to get the kids. I was running way early, and was the first person in the pick-up line, so I figured I'd pop in and see if I could at least make an appointment for Thursday, when I would be in the school next. The secretary, who goes to our church and we are very friendly with, told me that the principal was in the cafeteria, and I should go and talk to her because she would more than likely talk to me right away. Sure enough, when I went into the cafeteria, she was talking to a table of students; when she finished, I asked her if she had a minute, and she said, 'absolutely', and we went into her office.

I have to stop here and say that I am very grateful that she is the principal at this school. Despite a few oddities (making everyone stand in the pouring rain that night), she obviously cares about the students and makes an effort to know all their names. Even better, I know when I walk through the door into her office, she will be respectful to me as well as to her employees, neither treating me as an intruder / accuser that should be deflected or 'selling out' her staff. I know that she has to be tired of people going in there to complain about Mrs. Teacher, but still, she never shows it, and I respect that.

Once we got into her office, I told her what had been going on, and how I was upset not only with the event itself, but also with the possibility that this is the reason that I've heard complaints from other parents that the kids' grades are going down. After I finished laying the whole thing out on the table, she said very seriously that she agreed completely that this was an inappropriate punishment, and that she would take care of it. She asked that I send her an email so she could have it in writing, and also that if I had any other concerns, that I should write an additional letter with them in it.

To me, this sounds very much like she's looking for documentation to put in Mrs. Teacher's file, and that she knows that there are other problems that she would like someone to document for her. I hope so, because if this woman still has a job at this school next year, I will be sorely disappointed. There, I said it. I want her to get fired.

I wrote the email when I got home, and I'll put my favorite part here:

"I attempted to address this problem with Ms. Teacher by returning the paper to her with her comment circled and a comment if my own saying, 'This is ridiculous - work is work, and behavior is behavior. If she needs to be punished, then punish her, but her work stands.' I received no response. Josie told me that she looked at the paper, said, 'Oh', and that was all. Perhaps I could have been more polite, but to be honest, I have never received or witnessed politeness in that classroom, and so am not as inclined to be kind as I once was. The lack of response I received only bolsters that opinion."

The very first thing the next morning, I got an email from the principal saying, 'Thank you. I will address this with Mrs. Teacher.' WHOOT!

I haven't heard anything from anyone since yesterday morning, when this email arrived. I 'm scheduled to go into the classroom tomorrow afternoon, and am wondering what's going to happen. I mean, the last time I complained, it wasn't specifically about her, but rather than she needed some help in there, which, if she had known about it, could have been construed as a helpful comment, really. This time, I have complained specifically about her actions, and also basically called her rude, in writing, to her boss. She will know that my email will be in her file. I will probably have been the cause of her getting chewed out. So... will she confront me? Will she actually *speak* to me? I can't imagine that she would have a conversation about this in front of the children, especially since it makes her look like an ass. Will I just feel daggers being thrown from her eyes? And how will I feel? I'm having a surprising lack of writer's remorse. Usually, I would be feeling petrified to face this person, but you know what? Bring it on. If she actually tries to get into this with me tomorrow, so be it. At least now she knows that if she tries to fuck with my kid, I have no qualms about making a stink, so she hadn't better even think about it.

So, who's going to have the last word? I think I would have to say ME.


creative kerfuffle said...

yeah! i'm glad you had the talk w/ the principal and it does sound like she's looking for documentation. thank goodness. really, that woman should not be teaching. you did the right thing and i think you did it in a very respectful, appropriate way. and if the teacher does shoot daggers at you, it's not really any different than her behavior toward you before. plus, you are in the right!

Not Your Aunt Bea said...

I hope you DO get her fired. She is awful and should not be teaching. Way to go!

Kristi said...

Your situation makes me so thankful for Kaeli's fabulous teacher!

I think what you said in your email was perfect.

Kudos to you for saying something!!!

Cherish said...

You go girl!!

Marie Green said...

I think the fact that she doesn't even speak to you when you come in to VOLUNTEER your time is another thing you could point out. I always hate for anyone to loose their job, but on the other hand, it sounds like she is sorely mis-suited for this position and would probably therefore be happier elsewhere. I mean, if you suck at your job, somewhere deep down you know it, right? And a person couldn't find fulfillment in something they are terrible at, right?

Man, I'm glad you know the ropes enough to handle this situation. If this were my kids' teacher, I'm so new to having school-aged kids that I'm not sure I would even know where to start!

d e v a n said...

Go you!!