Teachers have tough jobs. Dozens of students, ever changing curricula, low pay, and long days. But throw in crazy parents and their ridiculous requests, and all of a sudden keeping you cool may be harder than brain surgery!
Check out these 23 Reddit teachers who share some of the craziest reasons parents have contacted them.
1. He’s not gay
I’m an assistant school counsellor. We had a furious parent call us several times and accuse us of turning her son gay. The calls stopped after he got a classmate pregnant.
2. No doubt here
I’ve had a parent complain to me about her child. Her daughter was doing really well, 90+ grades and consistent effort in classwork and homework.
Me: [Student] puts a lot of thought and effort into her work.
Mom: She sucks up to you?
Me: No, she wants to do well and be successful. That being said, we’d like to improve her grammar a bit.
Mom: I knew it, she’s stupid. Doesn’t do anything. She will fail.
Me: Uh, no . . . just needs a little more rigor in this department.
Mom: She’s such a disappointment.
And every once in a while I’ll just get a complaint from her…. her complaining TO me about her child. Her kid’s a joy and I’ve been so much nicer to her since I met this lady.
This student is being helped by our fabulous guidance department. I take care to affirm her effort whenever possible, and assure her that she’s doing great. It may not offset the negativity her mother imposes on her, but the other teachers and I will make sure she doesn’t doubt her ability to do well.
I had a parent complain because I played a CD of classical Persian flute music one day in class. The class was World Languages and Cultures and I played a different CD from around the world every day as they came into class. They thought I was sympathizing with terrorists and should “only teach American stuff”.
4. “Cut him some slack”
I gave the kid a D on a homework. Parent contacted me to complain that I was picking on him.
Even though the parent agreed that most of the answers that he gave were wrong but I should have “cut him some slack.”
5. That really is so stupid
I used to teach phonics (basic reading skills) to kindergarten-aged kids. One parent came in after class, irate, and demanded to know why I had taught the er/ir/ur diphthong before the oi/oy diphthong. He didn’t want his kid to be able to read the word “girl” before being able to read “boy”. Kept going on about how “boy” was just more important and common, as a word, and teaching kids less frequent words before more frequent ones would slow down reading progress and was bad pedagogically, and so on.
In hindsight, I’m impressed that he managed to squeeze so many justifications into something so pointlessly stupid.
6. The Star
One mother threatened to yank her daughter out of the school if this student were not given the starring role in the Christmas concert to sing “O Holy Night”. (An incident previously noted.)
The girl had made it perfectly clear to me, the faculty and classmates that she realized she wasn’t musically qualified for the part, neither did she want to do it.
It was entirely her Mom – determined that her daughter should be “the star” of the school, no matter what.
7. School Bullies
There was a mom who was mad that we wouldn’t let her son be in the class that he wanted to be in. Her son was in grade two, but for the first two or so months of the school year he would go to the kindergarten classroom everyday. We’re not a big school, so there’s only one grade two class.
Developmentally there was no reason he should still be in the kindergarten class, he just kept going there because he liked the toys better and when he was in there he would make fun of the younger students because he was older and smarter than the rest of them and would hit them if they were ‘stupid’.
When we told the mom what was going on and that we needed her to support this transition she thought we were doing this just because we didn’t want her son to be happy at school. We finally got him to go to the correct class (my class), but the troubled behavior (hitting, swearing, making messes, being purposefully distracting, disrespectful and generally inappropriate) still continues, and the mom’s ideas that we’re picking on him and are being mean to him still continue.