Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hot For Teacher

More like a little hot under the collar about a teacher, actually.

Last night I had to attend Parent-Teacher conferences. Let me let you in on a little secret. When kids are at the Jr. High and High School levels, a teacher requesting a conference is never a good thing.

Even if the teacher signs her name on the request form with a “looking forward 2 seeing u!” alongside a little smiley face, brace yourself, because it’s not going to be good news.

We were greeted by Miss G, my son’s math teacher. I’m not even going to beat around the bush. I think she is a stupendous math instructor, but personally, I don’t like her. At all.

Besides the positively disgusting and nauseatingly large ring through her tongue that she constantly clicks against her teeth, she is Paula Abdul sweet on the surface. Only you just know there’s a Martha Stewart personality ready to run you down with her car simmering right below the candy layer. Neither Paula nor Martha appear on my “people I’d really like to spend any amount of time with” list.

My son, it seems, is “not working up to potential” in Math. He has a “C” and the teacher feels he really could have that “A”.

Here’s another little secret I’ve learned being a mom to four teenagers...“Not working up to potential” is a teacher code phrase meaning “Lady, your kid is lazy.

Yeah, I already knew that, but it’s so nice to be reminded, thank you. We’re working on that as we have been for the last thirteen years. I have yet to find a cure, but I’m hopeful.

The only other teacher who wanted to see us was the Science teacher. She’s much more likeable, although, I think she took one too many hits in the head from a pompon or something on her college cheerleading squad. She’s very nice and I do like her, but she is somewhat of a dingbat.

“HI Mrs. Rock Chick! Nice to see you again! Your son is doing phenomenal in Science Class! I love him. He’s a doll!”

Yes, he is a doll and I adore him, laziness and all, but that certainly can’t be the case, or you wouldn’t have asked me to meet you in this gym that smells like, well, Junior High School boys.

“Yes,” she pulled out a paper and staring for a minute, “I spoke too soon. Your son is actually failing my class, but he’s so honest and has a killer smile!”

Is she taking lessons from Paula Abdul over there at the next table? Your performance sucked but gosh darn it, you are so special and you look beautiful! I think they just throw those things in there so you don’t leave the kid by the side of the road or something.

I’m kidding, of course!

But, failing? Please say it isn’t true. She said there was a large project missing and started to describe the 30 page packet and poster board project. I know he did it because he procrastinated with it to the point that I had to find a 24 hour drug store to purchase the dang board and some glittery markers. Could he have not turned it in?

OHHHHHHHHHHH, wait....wait some more....she’s thinking.....

She remembers him turning it in because of his fabulous artwork on the DNA double helix and remembers being impressed by the research on his packet, because you know, he's usually lazy.

OK, then. Why does my son have an “F” then on something that counts for 40% of his grade? Maybe he didn’t put his name on it? Yeah, that sounds like my kid.

She’s going to look into it and if she can’t find it, she’s going to give him an A. She remembers his work, she was sure of it. OK, good enough. I was outta there and so anxious to get home to see who was getting voted off of American Idol.

As usual, I thought wrong. I came home to a weeping 15 year old daughter who my husband had brought her back home from her band concert. The band concert I had to miss because my son is lazy.

I know it sounds like I’m dissing teachers here, but, really I’m not. The vast majority of my kids teachers are excellent and I totally appreciate the work that they do. I couldn’t do it, nor would I even want to do it.

There’s a couple of them, though, that really should consider another profession, in my opinion.

My 15 year old’s English teacher is one of those. She is crass and cranky on a good day. When she gets really crabby, she assigns these insane projects that are always due the next day.

My Oldest Daughter had her Freshman year, too. To say I dislike this woman is being nice.

Ms. English Teacher got arrested last week on a traffic stop due to some outstanding warrants (huh?), so she’s been extra delightful lately. Last night, my daughter was crying because she had to design a hand drawn (NO COMPUTERS except for text in big letters) poster board depicting dreams of the main character in a book called Bless Me, Ultima.

I have to admit, I’ve never read it. My daughter was wailing because she can’t draw. She really can’t. It’s true.

Mom to the rescue! Pablo Picasso I am not, but I do draw a mean stick figure. Don’t worry, I’ll help you, my honey.

My daughter said that she needed me to draw a church with a pond to the side. Inside that pond needed to be a golden carp that was being stabbed by a man with a big spear. Ohhhhh, and work a dead owl and three ghosts into that sketch, too.

I thought I had some funky dreams.

I sketched away while she wrote her text and designed the poster board. It came out pretty good! I was very proud of myself and went to hit the American Idol tape.

“Mom, that was only ONE dream. We have SEVEN more to draw.”

Seven? No wonder she was crying. Now I wanted to cry, too. We finished just short of 2 AM.

Maybe next time English Teacher gets collared on outstanding warrants, they’ll just keep her locked up, so I can get some rest.



The Mama Bear said...

You know to say I love my kid's teacher would be...
narcissistic :)
One of the reasons we do homeschool though because of the insane teachers that do exist and the absurd pressures kids have put on them now.
You are such an awesome mom to stay up into the wee hours of the morning to save the day!

FRIGGA said...

I agree, teaching is a noble profession. And definitely one that not everyone was meant for. You remind me of my mom. I suck at drawing, and my moms pretty good (although she'll say she sucks at it too) so she used to save me when I had to draw stuff.

At least your kids have learned that important lesson, that in life you have to report to all sorts of different people, and all those will have their own "issues" that they may or may not bring into the picture. 8-\

The Freelance Guru said...

Ah poster making, such an essential skill in this day and age!

Di said...

I hate when teachers assign stuff that requires artistic ability. And let me tell you....I can understand the hell out of a novel or period in history...but I can't and don't want to make a poster about it! Let me write about it, 'kay?

And guess what? A "C" means average. It doesn't mean parent/teacher conference is required. But then again, we are living in a world where everyone HAS to be above average.

Grrr...I hear you. We have been blessed with some good teachers. So we grit our teeth with the bad and try to tell our kids that this is what it will be like in the real world. You will get some great bosses and co-workers and you will get some that make you miserable. Such is life.

JAM said...

Dear JTRC,
Thank you so much for the science fair flashbacks this post caused in me. Both daughters are out of high school and no longer having to do the dreaded science fair any more, but this post wrenched some Post Traumatic Science Fair flashbacks in me, because, as we all know, parents are really the ones that do those things anyway.
Please pass the Xanax.

Your twitching pal,

BookMama said...

Personally, I'd be a little worried (and irritated!) if a teacher signed her note “looking forward 2 seeing u!”. At least it wasn't the English teacher, I guess.