Parent Meeting Purgatory
As a teacher, I have mixed views about the start of the school year. You see, all you other parents cheer while sending your kids to me to spend their days. No matter how much I prepare, no how much experience I have under my belt, I am still surprised each and every year. By parent meetings. Just when I think I have seen and heard it all, September slaps me in the face with a reminder of how insane some parents are.
Dealing with parents as a teacher is a freaking nightmare.
Kids are easy in comparison. The crazy questions from the adults. The late night phone calls and e mails. the parent meetings that never seem to end, where the same questions are asked and answered over and over and over and over again. The playground politics that we adults have never really grown out of. At least kids are lovable, most of the time.
I smile, I nod, I spend more time than I am getting paid for dealing with parents. As the years pass, I find it more and more exhausting than the previous year. Now as a parent, attending my first parent teacher meeting sitting on the other side of the table. I seem to be suffering from some unresolved trauma. Teacher PTSD.
It's my son's teacher's first year teaching at this school. She confessed to us last night that she was feeling a bit nervous. In my head, I was like: "Don't say that! Don't show you are weak! These people will eat you alive!" And so it began.
This led to a mother announcing that her kid most likely won't eat the school lunch (lunch is provided at our school). What does the teacher plan to do about it?
Before the teacher could answer, another parent chimed in that her child can't wipe their own butt after using the toilet. keep in mind we are in Turkey, where kids are a bit more molly-coddled than I am used to dealing with in the US. I draw the line at ass-wiping after 4 years old, though. What did this newbie teacher think about that? She seemed kind of dazed and started stuttering.
Oh honey, it's only gonna get worse from here, I tried to send her this message telepathically.
She was saved by the entrance of the gym teacher, whose last name literally translates to "Big Voice." It was appropriate. He left us with our ears ringing, poop discussions forgotten. For now.
The meeting went on another eternity, ı started playing Candy Crush and taking deep, meditative breaths. I have no idea what else was said. I had to tune out for the sake of survival.