Monday, November 8, 2010

The Debut of Movie Monday: Cheerleader Coach vs. The Parent

I have an announcement to make, everyone I have an announcement! I think I am going to post an xtranormal video every other Monday, hence the name Movie Monday!

Today I am going to focus on an exchange I had with a parent during my first year of teaching. Remember when I said I would tell you why I just couldn’t cut it as a teacher? Well, why rehash that in a blog post when I can make it funny in an xtranormal video. (Anything is funny with those awesome little actors and voices, right?)

So let me set up the scene: I coached seventh grade cheerleading my first year of teaching. It was . . . challenging. The girls were, well, very confident with them. And the parents were, how can I say this nicely, uppity? No, that’s not it. Bossy? Not quite either. My-princess-can-do-no-wrong-toddlers-and-tiaras-crazy? Yes, that is more like it.

The demographic of the school is mostly white, middle to upper-middle class students that harbor a great sense of entitlement.

This is key because the incident involved an African-American, special-ed student.

So without further ado, I bring to you Movie Monday:

End scene.

I was stunned that she had the audacity to wag her finger in my face. It was my first year of teaching, I was only 22 years old, and I was scared shitless that this lady was acting so aggressive towards me. For upholding school policy.

And just so you know, I did get a talking to about not using the word “shut up.” The cheerleader and her mother in question, to the best of my knowledge, were never reprimanded.

Yikes, right?

Got any stories of injustice in the workplace you’d like to share in this public forum?


Anonymous said...

Oh Lordy! I about peed my pants at the body language of the "characters"....not to mention the mom's boobs! Sadly, as a fellow teacher, I have many such stories. I think the most infuriating is when parents support their child's poor behavior and academic performance with excuses or blindly backing them. To me, that's the ultimate injustice...letting a child think the world revolves around them and there will always be someone who will cover for them. These kids enter the world ill equipped to deal with reality.


Erin Janda Rawlings said...

I totally agree! So when are you going to start posting your experiences in an xtranormal video?

New York Mama said...

Great Flick! I love it!!! You get so much across with their movements alone!
It's really sad that your "boss", the principle did not back you up with defending & protecting the African American Special Ed student from the cruelty & humiliation that mother's spawn caused him. The cheerleader was obviously in the "wrong". You apologized for your poor choice of words. You basically were trying to stop the cheerleader from her inappropriate behavior & defend the African American student.That was noble.
When my son was in public middle school in NYC, he was very blessed to be in a school that was so diversified, they arranged each class to have an almost equal amount of African Americans, Hispanics, Asians, & Caucasions. There were wealthy & not, also some openly gay students & teachers, as well as spec ed.
I was fortunate to be voted in as a member of a committee each middle school year that consisted of 4 parents, 4 teachers, principle, counselor, some other staff, etc.We helped form school policies, etc.
If ANYTHING could be interpreted as intolerance, at the very least the principle would take the offending student/s and the "victim", point out the inappropriate behavior, give everyone an opportunity to talk, & decide an action from there. IF it meant that the parents of the offending student/s had to be called in (because he couldn't reach the kid, etc)the principle made it very clear what was or was not acceptable.
It wasn't done in a crazy making way either. Some incidences, kids are learning how to be in the world & the teachers or principal would help guide them. In your case it was the Mother who needed a "talking too", explaining the rules and intolerance. Your principle should've had your back & dealt with the real issue, instead of let this Mother use you as a distraction to the true & hurtful offense!

Erin Janda Rawlings said...

Right on, New York Mama!

Anonymous said...

Count me in as a fan of Movie Mondays!!!!! Where did you get the voice from? It's the same as my GPS :0) Kudos to all teachers out there. You definitely put up with ALOT!

Mom et al said...

Don't you wish you could insert your 33 year old self in there to handle the situation? I am convinced that with age and motherhood comes affective badassery. Nice flick! I might have to try that sometime!

Erin Janda Rawlings said...

Anonymous,thanks so much!

Mom et al, totally wish I could do that. Maybe I'll make a movie of how I would handle it now. And the word badassery - LOVE IT!

Annie said...

As a fellow teacher, I feel for you! (Or the 22-year-old you, rather)

As we speak, that mom is at her daughter's workplace wagging her finger at her daughter's boss and letting him know that HER daughter can do or say anything SHE wants!
...or not.

She is actually getting a mani/pedi with her daughter since she can't stay employed, still lives at home and therefore has so much free time.

Erin Janda Rawlings said...

You know,Annie, I think that you are right on that second one. Last I knew, the mom actually did work in a salon, too. What grade do you teach?

Lessons in Life and Light said...

Hahaha! I'm seeing these movies a lot lately and I LOVE them! So hilarious. Have you seen the mommy wars one or the tea party one? They're awesome.

Erin Janda Rawlings said...

The mommy wars - are you talking about mompetition?? Because that was hilarious! I'll have to check out the tea party one!