Candid Teacher Admits: I feel validated after my parent-teacher meeting today.
Today I had a meeting that I have been dreading for a week. I had to meet with a particularly testy (putting it gently) parent who thinks everyone else needs to fix her son but her. Let’s not mention that she lets him have the run of the house and is unwilling to try any suggested strategy for a substantial amount of time. No no, everyone else is to blame. Of course.
This parent went over my head to the director of the Child Study Team (CST) to have her son evaluated for ADHD and told us that he needs to be in a smaller class with teachers who are used to teaching children with ADHD. He has not been diagnosed or treated for this disorder, and he does not appear to have it (though I cannot legally diagnose this, as I am not a doctor).
The first ten minutes of the meeting the parent attacked the school and me for not doing enough for her son. After her tirade, the guidance counselor, three members of the CST, behaviorist, and myself explained that we do not see severe behavioral or academics difficulty. Though there are concerning behaviors and her son is struggling with the curriculum, he has made significant improvement. Two of the CST members and the behaviorist observed her son and they agreed that he did not seem to have any overwhelmingly concerning behaviors that would merit their involvement at this time.
After the meeting, the CST members and behaviorist told me I did so well staying clam and presenting myself professionally; especially considering this particluar parent. When a reader commented on a previous blog post that working with parents could bring great motivation, I dismissed it with a, “Yeah, right.” But now I get it. I will continue to do my utmost with this child, knowing that I’m giving him all I can, regardless of whether or not his parent sees it.
I will not take this parent’s attacks personally, and I will become a better teacher because of it, as I already have.