school

5 teachers on when the parents misbehaved more than their students.

The parent-teacher relationship can often be a difficult one to navigate.

Whilst some parents and teachers are able to form trusting and productive connections that prove to be beneficial for the students, often times those on the perimeters of the playgrounds can generate the greatest conflicts.

It’s even been the premise for one of the most talked about TV shows this year, Big Little Lies – based on the Liane Moriarty novel by the same name.

So when Mamamia reached out to teachers asking what their worst experience with parents looked like, it’s no surprise we were inundated with stories.

Here are five teachers on when the parents misbehaved more than their students.

Kia

“What gets to me is being treated like a service not a human. I remember having a dad walk into my classroom for a parent interview, sit down in the chair and let out a big sigh.

“We were so disappointed our son got you this year, we really wanted him to have a male teacher. We tried to change him out of the class but can’t, so it looks like we have the young female teacher – we’ll have to try to work with you I guess,” he said.

The man had never met me! So many parents have asked me “Do you have children?” Or “Do you have boys of your own?” And when I told them ‘no’ (this was before I did have children), they would just shake their heads and say something like “Ah you won’t get it then.”

I occasionally point out I’ve taught way more boys than they ever parented! I also had a mum yell at me because the text book she paid for had a few pages incomplete by the end of the year – her child was absent a lot and sometimes kids learn a certain thing way better without filling in the text book. I also had a mum yell at me in front of the whole corridor of parents, students and teachers because her son left his shoes at the swimming pool during class swimming lessons and she didn’t have time to go get them.

There’s a lot of stories and they build up on top of the hugely emotional job that is teaching and can really get to you! I just want parents to trust me and treat me with kindness – I’m just another imperfect human like them.”

Side note – These are all the things teachers never say. Post continues after video.

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Hannah

I’m a daycare educator and I had a little boy who could be ‘naughty’ at times. He was also a mega klutz. One day he literally walked into a tree, kissed it and walked away with blood dripping from his lip as he’d kissed a splinter. Things happen right? Nope. The mother held me personally responsible, and cornered me when I handed her the incident report and screamed at me for not taking care of her kid.

I’d been at this centre less than a week at this point. The yelling lasted for 25 minutes until another parent rescued me. The ‘C’ word was used. Multiple times.

Yvette

I once saw the mother of one of my Year Eight students throw a full coke can out of their car window at another female student their daughter had been having a disagreement with. It was after school at pick up and the student, who was shocked by the mum’s behaviour, was taken to first aid.

The mother felt her daughter was being unfairly treated and she had a history of yelling abuse at staff and kids. She was unapologetic. She did get in trouble and was made to have meetings with the school’s leadership.

Francesca

There were two students, about nine years old, who did not get along most days.

The mum thought her daughter was getting bullied, but really her daughter was antagonising this boy who was dealing with a lot of trauma from his home life – so he was easy to set off.

I believe as soon as the bell went at the end of each day and when I wasn’t supervising, something would happen between them often. Whether it was his fault or her fault, it was hard to tell because the girl would deny any wrongdoing (even if a teacher witnessed) and the boy was neurotic.

This particular incident happened after school, when the girl was running towards her mum near the carpark while being chased by the boy.

“If you come near my daughter again I will f*cking kill you” she yelled at the boy. Another parent came forward to report the language the mother used. The Mum was then given a warning. They tried to sit both parents in a meeting to discuss further what happened, but the father of the boy refused to.

The parent who gave the verbal threat was still able to wait outside the classroom to pick up her child.

Hugh

I had a meeting with a father of one of my Year Six students who I was worried about. When I mentioned that his 11-year-old was always tired and falling asleep in class and asked what time she went to bed, he replied with “How am I supposed to know? I go to work in the morning so when my bedroom door is closed at 10pm, how am I meant to know what she’s doing?”


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