Stuff People Say To Teachers

Mamacita says:  I only wish I could include the really great stuff, but until some people are dead, that wouldn’t be appropriate.  And you all know me:  ever appropriate.  Then again, if they continue to annoy me, I might even post pics.

lazy studentFrom students:

Does this count?
Will this be on the test?
How will I ever use this in real life? (Actually, I love and welcome this question!)
Will this go on my grade?
How many points do I have to get to pass?
How many questions do I have to answer to pass?
You’re going to drop my lowest grades, right?
Can I turn this in next week instead of tomorrow?
I’m having a bad week; can I take a pass on this?
If I bring a note from my mom/doctor/neighbor/lawyer/random friend, can my absence be excused?
I’m going to Cancun the week before spring break; that’s cool, right?
Can I have a list of everything I missed while I was in Cancun?
I’m too upset to deal with this today; I’ll do it next time, ‘k?
I’m just not in the mood for learning stuff right now.
I didn’t have time to do the reading/writing/research.
How about my spray tan, right?
I brought you a sea shell from Cancun; anything happen while I was out?
Are we doing anything in class today?
Are we doing anything interesting/important/worth my time today?
Can you tell me which week would be best for me to miss for vacation?  Spring Break comes too late/early to do me any good.
Can’t you just give me the two points?  TWO POINTS, man!
I can’t play ball tomorrow night because of you!
This class is unreasonably hard; NOBODY is passing. (Everybody is passing but you.)
Why are you failing me?
What’s my grade?
How am I doing in this class?
Were we supposed to keep our returned papers? Oops.
We have a syllabus? Is there anything important on it?
I don’t have time to check my school email every day!  (On Facebook 24/7)
How am I supposed to know what to bring to class every day?  (book)
Just a minute; I’m updating my status.
Just a minute; I’m harvesting my pink roses.
Just a minute; I have to pin something.
Hold on; I’m talking to someone online.
I don’t believe in homework.
How can one test change my grade like that?
Where can I find my grades? (semester almost over)
We had homework?
Can you look over these essays before I turn them in?
Mom says not to count me tardy because it was her fault.
Here’s a note from my mom excusing me from homework because we had company.
Mom says to tell you I’ll turn in my work after the weekend instead of today.
Mom says I’m excused from today’s test and that I’ll take it later.
My mom wants you to call her tonight.
My mom wants you to email her every day.
My mom wants you to write down my assignments every day.
My mom thinks you make me work too hard.
My mom says you should be home at 7:00 tonight so she can call you.
My mom says you just don’t like cheerleaders.
But I can’t do this tonight – there’s a big game tomorrow!
I have to leave class early.
Why are you messing up my financial aid?
I was in class most of the time; I should get a pass for that!
I’m paying for this class, so I can skip if I want without penalty!
You’re working for me, you know.
I need to take this call.
I need to take this call, too.
I need to reply to this text.
I need to reply to this text, too.
I absolutely refuse to turn off my phone during the test.
Whass rong wit my grammerz?
You got a pencil I kin use?
I don’t got my books yet. (semester almost over)
When is this class over?
Oh, was I late?

Let me sum up: Everything I say, do, need, or think is excused/supplied/rationalized, right? No obligations on my part whatsoever.

helicopter mom, overprotective mommyFrom Parents:

Can’t you make an exception for my child?
How can you live with yourself after benching my son?
Why are you failing my child?
We’re taking the kids out of school for two weeks to go to Cancun. Please give me a list of everything they’ll be missing.
I hope you’re happy now that you’ve made my child miss the big game.
I hope you’re satisfied.
Billy gets his math anxiety from me; I hated math, too.
Billy is just like his dad; neither of them can spell “cat!”
Like I tell the kids every night, some teachers just aren’t very interesting.
Billy is very sensitive and mustn’t be required to do anything that upsets him.
Billy has anger management problems; please don’t ask him to participate or work.
Please remove everything from your classroom walls; Billy is easily overstimulated.
I took the liberty of re-arranging your classroom so Billy would be more relaxed.
I told Billy not to worry about your assignments; his father and I will see to it that he passes.
Your assignment goes against our family’s belief system, so Billy won’t be doing it.
Your assignment is too hard for Billy, so he won’t be doing it.
We told Billy he could choose five words from your list of 20. He’ll be getting the same evaluation, too, we are assuming.
Our Billy just isn’t a speller, so we told him he didn’t have to take the test.
Our Billy has trouble with writing, so we told him he didn’t have to do your assignment.
Our Billy was extra tired last night, so we told him he didn’t have to do his homework.
Our Billy was up late last night, so we told him he didn’t have to come to school until noon. What did he miss in your class?
We had a church function last night that lasted until almost ten, so we told Billy not to worry about your class today.
Billy and Bobby are twins, so we will insist that whatever Billy gets, Bobby gets, too.
Our child would NEVER do that.
Our child would never say that.
Our child is NOT a bully.
Our child is a sweet, innocent little boy.
I see no reason why our 7-year-old Bonnie shouldn’t wear pants with “juicy” across the rear if all her friends have them.
Cheerleading is the most important thing on earth to our child right now, and your class WILL NOT do anything to endanger that.
Sports are Billy’s priority right now. I’m sure you understand.
Billy will be getting an athletic scholarship, so we’ve told him not to worry about his academic classes.
My brother-in-law is on the school board.
We’ll need you to be in your classroom at 5:15 p.m. for a meeting.
I hoped I’d find you here before class started! Can we talk for a minute?
I’m sure you don’t mind eating your lunch in your classroom so we can talk.
Billy says you told him his answer was incorrect. Is that true?
Billy says his free speech was challenged; is that true?
Billy’s jackknife was confiscated; I’d like it back NOW.
How dare you jeopardize Billy’s self esteem by expecting work out of him?
You do understand that you’re a public SERVANT, right?
You will see to it that Billy passes this class, you hear me?

And the good stuff?

When students work hard, when parents encourage and require that, and when both say please & thank you.  This is important even YEARS later.

To these parents, teachers all over the sentient universe thank you from the bottoms of their hearts.


Teachers are not perfect, but then again, neither are parents.  Many teachers ARE parents; we understand.  Really, we do.  We also understand that good parents back off and make the student do the work.  And all the lessons aren’t about the subject.

The job of the student is to show up, work hard, think out of the box, challenge the status quo, behave, be nice, be respectful, and be responsible for his/her own actions and other responsibilities.

The job of the teacher is to help the student understand how to do/be all those things and more.  Good teachers know that the ability to make connections is one of the main keys to learning.

The job of the parent is to stand by the student, support and nurture him/her, and step back. The stepping back is the most important, and the hardest.

A person of pretty much any age who has never been expected to reap the consequences of his/her own actions is not an educated person, or even a person fit or worthy to fulfill his/her own destiny. A parent who holds an umbrella over a child’s head so those consequences don’t hit him/her is not doing a good job of parenting. And the best teacher in the universe, faced with a classroom full of brick walls, bred by brick walls, or full of insulated, over-protected babies hovered over by whirring, interfering helicopters, or populated by kids who expect exceptions, gifts, and unearned privileges, is going to be gridlocked, foiled, and barred from doing his/her best with these poor kids.  Oh, and evaluated poorly because of it, too.

Learning is not supposed to be easy. It never was supposed to be easy. It requires WORK, and if a student isn’t willing to work, and if his/her parents aren’t willing to require the student to work, stuff ain’t happening.

Now, let us all open our dictionaries and look up “lazy.”

P.S.  I’ve actually had parents tell me to “dumb down” things so their kid won’t have to work hard to learn it.  Did I mention up there that genuine learning isn’t supposed to be easy?  When it is, that’s great!  But not everything important is easy!  In fact, few important things are!

P.P.S.  Do these people annoy me?  Oh, heck, no.  I love idiots.

P.P.P.S.  That last comment up there?  It was a lie.

I once had an 8th grader who mother was in our building constantly.  She dropped her off in the morning, came inside with her, helped her organize her backpack, and stood in the hall watching for an hour or more.  She came back at lunch and ate with her darling.  She was in the building again a good hour before the end of the day, waiting by her daughter’s locker with a look of almost scary longing on her face.  When the last bell rang, this woman was so glad to see her child that she clapped her hands and jumped up and down.  She helped the child unload her backpack and re-load it for the evening.  Then she and the child went from classroom to classroom, asking the teachers for a recap on the day’s lessons and all the homework assignments.  Y’all really don’t need to know the nickname we gave this mother.

This was a 14-year-old student, of normal intelligence and social skills.  The humiliation kicked in after a couple of months, but Mommy came, anyway.  When the girl started refusing to leave the cafeteria table where she was sitting with her friends, Mommy started eating with the teachers.

The saddest thing of all?  She wasn’t the only parent doing stuff like this.  And when we tried to tell them it was inappropriate, we were told that if we objected, it must be because we didn’t WANT parents to know what was going on.  And it was, yes, said in THAT tone of voice.

Yeah, I was so upset, I almost dropped my vial of goat blood.

Also?  I might be in a mood tonight.

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