Monday, June 18, 2007

Stealth teacher

So I've been trying to get one of my daughter's high school teachers on the phone, and this teacher has acknowledged to my daughter that she knows I want to talk to her, and yet after two attempts at contact in two different portions of the school year I have received zero phone calls (or e-mails, though I gave my e-mail address in case she'd rather not speak).

I was trying to figure out whether I really wanted to get the guidance counselor involved, as is the parent contact protocol; try again to reach the teacher informally; or just give up and hope for the best. But then a funny thing happened.

Someone called asking to speak with my daughter. Since my daughter's been having some problems with kids teasing her at school, and a recent suspicious phone call along those lines, I asked who was calling. The caller hesitated and said, "I am calling from the high school." Well, goodie for you. It sounded like a kid telling me they were calling from a location physically at the high school, so I asked again who was calling. And then the voice, faltering again, announced itself to be the teacher I've been trying to reach (and not by name, either, just by job description).

Well, hello!, I said, and launched into a conversation that the teacher had clearly been trying to avoid. We actually had a nice chat before she asked again to talk to my daughter, regarding scheduling for a test make-up. But it struck me as so odd -- why was she avoiding me in the first place? and why, when she was speaking to me directly, was she so reluctant to say who she was? Maybe I didn't sound like a grown-up to her, either. But professionally, when a teacher calls a student's household, would they not announce themselves with name and title?

It's stuff like this that makes me wonder if there's a file somewhere with my name on it and a big red stamp saying "TROUBLE! Do not engage this mom in conversation." Although there are teachers who have dared to do so, and in most cases emerged with their heads still attached. I can be nice! Really!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your post--sometimes I think it's just me! I have lately gotten into the habit of either giving teachers my email or asking for theirs (the district neither posts them, nor requires teachers to use the district email, or any email at all). When we are able to email back and forth, I think things go much more smoothly. This year, however, my son had two teachers who bragged that they "don't do email!"