I was doing so well, too! But, I dropped the ball yesterday and instead of propping my eyelids open to enlighten you all with more of my inane jabber, I fell dead asleep at about 8:04 last night. On the 27th day- it's like watching someone with a winning streak in poker bet it all on a pair of twos and lose it all! Ok, that's a bit reaching, but you get the idea.
Here's a question for you teacher-types: Do your schools have some kind of protocol or policy regarding parents coming to observe?
Here's a question for you non-teachers, lest you feel left out: What do you think is reasonable and acceptable with regard to parents coming to observe a classroom?
Here's why I ask: Today I was in the middle of teaching and I got a phone call from the office. "There's a parent here who would like to come and observe your class." To which I responded, "you have got to be kidding. No phone call, no appointment?" The secretary responded with, "Well, we're going to have her talk to someone before she comes down, because she's getting a little belligerent..". I could hear the woman in the background- yelling about taking an interest in her child's education, blah, blah, blah. So, I said, sure, send her down, why not?
The woman in question is the mother of a frightfully average to below average student of mine. He is a senior, and has a whopping 14 on his ACTs (out of 36, for those of you SAT people.) He vacillates between a B- and a C+ in my Spanish 4 class, which is pretty good for him. But, his parents seem to think that his C+ in my Spanish class is messing up his gradepoint average and will interfere with his ability to go to college. They called for a conference last term and I gently tried to tell them that he was really working hard and to the best of his ability. Is there a nice way to tell them that their son's quite average, he's not a real go-getter and that they should take the C+ gracefully, because quite frankly, he's not going to do much better than that?
She did come observe my explanation and review of the present subjunctive (I'm sure she was like "what. the. hell. is the short lady saying?") The class is huge, so there are no extra chairs- we got her a place to sit, and I did ask if she'd rather sit by her son. Of course I did that on purpose- I'm sure he would rather have dug out his eyeballs with a ballpoint pen than have his mommy sit by him in class.
I don't mean to sound like I don't ever want parents to come observe my class, but how about a phone call, an appointment, a heads up? I don't have anything to hide, but what if we had been doing something completely mundane, like taking a test, or watching a movie? What if she would have disrupted my classroom? Does she have the right to do that?
Oh, and just so everyone knows? Girls who sit with their purses in their laps, with one hand in the purse and keep looking down? Aren't fooling anyone into thinking they aren't im-ing their friends.