One of my job duties on most Sunday mornings is to handle “problem” children. I hang out with them and help them be contributing members of the classroom so my supervisor doesn’t loose her mind. Today was no different and my friend of the hour was a usual attendee, she is very familiar with me. She was up to her usual antics, so I carried on business as usual.
We also had a new parent and child visiting, they wanted to see how my supervisor ran things so the parent sat in. This mother was the most disinterested and unconcerned parent ever, seriously. She was looking in her compact mirror, checking her makeup, teeth, hair, etc. Then she broke out the nail file and worked on her already perfect nails while her child just sat there by her, not participating in the discussion of the story with the other children. I didn’t care, my job was my special friend of the hour, not this parent.
My buddy was acting up, she brought candy yet again. In previous weeks, she’s been told no food in the computer lab at all, especially since there isn’t enough for all 20 of the children we had. She followed my directions the first time when I told her to put it away, but of course the candy came back out. I go through this with her ever other week, it’s nothing new and she doesn’t respond to my sweet voice. With Kayla(name changed), you have to get firm and direct. It’s on her file, all the teachers and staff know this, her parents know this, it’s not an unusual occurrence for Kayla to be talked to in such a way. If you don’t, then she will sass back and walk all over you, even hit if she feels so inclined. She has a whole backstory as to why she is this way, but we won’t get into it now. Just know that that’s how she is handled and that’s how she does what she is told. Anyway Kayla’s messy candy came out yet again and so I did what my 11+ years have taught me. I got down to her level, got close to her face, looked her dead in the eyes, took on my “teacher” tone and said “Miss K has told you to put the candy away, and now I’m telling you. Put it away until Daddy comes and gets you or I will take it. Do you understand”? She sassed at me, saying there was enough for everyone. There was 5 pieces left in her bag and 20 children in class, I know God worked a miracle with the fish and bread, but there was no way Kayla could work that kind of miracle with chocolate. I got more firm. “Excuse me, I am your teacher, you are not allowed to talk back to me like that. Put it away NOW or you will lose it. No discussion.” She huffed and stomped in typical Kayla fashion, but she finally put it back into her coat pocket and left it there. We then headed over to the art table and made snowflakes. There was no problem, or so I thought.
About 2 minutes later, the new mother comes over with her child. She asks to see me out in the hall. I figured she had a question about the program, so I excused myself from Kayla and went out into the hall with the charming woman and her daughter.
Snooty Mother:”Are you always here”?
Wonderful Me:”Whenever they need me, yes.”
Mother:”You need to think about your tone. As a loving, concerned parent I don’t appreciate you talking to children like that. I don’t want my child to be yelled at. Treating children badly is never acceptable.”
Me:”I don’t yell, especially at children. I do expect a certain behavior from the children under my care and I will get it. I uphold the rules set forth by my supervisor.”
Mother:”Doesn’t it bother you that a parent is concerned with you being around children? I have to say, I don’t feel right about leaving my child here, ever!”
Me:”Not really, I’ve been around these kiddos for awhile now and the parents usually applaud the way I handle their children. The children are handled differently on individual bases. I’ve never mistreated a child.”
Mother:”This is ridiculous!”
So she left with her child in a huff. Why doesn’t she bother me? First of all, she has no idea of the history of the other child. She was just a bored parent and wanted something to do. Secondly, She wasn’t paying attention most of the time, so she probably missed my supervisor’s directions to Kayla in the first place. Lastly, my boss actually congratulated me on how I handled Kayla and thanked me so much for being in there today. I told my supervisor about the parent talking to me, just to have my bases covered.
I know what you’re thinking. What if she reports you to someone at your job? If she does, and I wouldn’t put it past her (she was quite angry and I could see steam coming from her ears), the complaint would go to my supervisor…the other person who was in there. My supervisor was thankful to have me today and when I told her that the woman had a conversation with me and what was said, my boss just batted a hand and said “Eh, I don’t care, you’re not going anywhere and everyone around here loves you.”
So now here we are and I’m kind of laughing about the whole thing. It took 11, almost 12 years for someone to complain about my job performance. I’ve been complimented, loved, and highly sought after up until today. Will this make a dent on my outstanding record? Nope, if I am reported, it will most likely be shredded or shrugged off. If anyone does do something about it, I would be instructed to just handle different classrooms, not a big deal. Gotta love having your work adore you.
Sidenote: Kayla is in 5th grade, I seriously don’t talk to her like I do the 3-5 year olds that are supposed to be in that classroom. The only reason Kayla is in with my boss and me is because the teachers in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade rooms refuse to have her in class because she hits, kicks, punches, bites other children as well as the teachers. If you are a crabby, uptight parent who likes to complain to teachers, at least make sure you have FULL knowledge of the child/situation before you go sticking your nose into things. That is all.