It’s 12:00 a.m., and when most children are all snuggly buggly wuggly in their widdle beds getting lots of shuteye for their big days at school tomorrow, mine is still awake.
Apparently, her class got in trouble today for excessive chattiness and in a brazen show of authoritative take-that-ness, her teacher slammed them with — wait for it — 60 definitions and 60 sentences. On top of science homework and algebra equations, Girl Child’s whole night has been spent with her face stuck in a dictionary and a marble composition book leading up to now, the stroke of midnight. I am not amused.
Usually, I ride with the teachers. I know how hard it is to deal with one kid, let alone 27 or 30 of those little suckers and all of their behavior issues and funky hormone-fueled attitudes, and then have to worry about educating them on top of that. So teachers are generally right at the top of my list of people who get respect, right along with ministers, marathon runners, and folks who can work at Red Lobster and resist the lure of those impeccable cheddar bay biscuits.
But this time, I think Mrs. Wilson was out of line. Whenever you give your students enough homework to carry them into the next day, you’re setting yourself up for grumblings from parents. So I’ll be stopping by in the morning just to chat with her and let her know, politely but very clearly, that her punishment was a bit harsh. I’m not totally PO’ed. Just more than a little irked.
There have been very few instances in my daughter’s eight-year academic career when I’ve felt so led to confront one of her teachers. Really, only one stands out in my mind, when Skylar came home in the second grade and told me she didn’t want to go to the Old Country Buffet anymore — which, at the time, was her absolute favorite place to eat — because her teacher called her greedy and told her gluttony is a sin.
You know how, when cartoon characters get mad, they get those little squiggly lines over their heads to indicate they’re steaming mad? Yeah, that was me. I didn’t flip any desks or win the Andrew Dice Clay cussing classic award, but I think I got my point across that it would behoove her to not rain judgment on my or anybody else’s child’s for their perceived sinful eating tendencies.
I was fine with her sharing her opinion about healthy eating or overeating or conscious eating. But to flat out call the kid a glutton? Sheesh.
At the root of this latest up-all-night fiasco, Mrs. Wilson is an old school teacher who’s been behind the desk for probably as long as I’ve been alive. So I hope all of that experience lets her know that she shouldn’t expect Girl Child and her fellow students to remember anything about these words or their definitions, besides they probably never want to see them again. Heck, I write and edit for a living and I'm probably not sharp enough to correctly absorb 60 new terms and their meanings overnight.
Miss Thing has asked if she can go to bed and wake up at 5:15 to finish her massive assignment, and I’ve left the decision to stay up (or not) to her. But I’ll be using this as fuel for my argument bright and early tomorrow myself.
Have you ever had to check one of your child’s teachers for something you didn’t agree with?
Image via CEBImagery.com/Flickr