Friday, November 2, 2007


Do you ever just have one of those days (weeks...months...)? One of those Mama Bear On Alert, Don't-Mess-with-Me kind of days?

I know it started on Halloween, when I was volunteering in Baxter's class. I - the mother of the youngest child in the second grade, thanks to a later cut-off age for kindergarten back in California - had the misfortune of hearing the teacher (how could I not hear that booming voice when I was standing less than two feet away) make a series of comments to another parent about the lack of wisdom of sending one's children to school "too young". It was one of those nasty comments that started with, "Now, I'm not going to tell anyone how to be a parent, but..." and ended with, "I'd rather my child be the oldest and smartest in the class, let me tell you!"

Excuse me?

I didn't relate the entire conversation here, but suffice it to say: if you were the parent of a youngish child OR a child with special needs, you would NOT have been pleased with this teacher's description of trying to teach to all of the kids in her class. No, not at all. It was wrong on so very many levels - what she said, how she said it, who she said it to, and when she said it. The only reason I didn't jump on it right then and there was that it was, well, a party. That and I was afraid I would have said things that I would have regretted later. Instead, I'm saving it up for next week's teacher conference. Oh, yes, I certainly am.

So, folks, let me just say that I am ready for battle. Not that I will actually be anything less than polite next week, but believe me, I will be direct and clear.

In the meantime, take pity on anyone who crosses me. I gave a Hyatt hotel customer service representative a rip-roaring hard time this morning when they screwed up a reservation and then refused to give me the lower rate they had originally promised me. ("Take that! And that! And this is for screwing up in the same week that I'm really, really furious with my son's teacher!")

As I told a good friend on the phone this morning, "If you've got a bone to pick with me about anything, this would not be the day."


kristen said...

Is it contagious? I got cranky with my eye doc's receptionist yesterday over a stupid $25 fee.

It's always surprising to me when a teacher makes an inappropriate comment within earshot of parents. I mean, that seems like a no-brainer to me.

Can't wait to hear the final word on this one. You go, girl!

Becky said...

Snaps to you for being a mama bear on alert! I hope that teacher hears you. She sounds like someone who talks loudly but hears little.

Jordan said...

Becky, I'm obsessed with this "snaps to you" phrase. Can't stop thinking about it.

Snaps to me!


Snaps to all of us.

Niksmom said...

LOL about the "snaps..." I've never heard that one! Um, the teacher thingie? She is so toast. Or is that bear food?? Give her what for!

Lori at Spinning Yellow said...

That's the first I heard "snaps to" also. You go girl! I'm with Kristen, you'd think a teacher would know better!

Becky said...

I, of course, intend the first meaning of the word. I feel so cool! Snaps to me!

From a slang website:

Slang of the Week: snaps (noun)
1. praise 2. artful insults

Susan had nothing but snaps for her amazing hairdresser.

Celebrity quote:
“Snaps for the drag queens who paved the way.”
-Carson Kressley, of TV’s Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

It may seem a little strange that this word’s two meanings are opposites. As Kressley uses it, snaps comes from snapping your fingers. This has always a favorite alternative to applause among people with a drink in one hand and cool 1950s beatniks at poetry readings (who often had a drink in one hand as well.)

Jordan said...

Becky, friend and neighbor, I have nothing but snaps for you. Thanks for keeping us up-to-date. It's a big job, but somebody's got to do it.

Cara said...

Sheesh, that tracher of Baxter's has a bit to learn herself about...well, I don't even know where to begin! this is her second major communication issue in just a few short months. Sorry that you have to be dealing with this, Jordan, and yes! You go! And snaps!!

Mom without a manual said...

Yikes. Let her have it. Especially for all of us special needs families who didn't have a choice but to start our kids in order to continue to receive "adequate" services.

I've always been angry that we don't really have the option of holding our kids out that extra year to mature. (Had we held JP out another year the schools would have given us TWO hours of services per week--not quite the intensive therapy a child with autism needs)

So we send our kids young and even more socially inept to mingle with their peers who were kept out of school that extra year so they could be more mature. Yep, makes sense to me.

Give her heck!

Shan said...

Yikes is right! Like another commenter above, I cannot understand why a teacher would say something like this within earshot of a parent!!! I mean, what could she have been thinking?! I hope you will keep us all posted on what happens in the conference next week.

Also....this kind of thing just depresses me to no end. I've already had a few (mild, but still) disappointments with some interactions with J's preschool teacher, and it just breaks my heart to entrust my child's care--her first experience with care other than from a parent!--to someone who disappoints me at times with how she reacts to issues regarding children. Of course, that's also the definition of being human, right?--not perfect?--but it is so discouraging to hear stories like this and think about all the years to come of putting my child's well-being in the hands of other adults who may or may not share my world-view when it comes to children. Some of those people I'll have the option of avoiding (i.e. a sitter I don't approve of), and some I won't (a teacher).

Good luck; keep us posted.