High School Confidential

If you want to know the inside story on any high school you need to talk to the person who’s got the deep intel and trust me it’s not the principal or the counselors. The person who can give you a dossier on almost every single student in the school including their current home life situation is the attendance clerk.

Consider this position akin to being a CIA undercover operative. The clerk is a school fixture and like a number 2 pencil often taken for granted. They see, hear and notice things that no one else in the school is privy too. All this imbues the person with super spy skills.

They also talk to the parents a lot. I know that in the seven years I’ve had multiple children attending high school that I’ve conversed with Rita, the attendance clerk, more than anyone else at the school combined. In fact, I can’t imagine my life without Rita. She’s so important to my family I’ve got her on speed dial. Rita is my high school touchstone and perhaps part therapist.

A couple of weeks ago, in a seven-day time frame, my 16-year old was diagnosed with a sinus infection, strep throat, had her foot x-rayed because I was sure it was broken, had some weird tooth thing going on (It turn turns out is was iron buildup from Flintstone vitamins. Go figure?) and got a mild concussion. During that time I also couldn’t find my car keys (Can you blame me? I was highly stressed.)

Sweet Rita was there for me through it all.

When I had to get my child out of school early for the dentist she didn’t even flinch when I mentioned I was sure my daughter had a rare tooth fungus that due to extreme googling I discovered was usually only seen deep in the Amazon jungle. By the time I called her about the foot and head injuries I was certain she was going to notify CPS and have them do a home visit.

And then on that Friday morning when I had to do a mea culpa about my kid being tardy due to the fact that I, the grown up, couldn’t find my car keys she was so kind and understanding it was like getting a hug over the phone. Rita gets me.

It’s not just the absences and tardies that Rita is privy to. She also knows all about your kid’s schedule. If my daughter has to leave school a smidge early she knows it’s for a dance competition. (Fun fact: Rita danced  back in the day and I have no doubt she still has killer moves.)

This woman could write a black ops paper on my family. A who, what, when and where along with a psychological profile. If high schools want to know more about what’s going on with their students they need to have their attendance clerks give daily briefings.

If Rita gave one for my family this past month it would have gone like this. “I’m a little worried about this family and you might want to check Bella’s grades. The student has had a rough week of assorted illnesses, and I think the mom might have unnecessarily dragged her in for an x-ray. Not to mention there was a concussion and a tooth issue. Unrelated, but let’s keep on eye of this girl’s head and teeth. Also, I’m pretty sure this has created some stress issues at home. The mom called this morning about a tardy. She couldn’t find her car keys – again.”

If knowledge is power than every high school needs a Rita.

 

 

School Blues

Screen Shot 2015-08-28 at 10.32.47 AMI’m about to doing something that terrifies me. I’m going to bad mouth my school district. (Just to get the courage to say that I had to fortify myself with not one, but two Rice Krispy treats.)

I know this is something you are never, ever supposed to do. Once your move into an area with one of the top performing schools in the country you’re supposed to drink the Kool Aid.

Well, I’m going tell you that right now that Kool Aid is a little off like when you mix the classic cherry flavored Kool Aid with something called Arctic Green Apple and you think, “Wow, something’s not right there.”

Now, before you start sending me hate emails (And just so you know I’m still recovering from all the Rolling Stone backlash. So please no more threats to my person or property.) give me a couple of sentences to explain myself. I’m not talking about the people doing the heavy lifting – the teachers. What I’m perplexed about is the let’s call them higher-ups in the district and I’m not alone in this feeling.

Last week at a mom back-to-school confab featuring a cross-section of awesome women I took a deep breath and shared, “I think something is wrong with the district?” I’m not going to lie. I was a little scared what would happen after I dropped that bomb. But, surprise, surprise, a lot of moms agreed with me. We started swapping stories of the recent idiocy we had experienced and that’s when I decided to throw caution and my email account to the wind and write this blog.

Because I adore my friends I will only share a tidbit of what I have experienced. The first foray this school year that left me feeling a little WTH? was earlier this month.

My daughter’s schedule had a problem and I needed to talk to someone about the issue. (And yes, I sent an email thus not violating the school’s golden rule of preferred communication. And yes this was not an issue she could “self advocate.”) Let’s just say I would have had an easier time getting a Time Warner or a Comcast representative on the phone and when I did get a human to talk to me I was not so gently shoved off to another number (at one point I was told to call the district’s IT department – huh?) and multiple people redirected me to the school’s website!

Really you’re going to tell a mom of a high school sophomore to check the website? Like this is my first rodeo or something? Are you kidding me? Why didn’t you just say, “We don’t care and our goal is to get off the phone with you as quickly as possible?”

Oh and about that website. It was hostile. Lot’s of all caps and yellow highlighted passages that let you know whoever wrote it and approved it thinks parents are a great big pain and time suck. (Note to all high performing school districts – one of the reasons your schools “perform” so well is because of the parents who care deeply about public education.)

It’s not like I don’t know and appreciate how busy the administration is but come on a high school with less than 1,500 students is not a multinational company. You can communicate with a parent. And I wasn’t doing the “I think I’m important and I want help right now” thing. All I wanted was someone to get back to me in a timely fashion.

Well, I’m not ashamed to admit to you that I finally hit the wall and went full cray. Full cray, mind you, at an In-N-Out Burger parking lot in Los Angeles. The reason being is because in California you can’t drive and talk on your phone. So, when my full cray episode exploded I turned into the closest parking lot I could find which just happened to be an In-N-Out.

Now, going full cray at your kid’s school is a delicate operation. You can’t be the parent that is always grousing. No one will take your concerns seriously if you’re a chronic complainer and if you have multiple kids in school you have to pace yourself. Right now, I’m in the cray sweet spot. I have one child left in school and that meant it was on like Donkey Kong.

I got out of my car, thus allowing me room for full arm gesticulation, because you can’t go cray without dramatic and robust upper body movements, and called the school. Finally, someone talked to me. Finally, my problem got worked out. Bonus, a group of folks eating lunch outside the In-N-Out applauded after I got off the phone. I did exactly what you would have done. I took a bow and then got a double double with cheese.

*cover_1.3-2Attention Snarky Friends, I have a new book out and for a limited time only it’s just 99 cents for a heaping helping of Snark! You are now gazing at the second book in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂

Myth Buster – High School Edition

feaa3136c2467fb3937d02a894a4397c-1You know what no one has ever asked me to do? Deliver a high school graduation speech. Not even when I was graduating high school did I make the “give a speech” cut. So, I didn’t have a stellar GPA and wasn’t going to Harvard. And yeah, maybe my dad did have to, as he so succinctly put it, “pick up the phone” to get me into Baylor, but still I had some good things to say back then and now, well, hello to years of wisdom that could benefit the 17-18 demographic.

Guess what all this means? Oh yeah, I’m going to “gift you” with the high school graduation speech I wish I could give. Don’t panic, I promise no reflections on my teenage glory years primarily because there weren’t any. Here it goes and lucky for you I’m feeling a little lazy so consider this the condensed or mini version.

Give me a second to get in the mood. I’m humming my high school’s fight school as inspiration. Now, I’m clearing my throat and imagining myself walking to the podium while getting one of those super braggy introductions that makes everyone sitting in the audience hate you just a little bit.

Okay, I made it to the podium. I didn’t trip and I managed to swing my hair. You know, one of those flirty, kind of sassy hair swings. A sort of look at me, I’m smart and have voluminous hair so go ahead and hate me some more.

Yes, I know I’m not that smart and my hair has to be coaxed into voluminous territory with a shopping cart full of product and the art of the extreme back comb, but it’s my faux reality and/or dream sequence and I say why not imagine the best. Seriously, who would want to visualize the “authentic truth?” It sounds like some goofy thing Oprah would say.

Enough of the visualization nonsense let’s go straight to the speech. Where did I leave off? Oh yes, I was at the podium. I look out at the audience, nod, smile and begin by dropping a bomb. I’m talking a big bomb, like the crowd gasps and then one lone member of the audience stands up and cheers, “You tell it sister!”  And another person spurred on by the “you tell it” jumps up and hollers, “Amen!”

I gain back control and then swing my hair again, just because I can, and begin to explain, some might say even justify, the bomb I dropped. To do this I have to repeat the bomb again because I’m nothing if not a lover of dramatic effect (and really who isn’t?).

As I’m preparing to repeat myself for second time I’m hoping the school marching band in attendance would give me a drum roll. Oh yes, a drum roll would be ideal, almost goose bump inducing. Wait, if this is my imagination of me giving a high school speech then why can’t I have a drum roll? Hmm, I totally see no reason why I can’t. Let’s back this story up a bit and now add in drum roll.

So just to review, I’m at the podium. My hair looks amazing. I’ve dropped a bombshell. I’ve gotten two cheers, so to speak, based on said bomb. I’ve nodded, cued the band for a drum roll and now that the stirring drum roll is over I’m about to resume my speech by restating the single sentence that made the crowd go all “Oh no she didn’t” on me. For clarity purposes no one said “oh no she didn’t,” but that’s what I imagine the crowd was thinking.

I then repeat the 10 words that shocked the audience – High school is not the best time of your life.

You can’t think I’m wrong for fantasizing saying this at every high school graduation? And let’s be honest here, would you want the four years you spend suffering through assemblies and AP exams to be the pinnacle of your human voyage? More importantly, who wants to peak at 17? Who would want the next 60 years of their life to be ho-hum, just sort of OK, compared to lunch sophomore year? Hopefully, no one because it would be a tragedy.

The myth that your high school years will be the greatest life has to offer needs to be eradicated. I consider it part of a teenage mental health initiative. Think of the severe bouts of depression that could be averted if, at the start of each school year, a banner graced the entrance to every high school that read, “Relax, these aren’t going to be the best four years of your life. Trust us, it gets better.”

And it does. It gets so much better. The simple fact that I don’t have Algebra 2 homework every night has increased my joy of life exponentially. Now, who needs a graduation speaker? I’m available.

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂

The Homecoming “Ask”

fry-and-homecoming_o_794867

There’s a social scourge plaguing high schools that calls for immediate eradication. I’m talking about the new(ish) ritual of asking a girl to homecoming. No longer can a boy walk up to a girl at lunch or after class and casually go, “Hey, do have a date for homecoming?”

No longer can the girl respond with a nonchalant, “No, not yet.”

No longer can the boy volley back, “So, like, maybe do you want to go together?”

(Excuse me while I get a bit misty eyed because this almost sounds like my husband’s marriage proposal.)

The simple, low-key, “Do you want to go to homecoming?” is no longer acceptable. A production has to made out of the “ask” and the more elaborate the better.

A guy can go lower tier and do a sign on a piece of poster board that has a cute saying, usually related to food, as in – “I do nut know what I’ll do if you don’t go to homecoming with me.” This sign, of course, must be accompanied by a dozen Krispy Kremes. (Don’t make the rookie mistake of getting grocery store doughnuts.)

The more impressive “ask” involves some sort of public male groveling. Like the sophomore who staked out the front of the school in police tape, did a chalk outline of his body, with a sign that read, “I can’t live without you for my homecoming date.”

Now, I know these two examples are just darling, right? And provided the girl with an Instagram opportunity where she can show off how she was asked to homecoming. But, I as a mother to both a teenage girl and boy, I’m here to tell you this is all wrong.

In fact, I was so curious about how asking a girl out became an event so photo-op worthy that you could make a coffee table book out of all the pictures, that I did some research. It appears, all of this started about 10 years with the “Promposal” and of course, in a surprise to no one, was fueled by the Internet. The better the promposal the more of a chance it might go viral.

And, I’m going to have point a finger at all the moms out there. This Broadway-esque production of asking a girl out would have not taken off without the help of mothers.

No boy would ever be able to pull any of this off, let alone think of an idea, without his mom doing all the heavy lifting. Because is there any life form lazier and more clueless about the world-at-large than a 14-year-old male? Seriously, they’re still formulating fart jokes. To expect a freshman boy to come up with a cutesy, lovey-dovey homecoming date “ask” falls under the category of never going to happen. In fact, most of the “signs” I see on Instagram are, without a doubt, written by women that were drilled in the ways of cursive handwriting back in the 1970’s.

The reasons I think this jacked up way of asking a girl out is fraught with peril is multi leveled. Primarily, it means fewer girls will get asked to homecoming or prom because most guys when it comes to dating are a combination of slackers and scaredy cats. What man, never mind teenaged boy, wants to risk doing a big la-di-da production and then get shot down. I mean, hello, that’s going to hurt. Who can blame them for staying home, eating Cheetos and playing Halo 3?

The long-term implication is that, I believe, it impedes the teaching of a life lesson all girls should master sooner than later – men, as a general rule, are not gifted romantics. Learn it and move on. Don’t be standing around waiting for Lance Romance to show up because you know what happens when you do that? Mr. Right just walks on by and you don’t even notice. Then you end up on the Bachelor looking for love and embarrassing your family by being topless in a hot tub, one millimeter away from full nipple exposure, making out with some sleazy dude on national television.

I have been married for multiple decades and I can honestly say my husband, the best of men, has only done something romantic maybe three times. And each time it scared me. I thought he was being all smoochy sweet because he had a head injury and was suffering massive brain trauma.

Now, to really take a walk on the unpopular side I will propose to you that the more romantic the man the less you should trust him. Because you know who was described as being a killer romantic? Ted Bundy. (And please, I beg of you, no emails telling me how romantic your husband, a non serial killer, is. I’m talking in general terms here. I know romance is out there, just not at my house.)

So let’s join together parents and urge our teenagers to kick it old school. Boys just ask a girl out and for you girls out there isn’t it more important to just to go to the game and dance than wait it out for an “Instagram worthy” ask?

Let me answer that for you. It’s yes.

*Attencover_1.3-2tion Snarky Friends I have a new book out and for a limited time only it’s just 99 cents for a heaping helping of Snark! You are now gazing at the second book in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon.  It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read.  I hope you like it! 🙂

 

 

Back-to-School Night: The Teen Years

 

a1e412a1ac370de5ec9c05c9c068bd20There are three primary reasons I go to the high school back-to-school night. The main one is for visual evidence of what the school personnel looks like. So, when a child starts describing their teacher as the devil I can interject that I saw neither horns, cloven hoofs nor a tail when I sat in their classroom for ten minutes.

Another reason is to get an overview of what their day is like. I want to be able to look at my watch and know at 11 o’clock my daughter is in Spanish in the classroom with a view of a courtyard that needs a mega weed and feed application. I’m sure somewhere, in all those abundant and varied school fees I paid for my child to have the privilege of attending a public school, there was a line item for landscape beautification. At the very least the Booster Club should make a trip to Lowe’s.

The other, I’ll call it, lesser reason, I go is to people watch. My first order of business is to enjoy the beauty that is the administrative staff. I know, I have mentioned before, that the principal at the high school my children attend is gorgeous and the assistant principal is just as easy on the eyes. Were they GQ models before pursing a career in education? I’m thinking probably.

You should have seen the line of moms circling these two as they held court in the underclassman locker area. I, not wanting to be that obvious, (because you know talking about it in a blog is totally covert) stood back and took it all in from across the hall.

After that I proceeded to my daughter’s first class and was given a reality check that the more things change the more they stay the same. I went to sit down and was told by two women that the seat I was lowering myself into was being “saved for a friend.” Seriously, grown women are still “saving seats”? Say hello to me time traveling back 30 years and getting told to move from the cool kids lunch table. I, having taken a pledge, administered by my daughter, to “not embarrass her at back to school night” kept my mouth shut and found another seat but I did give them an audible sigh and what I thought was an impressive eye roll.

As the evening progressed I was amused by the parents that still haven’t learned back to school night is all about sitting down, shutting up, gazing at the wonder that is the teacher’s PowerPoint and then continuing on to the next class. This is not the forum to approach the teacher and sing the praises of your “gifted” cherub or, and this maybe my favorite moment of the evening, talk to the Spanish teacher in Spanish about your muy talented “niño.” Can you say show off?

No, I take that back, that wasn’t my favorite moment. My most favorite thing about back to school night is the mixed message you receive from almost every teacher. While they’re churning through their presentation they will tell you that your child must learn to “self advocate” and be “independent.” They said self advocate so much I began to believe they were get paid by some sort of for-profit self advocate alliance to shill for them.

Now, here’s where the mixed message comes in. As you are being told to let kids fend for themselves, to grow, to embrace emerging adulthood you are also given cutting edge tools to stalk their every move. There’s Parent Vue on the school website where you can find out everything from what your kid had for lunch down to the sodium consumption (okay, that’s a very slight exaggeration) to the grade they got on a PE homework assignment. Then there’s Edmodo, which I’m almost certain was set up by a joint task force of Homeland Security, the FBI and the CIA. Here, you can creep on almost anything your kid does in class so much so it’s almost like your right there with them in Honors English minus the smell wafting in from the cafeteria.

I have no doubt by next semester they’ll have kids wearing heart rate monitors throughout the school day so from home, work, even the grocery store, we can go online and check and see if our darlings seem stressed or if their vital signs are in the normal range.

So, if I may raise my hand and ask a question to the schools out there – which is it? Do you want us to let our kids make mistakes, figure it out on their own and grow in the process or do you want us virtually in the classroom?

This mom needs an answer.

**For more Snarky check out my book  Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. 

Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good. Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival. If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you.

To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brain Teaser

Screen Shot 2014-04-17 at 11.00.14 AMI’m feeling perturbed. I was up at my son’s high and noticed nothing had been done about a complaint, well really more of a concern, that I had shared with the principal, in what I thought, was a very nice and chatty email, a freaking year ago.

The equally chatty, somewhat new and I’m just going to say it, handsome, very handsome principal (Okay, so I may have a bit of a mom crush on the principal, big deal. I also had a mom crush on my son’s elementary school principal. Oh my, this has just gotten awkward) had gotten right back to me after I wrote the email and due to the quickness of his response I figured action had been taken. Wrong. Because as I walking through the school gigantic posters, really more like face flags (I’m telling you the quality of the photography and the flag fabric is top-notch) of students holding balls or ball hitting implements were staring at me.

I had no complaint with the lovely posters, flags, whatever, of student athletes. What I did have a concern about was the quid pro quo of it all. Because just around the corner, in a dimly lit hallway, are teeny tiny 5 X 7 photos that look like they were the by-product a mediocre laser jet printer of the National Merit Semifinalists and Commended Scholars. WTH? And this is why I wrote the principal last year. I figured I was the perfect person to spearhead this concern since, at that time; I was not the mother of an athlete or a scholar.

In my email I asked the principal why the National Merit kids couldn’t have posters 10 times the size of their heads? In a delightful phone call he explained that the Parent Booster Club paid for the posters. I shared that I’m sure the National Merit kids parents, would with glee, shell out money for a face flag. Because he was so charming, I figured I had wooed him to my way of thinking.

I’m now more than a little angry and adding fuel to my fury is that I recently heard the author of the new book The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way talking about how no other country in world let’s sports dominates their schools the way America does. (P.S. We’re currently ranked 36th in math.) Now before you get all upset I do not want to see sports de-emphasized. I’m a Texas girl and I was raised on high school football but I was wondering what’s stopping us from shining the same LED floodlight on academics.

For instance, why don’t we start recruiting math teachers with the same zeal we use for football coaches? Instead of win loss records we could have teacher stats. As an example, “Mrs. Smith is currently leading the state in the number of students getting a 5 (highest score) on their Calculus Advanced Placement test and more than 63% of her former students have sought post-graduate degrees with an average income of well over six figures.”

Even better would be the pep rallies. I would suggest holding at least two. One in the fall when most students take their first SAT or ACT and one in late spring when the AP tests occur.

Think of the cheers – “Tangent, derivative, theorem, aren’t so hard because you’ve studied they’re your lucky charms.”

Or this one for AP Euro History. “French Revolution, Russian too, don’t forget to write an amazing FRQ!”

I can already see the marching band playing the theme song from the Big Bang Theory as a salute to the quantum theory portion of the AP Physics exam.

Imagine a world where instead of telling just athletes to be a-g-g-r-e-s-s-i-v-e we would instead use that same cheer on the brave, young, souls about to embark on the biggest battle of their teen years – the SAT’s.

“Competitive colleges are okay but you’ve got highly selective wanting you after today!”

The best part of all is that it would be so easy to do. What’s a couple more pep rallies and huge face flags. For sure, you would want those.

**For more Snarky check out my book  Snarky in the Suburbs Back to School. 

Here’s a little ditty about it: The Spring Creek Elementary School PTA board (a coven of Mean Moms dressed in Uggs, yoga pants, and dermal filler) is up to no good.  Wynn Butler (middle-aged, uncool, and not bringing sexy back) is determined to find out what’s going on. With help from her two kids, a Roomba vacuum turned mobile surveillance drone, and a few good friends, Wynn launches a covert investigation that leads to the “mother of all revenge capers” at the school’s annual Fall Festival.  If you’ve ever fantasized about smoke bombing the idiot parent who has yet to master the fine art of the school drop-off lane, or standing up and shouting, “Liar, liar, Botox on fire” during a PTA meeting, then this delicious tale of payback is for you. 

To stay up-to-date on new posts and take part in my not so deep thoughts click on this Facebook link – http://is.gd/iEgnJ (That’s the abbreviated link to my FB page) or I twitter @snarkynsuburbs.

Speed Dating and The Parent Teacher Conference

Picture 2

This afternoon I promise I’m going to be better. I’m not going to eavesdrop. My ears will not strain to hear every word that is being said. My cochlea will not quiver in auditory anticipation. Today, I will give it my all, to behave during parent teacher conferences in the high school gym.

That’s right the gym, because in my school district once your child enters the ninth grade you begin a four-year journey of speed dating their teachers. No more loving, one-on-one, tête-à-têtes in the classroom. It’s you, the teachers and hundreds of parents looking for their grade book soul mate in the gym. (Yes, you can still make an appointment for a discreet, 15-minute conference in a dimly light, secluded classroom but that’s only for parents seeking a long-term relationship with the teacher.)

Trust me, this whole parent teacher conference speed dating thing is not very romantic what with the lingering smell of teenage feet, unflattering fluorescent lights, and the off gassing of janitorial mop water. All the teachers are lined up alphabetically in the gym and are given a small desk, two chairs and a sign with their name on it. You only get five minutes with each teacher and zero privacy.

Plus, the whole waiting your turn really is a mood killer. Depending on the teacher and the class they teach (usually math or any AP class especially AP European history due to what my son says “is the first time you realize more than a rote memorization of facts is required to succeed in a history class”) you can have parents lined up more than 20 deep waiting for their five minutes.

And yeah, as you wait and slowly scoot up in the line you’re close enough to the teacher and the other parent currently in the speed dating chair that you can pretty much hear everything that is being said. Sure, you make a valiant attempt not to listen. You look at your phone and pretend to be engrossed in your email or Candy Crush but try as you might you can’t stop yourself.

Okay, maybe it’s just me. Maybe I can’t stop myself but I’m certain I always see other parents with their heads tilted and their ears angled in the optimum position for eavesdropping.

Shame on me, I know. But seriously some of this stuff is riveting and all of it is testimony to the fact that teachers are doing the Lord’s work and I don’t care if they get a couple of months off a year we’re not paying them enough.

Back in October, during the last parent teacher conference, there was an angry mom whom I thought was going to go to blows with a teacher because their kid had a 92 in the class. A 92! The parent thought their kid should have a “higher A.” An “A+ A.”

The teacher held her ground and explained very slowly and using single syllable words that an A was an A and that the parent needed to calm down and all was well  because the district didn’t have A+ designations on their report cards. The parent finally stomped off. I wanted to applaud the teacher or blow her kisses or something. Instead I pretended like I hadn’t heard a thing.

My favorite is when a parents sits down and moans and groans about how hard their kid studies and then the teacher does a few click on their computer and voila no homework has been turned in for two weeks straight. You would think the parent would assure the teacher that they are immediately heading home to threaten their child with all sorts of punishments.

But NO the parents argue with the teacher and tells them they’re wrong. WTH? How can you have made it all the way to high school with your kid and not have figured out you do not raise your voice to a teacher (especially in a crowded gym) or argue against the empirical evidence in the all mighty grade book.

To avoid nasty surprises like this I always ask my son if there is anything I need to know before I go to “date” his teachers. My high schooler also sets my teacher speed dating agenda. I’m told to go to the teachers that “like him the least” and then work my way up to the teachers “that love him.” I’m also instructed to text him ASAP with any good or bad news. I never text him. I can’t. I’m too busy listening to what’s going down in that gym.