Out For Blood

I love my job. I really do. And I’m good at it. I get the kids in my class to work with each other, to cooperate, and show respect. I challenge them to live up to their own potential, to do their work, and always try their best.

I haven’t had a day in my teaching career that I’ve dreaded going into work. That’s an amazing feeling. That’s how I know this is what I am meant to do.

Sounds good so far, right? Right!

The problem is that some parents are quick to jump to conclusions, especially about a male teacher. They assume that we are more strict and threatening than our female colleagues. This is unfair and untrue.

Twice so far this year, I have had run-ins with parents who felt I bullied their child. It’s such a ridiculous claim that I have to contain my laughter at school. I built my classroom atmosphere on mutual respect. I don’t put up with bullying by my students, I defend them from bullying whenever I see it and never turn a blind eye, and I definitely don’t bully them.

I tried my best to get these parents on my side. I could tell in the first incident that it wasn’t going to happen. She was just mad at everything and I was an unfair target. The principal even told me such. Well now, these two parents have joined forces and are out for blood.

I don’t really know what to do. I feel powerless. I need to be able to do my job to the best of my abilities. I need the power to make decisions in my classroom and not fear how they may be perceived by a parent.

I don’t think that these parents even listen to their children. I have built a good rapport with these kids. That should speak for itself.

When we went through the school’s haunted house last week, my students were all clinging on to me. The student in question here even held my hand through it and squeezed it when she got a bit scared. She even invited me to eat lunch with her yesterday. She answers questions and participates all the time in class discussions. This doesn’t sound like a kid who is scared or threatened by me, does it?

So I’m the unfair target here. I can feel the bullseye painted on me. It follows me all the time now. My only option is to ignore it and just continue to do my job. The sad thing is that anyone who really wants blood can find a way to extract it, one way or the other. I hope I’m not about to be anyone’s prey.