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.

5 responses to “Out For Blood”

  1. I hate that feeling you describe. I love reading your blog because it brings back so many memories for me. In my situation, it was an administrator that wanted my blood, and although I’m not sure that is worse or not, I can understand the feeling. You sound pretty level-headed, but when something similar like that happened to me, I don’t think I did my best to smooth it over, and it only increased the attacker’s want for blood.

  2. Hi Oktober Five,

    I tried to smooth things over. I have talked with both parents but they didn’t seem to want to hear what I had to say. I’m hoping a little bit of time will help. I have build a good rapport with the kids too. The principal is on my side and if I can get the kids too, that should make a difference. I hope.

  3. It’s a shame that parents can’t all be as rational as their children. Sometimes I think that adults should have to pass a test in order to be a parent. You just have to let it go and keep focus on the students. They are the important ones. Good luck with your school year there.

  4. Hi Chase – Apparently these parents are jealous of your rapport with their children. Who knows, they may go home and say how wonderful you are and show you praise they don’t show their parents. Although this is a problem for you, you do need to understand it’s really “their” problem. Hold you head high.

  5. Hi Ken,

    Thanks for stopping by. I enjoyed your post yesterday and I appreciate the comment today.

    My focus is on the students. I always deal directly with them and try to instill a sense of personal responsibility in them as well.

    Hi Barbara,

    That’s an interesting take on the subject. I probably do spend more time with their kids than the parents. It would really be a shame if I showed them more attention too. Parents have an important job.