oh parent teacher conferences

The bane of my life.

Fortunately, this year I had no crazies. Remember the PTC where the mother of an expelled student came and yelled the word that caused her son's expulsion over and over? To prove that it isn't a "bad word" and that "people say it all the time?" Oh memories. I wonder how that parent is doing after she got escorted off school premises by the school cop.

I did have some weirdos though. Just people who don't quite get appropriate human interactions. As a person who often struggles with appropriate human interactions, I'm usually sympathetic. However, I also realize that if I, one prone to slightly odd behavior, find something weird, then it is definitely weird.

I had one parent come talk to me about their kid, leave, come back, see I had no one in line, and proceed to sit down and tell me how terrible it was that they wanted to build a mosque right next to Ground Zero. He also felt the need to explain to me that I might not think two blocks away is right next to Ground Zero, but blocks are different in New York. Two blocks really is right next to ground zero. Apparently.

However, weirdly, about ten minutes into his spiel, I got the distinct impression that he really didn't care about the mosque. Something was bothering him, something was not quite right in his world, and the best way for him to deal with it was to rant about terrorists and mosques and oh-my-heck-this-country-is-going-to-hell.

Maybe it was because I had 4 hours to sit and think about whatever I wanted (well, until the next parent came, at least,) but PTC made me think about all the other "issues" we may latch onto to hide what really bothers us. Prop 8, The War, Taxes, Obama, do we really care? The world keeps going on, no matter who is President, who gets married, who pays taxes, the world keeps on spinning. I'm not suggested we don't care entirely, because we do, but is the Ground Zero Mosque really what causes us to sit down and lash out at an unsuspecting teacher for 25 minutes?

What's really bothering us? The fight we had with our kid this morning? Or spouse? The soul-crushing feeling we get sometimes when something we wanted doesn't happen, or isn't as great as we thought?

Is the idea of gays getting married in Massachusetts really keeping you up at night? Or is it the stress of your job, feeling unappreciated at home, the realization of what it means to have a chronic illness?

I include myself in this analysis too, recognizing that the times I get most passionate about things usually coincides with some personal drama. So, in an attempt to prevent myself from accosting some teacher someday, I will tell you some things that are bothering me right now.

1. The fact that many of my loved ones would rather give each other the silent treatment then talk it out and work out an issue. This has bugged me for years.

2. The fact that despite being smart, capable, and well-educated, I still make mistakes as a teacher. I want so badly to be good at my job, that anything less than perfection is painful.

3. I am not confident enough in myself to write this without worrying what specific people will think of it. Will she think I'm oversharing? Will he think I'm dumb?

What is not bothering me right now-

1. Anything the Tea Party is doing. It doesn't impact my life in anyway. I think they are crazy, but this doesn't keep me up at night. There. I said it.

What's bothering you?

(Ps. If I tagged by entries, this would so be tagged under "emo posts"

Maybe I should tag my entries. Aha!


AzĂșcar said...

What's bugging me? That my kid's PRESCHOOL was holding PTC. Sorry. I don't care that much. He's three.

lindsey said...

This is one of the most insightful blog posts that I've ever read (I even thought for a second about what to call it other than "blog post" because it was better than that, but it's been a long day and I'm tired). I 100% agree with you. It's easier to talk about the larger issues than face the more painful, personal ones.

Also, as a bit of a pep talk...don't be so hard on yourself if you feel like you have a less than perfect teaching day. After seven years of teaching I still have (had? I'm not teaching this year) off days. It's a challenging, demanding job both physically and mentally and people just don't understand that.

You caring so much proves that you're a good teacher! Hang in there!

Natalia said...

What is REALLY bothering me right now is that my husband dislikes the women speakers at general conference and I agree with him. Every feminist bone in my body tells me I shouldn't agree, but I just have a really hard time with the way they speak and their approach to so many topics.

Brooke said...

Great insights. You are very patient to have listened to that man rant about the mosque. It sounded like he needed a listening ear but I'm sorry you didn't get a more relaxing break between parents.

I think there are sometimes when people really would rather have me rant about the Tea Party to them than the real issue I'm dealing with and frustrated about -- cases when it truly would be TMI or they just don't know me that well. So I wonder what's better: Realizing that and shutting up but getting no release (maybe a release aimed at Sarah Palin is better than no release at all when go through something difficult)? Or letting myself rant irrationally but then making some unsuspecting person uncomfortable/annoyed?

Lena said...

That as much as I think I want a house. I can't bring myself to think it is a good idea. IT scares the crap out of me to think we could lose the house after getting it cause we cant afford it. Or that we would move into a neighborhood that is not as good as the one we are in. I am worried about getting taken advantage of by a realtor or by anyone in the process, just because I don't know what I am doing. We have an appointment to see houses on Tuesday, and I am considering canceling just because I am scared of the whole thing.

Rynell said...

What is bothering me right now is that my bedroom is a mess and that my kids are not in bed yet.

Mrs. Clark said...

Thank you, MCB. Beautiful insights. But be more gentle with yourself. The perfect is the enemy of the possible. You care, therefore you are an excellent teacher. The ones who don't care are easy to spot (and they skip PTC).

Azucar, you are absolutely right!

CaitStClair said...

I think that's probably quite true. I'm definitely going to pay more attention to my reasoning when I get worked up about something from now on!