Teachers Are Sharing Their Worst Encounters With Parents, And Wow, Teachers Are Saints
"On my first week, she came in with a five-page list of all the things I was doing wrong."
1. "One child’s married father swiped right on me on Tinder. I had Tinder Gold and could see who had liked me. Obviously, I didn't match with him. He then requested a meeting with me to ask why I hadn’t matched with him. When I explained that it would be impossible for me to date a parent, he was furious."
2. "I phoned a parent to tell them that their child hadn't attended detention. The parent shouted at me, called me stupid, and said her child didn't 'do' detentions. I said goodbye and hung up. She then phoned me back to shout at me again for 'speaking at her in my hoity-toity voice.'"
3. "I had a parent threaten to fight me. I had been their child’s teacher for three days, and she called the principal to inform them that 'my days were numbered.'"
4. "My mom used to be a college professor, and one time she talked to one of her students in class about something they'd discussed previously over email. Well, the student had no clue what she was talking about. Turns out, the student's mom had hacked her student email and university account and was impersonating her."
5. "I once scheduled a conference with a mom and dad because their daughter was having some issues getting her work done. The dad showed up in a shirt that said, 'Beer drinkers get the most head.' He then proceeded to slam his fists on the table and storm out of the room when one of my colleagues mentioned that his daughter had missed turning in a project. My school ended up going into lockdown because they had lost track of him somewhere in the building."
6. "When I busted a senior for plagiarizing, his mom came in for the obligatory parent conference. Mom said, without any hesitation or humor, 'I don’t understand. I saw him typing, and then when he clicked on a new tab, his thoughts were there! On the internet! It’s reading his mind!' I had to stare at the picture directly behind her rather than look at her or the administrator because I could barely contain my laughter."
7. "When I taught elementary school, a parent once asked me if I had kids of my own. When I said I didn’t, she said, 'Oh, that’s why you don’t know how to discipline your class.'"
8. "One afternoon, my principal pulled me out of the classroom to inform me that a parent had complained to the administration that I was pregnant, and she demanded to know what the school was going to do about it. The administration told her that they would support me however they could. I would have 100% appreciated their support had I, in fact, been pregnant. Apparently I was just looking a little tubby."
9. "I was a relatively new, young teacher, and gave this kid detention. Her dad called me to to talk about it, though we'd already discussed why. I stayed pretty calm, but the dad got progressively more angry until he screamed through the phone, 'How old are you anyway? I’ve got a pair of trousers older than you!'"
10. "My kindergarten classroom has two doors — one inside the school gates and one outside the gates. My policy is that parents need to drop off at the back door so students are inside the gates. I politely reminded a mom of this rule when she tried to drop her daughter off at the wrong door after arriving late and not checking in with the office. She started yelling and calling our school a prison, then said I was a 'fat, ugly bitch.'"
11. "A mom once tried to sneak into the school after school hours to confront me about the scores her daughter got on her progress report. We'd already had several conferences where I had let her know that her daughter wasn’t meeting the benchmarks. I had to lock my door and turn my lights out so she thought I had left."
12. "I was teaching senior English, and for a final paper, a student turned in something he had printed off the internet. He didn't even fix the obvious formatting errors from the copying and pasting. When I confronted him, he said that he had written the paper, but his mom had edited it, so she must have done the plagiarizing. I called the mom to tell her that her son was getting an F on his final, and she flipped out."
13. "During at-home learning this year, a parent said to my face that he should be getting a paycheck for helping his child too."
14. "I'm a college English professor, and on more than one occasion, I've had the parent of a failing student find my phone number and call to scream at me. It's always fun when all I can do is repeat, 'Legally, I cannot disclose any information about this student to you. No, I don't care if you pay their bills. No, I don't care what you think about me. Your college-aged baby is legally an adult, and that means, by law, I can't talk to you about them.' It's always the parents of sons."
15. "I was new to the district and was set to replace a drama teacher who was a town legend and had worked at this school for over 40 years. The mom of a senior student came in on my first week with a five-page list, front and back, of all the things I was doing wrong and questions about how I was going to highlight her 'star' of a child that year."
16. "I had a parent who wouldn't talk to me. Literally. She came in for a parent/teacher meeting and brought her mother with her. She didn't say a single word to me the entire time. Her mother asked questions, but a few times, she leaned over and whispered something to her mother, who would relay the question to me."
17. "High school teacher here! One day, I caught a student smoking in the bathroom, and he got suspended. His enraged mother called me to say I was a huge liar and a bully. She also said she knew for a fact that her son didn't smoke because she 'smelled his fingers every day when he got home from school.' WTF."
18. "I was seven months pregnant while we were having our parent/teacher conferences. I had a parent look me up and down and say, 'You knocked up?' Yeah, obviously I was. Then she proceeded to tell me that I needed to send video messages to her son and to the class daily while on maternity leave because it would be too hard for the students to learn while I was gone."
19. Finally: "I had a parent ask me to call her just so she could call me a bitch and hang up on me. No other reason."
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.