Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Very Important Job

It's not easy when you have a Very Important Job that takes all your time. You don't really have time for your kids, because the Job takes up every moment of your time. Sure, it bothers you when report cards indicate they're failing every one of their classes in school, but that's really the teacher's job, not yours, so what can you do?

Still, when you get a Very Prestigious Offer to work in the United States, that's nothing to sneeze at. And it's pretty well known that the teachers there aren't nearly as rough as the ones in your country, so why not bring the kids along and give them  a new start? This way, it's a clean page, and they'll surely excel.

Yet, after all that, coming to a new country and all, the darn English teacher has the audacity to find your private phone number and call you. In fact, he has someone who speaks your language call you, and says The Boy has cut class six times. What can you say? You say the teacher has not been taking attendance properly, and to show you're not to be trifled with, you hang up. That should end things. But no, the teacher gets someone else to call The Wife on some other number. Where does he find all these numbers? Again it's someone in your language, and now he not only wants to talk about it, but he demands someone come to school and discuss it. He says in this country people have to come to school when their children have issues. What's up with that? The Wife, not knowing the ways of the world, agrees to go.

At the guidance counselor's office, everyone apologizes. I'm sorry, says The Boy, for cutting and failing all my classes. It won't happen again. But then, at the following week's parent-teacher conference, the English teacher has the nerve to say the cutting has continued, and The Boy could pass if only he would show up and do the work. Furthermore, he says The Boy has been failing quizzes because he gives them in the beginning of the period and The Boy doesn't show up until they're half-over. Doesn't he know The Boy stays up late?  He's sleepy and can't always make it in on time. You can't send him to bed because you sleep early and you can't wake him because you have to leave early for The Job. You don't have time to waste fighting with The Boy about getting out of bed. Don't teachers in this country know anything?

The only thing to do, all things considered, is counter-attack. You ignore the request and demand bilingual classes in your son's language. What? Your school doesn't offer them? What's wrong with your school? What do you mean you told us that when we arrived? Yes, you told us you didn't offer them, but now we're telling you we want them anyway. You can't do it? You say there are other schools that offer them? But we want them here, and we want them now! Well I never.

But that's not the worst part. On Monday, that same troublesome English teacher notices The Boy is not in class. He knows the language teacher is taking the class on a trip, but he refused to sign The Boy's form, claiming he cut and came late so many times. That's bad enough, but now he picks up his cell phone, right in front of the class, and calls the teacher who organized the trip. Why does he even have the language teacher's number? Haven't these teachers got any work to do at all? He asks whether The Boy handed in a permission slip, and finds out The Boy forged his signature.

Now, it's a conspiracy. The language teacher gets involved. He not only refuses to take The Boy on the trip, but also writes him up, and The Wife has to go to school yet again. This is altogether too much. They're talking about suspending The Boy, just for cutting and forging one little signature. How can you do your Very Important Job with all these teachers bothering you about every little thing? Can't they just take care of this? Don't any of these teachers have anything better to do? Clearly there's something very wrong with this school. They do nothing to resolve problems, but complain endlessly, and about everything.

So you send The Boy back to your country for a few weeks of much-needed vacation, and then bring him back, so you can send him to private school. What The Boy needs is a fresh start with people who will understand his needs.

The public schools in this country are no better than the ones in your own country. What a disappointment.
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