Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The phone call we all dread.

Let me preface this by saying that I don't blame the Special Education and Resource teachers for this type of call. They have an even tougher job scheduling all this mess.

Pick up phone, enter in code......

"You have 6 new messages. Message from ____________, at 4:30 p.m."

"Our mutual student ____________ is having a meeting (504, IEP, conference) to address some concerns of the parents about the child's progress. We are trying to find a good time for everyone. We came up with 4 p.m. Now, I know that seems a little late, but that seems like the time that everyone can do it. We understand your time is short, so we will let you address your concerns first. Thanks, and we will see you tomorrow at 4."

Of course, the schedule is not very helpful for me, who has 12 kids in the gym at 4 p.m. waiting for basketball practice to start. Then lets add on the fact that most of those 6 messages on my voice mail, were similar meetings throughout the week. This becomes very, very frustrating. And it isn't that "Hey, I'm done with my contract day when the clock strikes 2:38" kind of frustrating. I've never liked that attitude about teaching. It's more like the double edged sword frustrating. Who do we insult by our absence? The special ed teacher, who is stuck in the middle of this whole mess? The parent of the child, who probably had to leave work early for the meeting? The basketball players, who I committed to coach for the season? The basketball parents, who would like a competitive season for their kids? This one is pretty much a lose-lose for me. For one day this week, I decided to back practice up 30 minutes to accommodate a meeting, one where the parent insists that all teachers go to this meeting or feel her wrath. Wow, can a person want to be anywhere else than that meeting?
Um yea, how about basketball practice.
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