Most of the time, parents and teachers work as a team to help students. But from time to time, a parent’s request goes way beyond a teacher’s job description. Enjoy these stories from teachers about the most outrageous requests from parents, and be sure to include your own in the comments at the end!
1. Could you just go ahead and tell her it’s dinner time?
“One parent called me because she was concerned about the hours her daughter was playing video games at home. She wanted me to talk to her about how she should be working on her homework at home and not sitting in front of a screen.” —A.J.
2. We didn’t learn that in teacher college.
“A mom called me one time and asked why I hadn’t taught her kindergarten child how to get dressed. Because if I had taught him right, she said, he wouldn’t need so much of her help getting ready in the morning.” —P.F.
3. Is reading really necessary?
“I teach high school English. And to be clear, reading is an essential part of any high school English class. It’s often the only homework I assign, and often our classroom discussions and work are based on the assigned reading. But that didn’t stop one mother from scheduling a conference to ask if her daughter could skip the reading because she had signed up for too many after-school activities and she didn’t have time to read.” —L.P.
4. You’re not getting paid to sit there and file your nails, teach.
“A parent emailed me once and told me she had heard that I had asked her 6-year-old son to teach the other kids. She went on to explain that teaching wasn’t her son’s job, it was my job. And if I wanted to keep getting paid, I needed to start working for my paycheck.” —S.B.
5. Such high expectations.
“I had a parent tell me to stop praising her son for good work (when he did it!) because I was setting up ‘impossible demands’ for him to continue!” —C.R.
6. He’s going to go to college, teacher.
“A parent emailed and asked me to send her a text message every day with her son’s homework assignment (he’s in ninth grade) because he had a hard time keeping track of his assignments. In the same email, she also requested that her ‘very gifted’ son never work with a partner or in groups because her child was going to college and she wasn’t so sure about the other students.” —R.H.
7. Could you talk to him about dry shampoo as well?
“A mom called and asked me to teach her ninth grader about hygiene. She recommended a crash course on brushing teeth, using deodorant, and even table manners.” —V.H.
8. Shall I pick you up some milk from the grocery store too?
“A parent called and asked if I would order a teacher’s edition of our math book for her. She was unable to order it from the publisher because she wasn’t a teacher. The best part? She calmly suggested that I order it with my credit card and she would pay me back.” —V.S.
9. Is there a spying clause in your contract?
“I had a mother that asked me to call her ex-husband on a daily basis just to find out what he was up to.” —K.E.
10. But Disneyland is a learning experience.
“A mother called to let me know that she had to take her daughter out of school for a week because she was going on a trip. She wanted her sixth grade daughter to be able to write a paper about the trip instead of do the work that would be assigned in class. When I told her that she had to follow our district’s curricular standards and complete the work that she missed, she threatened to sue me because I wasn’t making necessary adaptations for her daughter.”
11. If you have some biscuits lying around, those would be nice as well.
“I got a note from a mom telling me that her son had a sore throat. She asked if I could make him hot tea throughout the day. She sent in a fist full of tea bags in his bag. At the bottom of the note she told me that if I had any honey laying around, I should add that to the hot tea to soothe his throat more.” —M.B.
12. Remind her to flush too!
“A mom asked me last week if I would remind her daughter, a second grader, to wipe front to back really well each time she goes to the bathroom during the day.” —S.H.
13. He will be a CEO someday.
“After a struggling student of mine stood me up for three study sessions, his father called and asked to schedule a conference. When I arrived at the conference, the dad stood there in his business suit, glared and told me he owned a $30 million company, his son would succeed in school and that I would change the grade to 100 percent regardless of his previous scores.” —N.C.
14. She also likes sashimi.
“We were going on a full-day field trip and one of my students came to school without a lunch. I called her mom to see if she could bring something to the school before we left. Her response? She asked me if I could just drive through and pick her up some sushi on the way to the farm.” —L.B.
15. Could we just call it an open-hand test?
“I caught a student cheating on a test. His dad called that night and explained to me that it would be unfair for me to take points off of his grade for cheating because that would lower his grade.” —K.H.
16. There must be something in the water.
“A mom emailed me that her ninth grade son had a condition where if he got dehydrated, his brain stopped functioning, which explained his failing grades. Her solution? She wanted me to make sure he had a water bottle with him at all times and that he was drinking from it regularly.” —T.O.