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 they’ve received from parents!
“I had a parent request that I come out to her child’s extracurricular event on a Friday night to fix his computer. I taught his Literature class!”—B.M.
Me and my ridiculous rules.
“I had a parent (and her son) refuse to sign my rules and expectations sheet at the beginning of the year because one of my expectations in class was that students are awake and attentive. She argued that her HIGH SCHOOL aged son should be able to nap whenever he feels the need to. LOL”—C.A.
We wouldn’t want them to get dishpan hands.
“I was teaching home ec and a parent told me I was unreasonable to expect the students to wash the dishes they used…that was my job and he was going to report me to the Ministry of Education!”—S.I.
Your mission, should you choose to accept…
“A high school student was skipping classes and not turning in his work. His mother wanted us to follow him in the hall to his next class (“Follow him, but stay far enough away so he’s not embarrassed!”) and then make sure he went in to his next class (“But don’t confront him because he doesn’t like that!”) she also demanded that since he couldn’t keep track of his binder that his teachers should carry the binder to the next class for him. She also emailed and called the school throughout the day to check on him. It was horrible.”—EM
Links to higher ups?
“I had a principal tell our faculty to change the grades of kids cause there weren’t enough Bs or As in a cohort. He was quite powerful and had links to lots of higher ups so the union in that school wouldn’t touch him. In the next two years about 10 people left that faculty.”—L.S.
‘Cause yeah, that’s the hardest part of the job.
“One parent wanted keys to all of the tests and quizzes I gave my class to make sure I was grading correctly.”—R.S.
“A mother asked if her daughter could have an excused absence for the day because she had lost her virginity the night before.”—L.O.
Could you just go ahead and tell her it’s dinnertime?
“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 [daughter] about how she should be working on her homework at home and not sitting in front of a screen.” —A.J.
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.
Just Google it.
“I had a parent who said kids should be able to use their smartphones on tests because ‘as grown ups, when we don’t know something, we Google it.’ He was also one of our admin.” —W.F.
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 didn’t have time to read.” —L.P.
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 six-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.
Should I chew it for you, too?
“A fourth grader’s mother told our school secretary she needed to blow on her daughter’s soup at lunch in case it was too hot.” —R.W.W.
Everyone does it.
“I emailed a parent about her child name-calling another student as an ongoing issue. Parent wrote back and said that was a normal part of growing up. Every child does it.” —J.W.
Lower those 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.
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.
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.
Math is definitely the saddest subject.
“I had a mom tell me that there was NO WAY I could teach math every day. Once or twice a week was already overwhelming for her son. Math makes him sad.” —C.S.A.
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.
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 [they were] 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 [her daughter] had to follow our district’s curricular standards and complete the work that she missed, [the mother] threatened to sue me because I wasn’t making necessary adaptations for her daughter.”
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.
Oh, and definitely stay away from snakes.
“I had a mom call and ask me to ask her son (who was in the eighth grade at the time) to stop picking up frogs on his way home because they could be poisonous.” —J.W.
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 [went] to the bathroom during the day.” —S.H.
I said only one apple a day.
“I was asked by a parent to follow her daughter around to make sure she didn’t eat too many apples. In writing.” —K.A.
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.
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 [daughter] up some sushi on the way to the farm.” —L.B.
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.
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.