Woo to the hoo. I know I've been a little MIA around here lately but now that summer vacation is finally in full swing (yes, in Franceland we only get two months of vacay unlike you lucky three-sters in the States, although something tells me we make up for it the rest of the year...)! And seeing as how the school year is officially over, it's gotten me thinking about what an odd bunch we teachers are. I mean, you could definitely argue a case for us being the odd ones (you'd probably win that argument btw) but what I really want to say is that our job is kind of an odd one in that it exposes us all the time to a rather odd group of people: parents and their children. Yes, (God willing) I'll be one of those someday (heaven help us!) but you've got to admit that very normal, average people, when it comes to their offspring, can very easily turn into crazy lunatics given the right child stimuli. So I thought I'd compose a bit of a 'best of' list in tribute to our crazy children and even crazier parents this past year:
- Best illogical parent complaint: Getting told off for putting a healthy food sticker on a child as a reminder of what we'd learned after a science lesson on the food groups. Her mother misunderstood and believed that I was praising her lunch which apparently was not very healthy (Which leads me to ask...isn't the problem the unhealthy lunch and not the sticker? Just askin'...)
- Most random parent complaint: Not digging into my box of chocolates fast enough that a child had given me as a thank you present. (You see, the real problem had been that I had actually not seen it because the child had forgotten to give it to me and thus it was sitting in the school entryway. Her mother did the mature thing and called my boss to complain and ask why I hadn't yet touched their box of chocolates.)
- Most surprising cultural parenting discovery: Wearing turtle necks under the school uniform and a winter hat in June. Apparently Indians are terrified that their child will get a chill. (Dying from over heating doesn't seem to be a problem though)
- Pushiest parents: This is a tie between the mom who's been prepping one little girl in our school over what to say for Show and Tell every Friday (she's not a native English speaker so this becomes painfully obvious as soon as you deviate from her memorized text) and the dad who came in to film his daughter's Show and Tell so he could go back home and analyze his daughter's presenting strengths and weaknesses for the next time around.
- Most scandalous parents: Once again a tie between the mom who posed for her Facebook profile pic (my boss, the school principal, is Facebook friends with her) naked and pregnant (there were some appropriately placed shadows) and the coffee table book that one little girl brought in as her show and tell object for family day showing her mother au naturale. (She's a dancer and one of those 'be proud of your naked booty' artistic types)
- Most confusing parents: Yeah that would be those Indians again. It only took us half the year to realize that when they're agreeing with you they do this affirmation nod thing--only to the side, like a head bobble... Aka, when they're trying to say yes to you what you're seeing is a bobble headed no. (trust me, this can lead to real communication issues...)
- Best bad gift givers: Haha, this is my favorite category because let me tell ya, there were some good ones this year. Let's start with the second runner up: That would be the silver moose candle extinguisher that my coworker Lindsay got (which we later discovered on sale in the holiday selection at the Habitat store). First runner up would be the ornamental dagger from Yemen that my boss got (awkward...is she supposed to use it or just display it at school?). But the winner would definitely have to be the gift for my other coworker Jessica: white sexy lingerie...which really begs the question: who in the world would give their child's kindergarten teacher sexy lingerie? Not going to lie, I'm rather happy with my house plant and hand lotion thank you very much.
I could go on and I'm sure that any other current/former teacher could as well. What can I say? We just cross paths with an odd bunch of folks sometimes. And that is why we teachers so desperately need those summer breaks as a chance to recover and reflect a bit on all that parental randomness. So here's to another month and a half of sun soaking and catching zzz's before it all starts up all over again in September!