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    First year hell
    By Venter Too!

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    I feel your pain. I had one trying first year. I think that because I was new to the system (3rd year teaching) and the other fourth grade teacher was in her first year and the principal was new to the state, the parents were out of control. It was ironic because it just do happened that all the wild parents were in my room. Apparently, they were the reason why the other fourth grade teacher was finally transferred out (but just in case they wanted their kids in a better classroom environment...mine). The day I gave out report cards, I received 16 (out of 17) requests for conferences. I was "harsh" and "too strict." In fact, someone told someone else that they were not surprised I ran my classroom like I did (strict) because my father was in the military. Oh yeah, he was in the National Guard for two years..oh some 30 years ago. Whatever!! I swear they conjure up the freakiest things and somehow make others believe it.
    Now that I have been teaching for five years, I actually thank those parents. I learned right away how to stand up for what I (the trained professional) believed in.
    My recommendation for you...remember that these parents have their child in their best interests and thoughts. I am not a parent and don't know how they feel. I know that I will have strong feelings and beliefs when I am a parent. With that said, make sure you or your principal call them prior to the meeting and get an actual reason for the meeting (try to get specific concerns). It could be as simple as: Hi Mrs. So and so. I realize you spoke with our principal recently and requested a meeting. I understand you are concerned about your child's education. Could you be more specific about your concerns, so I can better prepare for our meeting. Hopefully, the parent will let you know. (Perhaps, it is not one or two could be they're ready to just vent). I like doing this because then you can prepare, write down some notes, and possibly even meet with your principal so you are on the same page.

    Good luck! Stand your ground. You are the professional! Don't let them tell you how to teach!

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