The calls from school range from leave-the-office-in-a-panic and drive like a madman over to the school, to the… unnecessary. Maybe it’s the automated calls that somehow find their way into the voicemails of people who don’t even have children. Then there are calls from the nurse because school rules really don’t allow them to be very helpful. Even the most doting and concerned parent has ridiculous stories about the calls they’ve received from their child’s school. Sure, parents want to know how their kid is doing and what they’re up to, but not… everything.
Then there are the calls that are just plain embarrassing. Like, when a child’s behavior reflects a little too much a parent's true character. The only good news is that parents are not alone. On the bright side, at least these unwanted calls give parents a little break from their work days?
20 The Really Mean Sense Of Humor
There are times when your kid’s personality starts to shine through, even at a young age, and it becomes more clear that they’re probably not going to grow up to be a little angel.
One mother recalls discovering her child might have a mean sense of humor: "A new child had recently started at my son's daycare. He was having a difficult time being away from his mom for the first time and [spent] most of the day crying. When the classroom door would open my son would run to the new kid exclaiming about how his mom was there. And then laugh when the disappointment/crying set in. He did it six times."
19 When Your Kid Has A Vendetta For Someone They Just Met
The only people who receive more ridiculous calls than parents are the teachers: "Apparently miss chatterbox had called up her mother who was now in the principal's office… complaining that I not only [disliked] her daughter and 'had it in for her' but have [disliked] her for months, had repeatedly made up stuff to get her daughter in trouble… She demanded that the principal fire me and apologize to her daughter. I looked at the principal and said: "Do you want to tell her or shall I?" The principal sighed and explained that I was a substitute teacher who had started yesterday and had only met the daughter this morning."
18 When The School Knows Who Wrote The Paper
A little bit of homework help can toe the line between good parenting and doing your kid’s homework for them. And teachers can tell the difference: "I've had parents help with essays and they misunderstand the prompt and almost always think the kid is supposed to write some sort of narrative instead of an argument or a research paper. Then the paper doesn't score well. I know when it happens because this is the parent who calls and is deeply upset about the grade on a paper. If a kid writes a bad paper, they are happy that I allow rewrites."
17 When Your Kid Is Faking It But Won't Make It
Sometimes it's the absence of phone calls from a school that should be the tip-off that something is going on, like an interception. "When I was student teaching I sat in on conferences with my cooperating teacher. One girl showed up to the conferences dressed up nicer than I've ever seen her at school, sat up straight, and was smiling from ear to ear. It was really awkward when the main teacher told her parents she was reading below grade level, [flunking] math, and had not passed a spelling test this quarter. Had the confidence and presence of a valedictorian, though."
16 When The Imagination Goes Too Far
One mother remembers an extremely weird, pretty embarrassing and very, very specific phone call from her son’s school. “Hello Mrs. Berry, this is Mrs. Teacher. I need to talk to you about your son. He refuses to use anyone’s name and instead refers to them as chicken wing... this is Mrs. Teacher again. Your son thinks he’s an actual chicken and we can’t get him to stop pecking the desk.”
Thinking you’re a chicken is definitely a phase. Is it a phase everyone goes through? No, of course not. But oh boy, it’s a phase no one will forget even years later.
15 Or Your Child Actively Sabotages You
Some phone calls are the result of a child doing everything within their power to truly make it seem like their parent has no idea what they’re doing. Like when you spend that extra half an hour making sure they’re dressed for the weather and then… get this: “You may have noticed it’s 30 degrees outside. We encourage our parents to help their children dress appropriately for the weather. We have a concern about your son wearing shorts and flip-flops to school.' …5 minutes later… 'Hello Mrs. Berry, this is Mr. Bus Driver. I just found a coat, scarf, gloves, hat, sweatpants, and a pair of snow boots left in your son’s assigned seat.'”
14 No Matter The Season
A really determined kid can make it seem like their parent is flat-out bizarre, or has no idea what weather even is. One mom summarizes an experience on the other end of the spectrum when she opened her voicemail to find this:
"You may have noticed that it’s 90 degrees outside. Your son packed a leather Harley Davidson jacket in his bag. He’s been wearing it since lunch. He’s sweating profusely and his face is turning red but he refuses to take it off.”
Determination can be a good trait in people, at least when it’s not leading to heatstroke.
13 When Only The Mom Is Called
Sometimes it’s not the content of the call that’s bothersome so much as who gets it. "On my son’s first day, the director added me to what I assumed was the family text group… Later that evening, while cooing over our sweet babe... my husband said he hadn’t received the messages. Assuming an oversight on the center director’s part, I sent her a message asking her to add my husband to the communication. She responded that the communication was only for mothers….she was adamant that her policy would not change simply because our family didn’t like it. My husband and I decided to remove our son from her care."
12 The Automated Calls
This one doesn’t need any specifics in context - it’s a universal experience that truly is the equivalent of having to swat a fly. Except it’s a phone call coming from your kid’s school that you have to answer since, y’know, it could always be the real deal. Without further ado, the classic: "auto-calls from the Department of Education when your kid arrives five minutes late.”
Like a lot of these policies, it comes from a good place. It’s just that the rule is completely not suited to the nature of life and situations and could be a little more tailored.
11 When The Slip Up Is On You
Those summer months are a mixed blessing; you have all the time with your kids and can finally do some really fun stuff. But then you run out of fun stuff to do and you still have all that time with your kids. One mother got a little too excited and sent her daughter to school a bit prematurely. Then she got this memorable phone call:
“I have your daughter in the office, Kindergarten doesn’t start till tomorrow.”
Yup, that one’s on you. Now the principal thinks you can’t wait to get rid of your kid. Which might be true, but they don’t need to know that.
10 When School Officials Aren't Allowed To Do Their Jobs
Parents all over are befuddled by how restricted a school nurse’s job is these days. On one hand, it’s a policy made out of not wanting to contradict a parent’s wishes. Yet, on the other hand, it gets ridiculous. One mom remembers a call for what felt like a really, really small thing. "I got a call from the school nurse... Because my kindergartener had a splinter under his nail. Apparently, the nurse is not allowed to remove splinters and I had to go do it. Luckily, I was just pulling up to get him because it was the end of the day. Seriously? The NURSE cannot remove a SPLINTER?"
9 When The Little Things Are Overblown
And then there are new levels of overreacting: “Some of them are ridiculous. At my son's old school [...], I got a call one afternoon that my son had 'MRSA'. [...] It was an old bug bite that had gotten a little infected but it was no bigs. Not to mention the fact that it was totally lost on her that you can't tell if something is MRSA or not without a culture. I had to spend my whole day at the doctor getting a note saying it was just a bug bite before he was allowed back at school, and I was working at the time."
8 And You Become Too Familiar With One School Official
Sometimes the calls add up to be so many, you have to wonder if the school nurse is just lonely. "Some of the visits resulted in her having to be picked up from school, but I was talking to this lady AT LEAST once a month regarding my kid. Finally at the end of the year, one afternoon the nurse called… I told her I had encouraged my kid to knock off the visits to her room so much. She just laughed and said something like, "Oh well, it's my job"... This year... I learned the second week of school that my kid… saw her the first week of school. For what, I don't remember. And you know what, I don't care."
7 When Your Kid Is Apparently Missing
Sometimes the phone calls really just aren’t helpful, like in this case. One mother explains her situation that, “Houston, Texas has radio frequency tracking tags” so a phone call can be something like,
“ Administrator: Hello, Mrs. Smith. We're calling to let you know that our tracking system indicates your son left the building today. Mrs. Smith: OK, so where… is he now? Administrator: …"
Thanks for the heads up, but this really does nothing to help. Sure, there’s a line where the school’s job ends, but this has not yet crossed that line. There’s slightly more they could have done before calling.
6 When Your Kid Is Modeling Your Behavior
Pick up a phone call from your kid’s school and you might just end up learning more about yourself than you meant to. "There was no way I could ignore it. A call home means either A) your child has done something wrong or B) he's in the nurse's office puking. Either way, it's not good. Hello? It was Ms. Zamenski, my son Sawyer's kindergarten teacher. That morning at carpet time the children had been rhyming words: "Cat," hat, mat. "Swing," ring, king. And “duck." Seriously, what was she thinking? "Uhn-uh-uhhhhh," a little girl had said, pointing at 5-year-old Sawyer. "That's a bad word.” No, it's not, he retorted. "My mom says it all. The. Time.” Duck."
5 When Your Child Takes A Pretty Hard Stance
It can be more awkward than anything when your kid calls the teacher a name: “Hello? Sawyer's third-grade teacher was calling to tell me that Sawyer had called her a monster. The class was doing a science experiment that entailed studying the impact of sunlight and water on plant life. Some plants would be given sunlight and water, some sunlight but no water, and some water but no sunlight. A few plants would be shut in a cupboard and given neither water nor sunlight. Sawyer had liberated the plants from the cupboard, protesting: "We know what's going to happen. [They won't survive]!” The teacher had returned the plants to the cupboard — and called his mother. She was a monster."
4 When The Message Is More Discreet
Some parents have cracked the code on what report cards are truly saying, in between the words. One mother read deeper into her son’s report card than the teacher may have expected and explains that, "When your kid's teacher says, they are "a pleasure to have in class," she means she wouldn't want to have him in her home. "Taylor demonstrates strong leadership" means she bosses everyone around, including the teacher. [...] Sophie has an "expansive vocabulary." (She swears like a sailor).”
In the teacher’s defense, that’s some verbal ballet going on over on their end.
3 The Hypocritical Ones
The parents of little ones might receive calls that are downright confounding that border on hilarious (remember the chicken one?) but parents of teens can receive messages that are more complex in how confounding they are. Like when the teacher is doing what the kid was in trouble for. The mother of a teen shares that,
"The last one I received was in October from Mr. Robinson saying my son had violated the school's electronics policy by using his cell phone during school hours. (I suspect it was sent from the teacher's iPhone. During school hours.) Still, it was nice to hear from somebody."
2 The Parents Who Can't Take A Compliment
The communication between parent and teacher can be just as backward to the child witnessing it as the parent whose involved. One adult remembers the tension between her mother and a teacher because no matter what the teacher said, the mother couldn’t hear the good things. "My Spanish teacher once called home to tell her how great I was doing and what a joy I was. My mom railed her about how [foul] I was. It was so bad she went to the school counselor and they called me in to chat. Yeah, you guys can't help, I just need to graduate and get out of there. Thanks though."
1 And The Lousiest Call Can Be From Parents
Some of these calls just get way too intense. A teacher tells about the most unsettling parent phone call she ever got-: "4 day weekend. Come back on Monday to 50 emails (Generally we have 10-15 in my group) My voice mail has 10 messages. I had not gotten a voice mail once in my entire time at my school. Parent flipping out that their student is flunking, how stupid I was for not allowing their student to do the work. How ridiculous I was that I could not give her student another chance. Last email and voicemail [are] husband apologizing because I am not the teacher of this student. (Got confused with [the] last name I guess)"
References: azcentral.com, cracked.com, washingtonpost.com, reddit.com, fatherly.com, confessionsofanadoptiveparent.com.