Thursday, September 14, 2006
parent orientation power play
I should just avoid parent orientation night at school. For the first time ever I had to simply walk out between teachers to come home because I was too upset to sit through the whole thing. The ma’aseh as it occurred (7th grade, boys school), names omitted: Rebbe gives presentation on his “derech” and concludes by asking for questions. Parent raises hand and asks what could be done about the sheets. “Meaning what?” asks the Rebbe. Parent replies, “They writing is so horrendous that the kids cannot make it out.” Rebbe begins by saying since he was asked in public he will reply in public and asks parent how old his oldest child is. “25,” answers parent. Rebbe indignantly asks, “You mean your oldest child is 25 years old, has gone through school, and you don’t know that is not the way to speak to a Rebbe!” After a bit more lambasting he went on to ask who this parent’s son was and remarked that now he understands why the same child complained about the sheets the day before – he of course heard it at home. This continued for a bit more back and forth, but I think you get the gist from my paraphrase. This is one week into school in public at a general orientation meeting. Yes, perhaps the parent's question was a bit blunt, but b’mechilas kvodo of this Rebbe, if you cannot find a way to diffuse this situation with a little wit or perspective, find another profession. Maybe more on the "derech" later if I am not too frustrated to write about it.