Tuesday, December 9, 2008

my greatest fear

my greatest fear as a teacher had been, until yesterday, being approached by parents about why i had called child protective services about them. until yesterday i'd never had that happen. i'd had one student tell me, for his mother, that i needed to mind my own business. i've had another parent accuse me of getting his car repossessed because i called cps (which i didn't do so i'm not sure how he decided that his car being repossessed= his child's teacher calling cps). that was a fun one.
but i'd never actually been approached by a parent who wanted to know why i called cps. for some reason the idea of this terrified me. it's suppose to be confidential, but what would you do if a parent came in, angry and upset? i'm a terrible liar.

and then, on monday, it happened. my stomach dropped when he appeared in the doorway. it happened so fast there wasn't time to call an administrator or even get out the words "i don't know what you're talking about"

and it wasn't as horrible as i thought it would be. it wasn't attacking, it wasn't accusing, it was just concern, wanting someone to listen, wanting to let us know he cared. by the end i think my coteacher and i felt like it was good that we'd called cps, but also really good that the parent cared enough to come talk to us. it's a loving family who cares about their children and is willing to accept advice from the outside. i think in the end the children are safer and we're more on the same page with the parent. i still don't know if i ever want to have that conversation again. i need to work on my poker face.


Anonymous said...

Good for you. It must have been alarming. I would still be on alert if you see this guy again, in any other circumstances.

But doesn't your school have a security protocol in which no one, including parents, is allowed into the building without checking in at the front office and then being escorted to the classroom?

That's what we have in my urban school.

Mandy said...

I'm glad it worked out well for you. Keep your guard up. The last time I had to turn a parent in I nearly got slugged in the face by the mom (the exact reason she'd been turned in) and narrowly escaped by ducking.