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Stupid complaints about things I can't fix

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by princesslegend, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. princesslegend

    princesslegend Occasional commenter

    Just had a stupid "comment" (complaint!) from a parent about something I cannot possibly fix. Even though it will be dealt with (HOY will call back) I feel really annoyed.

    I can't please anyone it would seem.

    Why is it that one comment from someone who's never been in your classroom can bring down your entire day?

  2. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    It's the straw that breaks the camel's back phenomenon.
  3. princesslegend

    princesslegend Occasional commenter

    It might be what breaks mine.

    I genuinely wish I could control the weather - then I'd have no complaints.

    I don't even teach a subject that requires going outside - yet the weather is somehow something I have to sort out.
  4. meggyd

    meggyd Star commenter

    I was once observed in a language lab and one of the criticisms of my lesson was that some of the booths were not working.
  5. princesslegend

    princesslegend Occasional commenter

    Ugh - so pathetic!
    Don't get me wrong... this isn't the first stupid thing that's been said/ complained about but.... really?

    It's making me want to scream.
    BetterNow and agathamorse like this.
  6. grumpydogwoman

    grumpydogwoman Star commenter

    Accumulation of stressors. Which s why we snap at our spouse about a stupid little thing after a tough day when the issue of who puts the bin out isn't really worth getting in a sweat over.
  7. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    I was observed by a colleague in a lesson when the digital projector bulb blew at the beginning, the technicians tried to replace it (which meant climbing on pupils' desks as I was teaching), for some reason that didn't work, so they had to replace the actual projector... all this coming & going took 30 or so minutes (more than 1/2 the lesson), and - obviously - I had to totally change the lesson plan I had produced, with most of the material requiring use of the projector.

    As it happens, I felt fairly inspired that day (& they were a good class), and I managed to complete what I thought was a pretty damn good 'off the cuff' lesson. The observer congratulated me on the lesson, but that said it would be rated a fail by OfSTED because I hadn't followed the lesson plan, hadn't had a proper starter (it required use of the projector, Doh!) etc etc. I told her I didn't give a monkeys (which you can when in the last year of teaching), and that I'd happily tell any OfSTED Inspector the same if they dare spout such claptrap (I may not have said 'claptrap' ;)). That was the last time anyone observed my teaching!
  8. princesslegend

    princesslegend Occasional commenter

    You are brilliant!
    jiin71, jlishman2158, ATfan and 3 others like this.
  9. mothorchid

    mothorchid Star commenter

    I have had complaints from parents over having asked their child to write the homework into a planner. I did so because her record of "remembering" it was poor. This was not only me being a bully, but also caused other pupils to bully the child, apparently.
    And once I wrote a UCAS reference where I said "James has attended 134/247 possible school sessions" (Or numbers to that effect). The parent said they were going to take me to the European Court of Human Rights.
    The thing is, as GDW says, it is utterly ludicrous, but often a last straw thing which makes you snap.
    I am so glad I'm out of it!
  10. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    Hardly...:confused: But, like virtually every teacher I worked with, I wanted to teach my classes as well as I could, whatever the obstacles... But failing projectors I could cope with, idiotic comments from observers raised my blood levels dramatically!:mad:
  11. FrankWolley

    FrankWolley Star commenter

    A classic! I always replied to comments like this (or 'I'll speak to my MP') 'Yes, you should....' They had nowhere to go after that!
  12. nomad

    nomad Star commenter

    Perhaps they do. :D

    A parent once lodged a daft and petty complaint which went through the full process - informal, formal, complaints panel, appeals panel, local authority - all failed.

    The last time I saw the parent was when he burst unannounced into my office, pointed threateningly at me and thundered "I'll PRAY for you!"
  13. bigfatgit

    bigfatgit Occasional commenter

    The parent that lodged a complaint about "the crocodile I keep in the deep end of the school swimming pool..."

    I don't, honest
  14. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    A parent complained that I put in a report that the child handed homework in late if ever.
    She also told me 'He doesn't do that sort of homework'.
  15. oscillator

    oscillator Occasional commenter

    A parent that complained I hadn't communicated serious concern about his child's progress until the middle of Year 11, except he hadn't come to parents' meeting in the Autumn Term, hadn't read the two letters I sent home and hadn't noted my concerns expressed on the two previous reports written since mid-Year 10....??? Yet it was still my fault. Some people are just ridiculous - I see that now!!

    That was my straw.
  16. FriarLawrence

    FriarLawrence Senior commenter

    Some of us are just built that way. I fully sympathise. For me, one negative comment carries more weight than ten positive ones - I dwell on them terribly. I have no useful suggestions for how to think differently about this stuff, because nothing has worked so far. Just sympathy. The feeling will fade.
    rachndylan and agathamorse like this.
  17. Oscillatingass

    Oscillatingass Star commenter

    Back in the day I just advised younger colleagues to try and develop a thick skin about petty complaints. The trouble is these days in some schools you can end up being "supported" if you so much as glance at a kid harshly.
  18. BertieBassett2

    BertieBassett2 Star commenter

    My worst parent encounter was when one of the boys in my Year 3 class did badly in his times tables test. In the playground after school that day, his father approached me, ranting and raving that his child knew his tables really and that I would suffer for the rest of my life! He was a very intimidating man and I just about held it together before going back into school in tears. What he didn't know was that I had lost my husband two years previously to cancer and had obviously suffered a great deal. This was at the school where the Head accused me of being old school and 'only' teaching the children. She did nothing about this parent and refused to keep him away from the playground.
    agathamorse and mothergoose2013 like this.
  19. CWadd

    CWadd Star commenter

    Some parents are c****. Just like their children. Have a drink and think "**** off" to them in your head.
  20. hhhh

    hhhh Star commenter

    But NQTs wouldn't get away with that now. When we started teaching, no-one would have been daft enough to say stuff like that anyway...
    Plus parents didn't tend to complain very often then.
    OP, just think that the parent might be having a bad day (or decade) and feeling guilty that s/he isn't being a good enough parent, so by helicoptering their child in this way, they're making themselves feel better.
    Ain't you, it's them.
    agathamorse and mothergoose2013 like this.

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