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Friday, March 13, 2009

a very serious rule infraction.

EJ is in first grade, and last semester's conferences went well. Not so well for me, as I showed up with milk leaking everywhere and oreo smashed all over my jacket, and I lost a nursing pad somewhere between the car and the classroom - but the teacher had lots of good news to share. She said EJ was a great kid, motivated, smart, reading at a fifth grade level. I was so proud.

So last night when I went to conferences, I was expecting the same thing. I made sure to comb my hair before I went this time, and I even managed to wear clean clothes. I thought it would be a breeze.

I had to wait on an elf sized chair in the hallway for a few minutes, and I looked through a book the kids had made. It was about hundreds, and each student had a different page. One said "100 _____ would still be small," or "100 ____ would look strange." Things like that. The one EJ did said "If I had $100, I would buy..." and she wrote "a car." And drew a picture of a car that looked like a UFO. It was great. My kid's awesome, I thought. This will be a cinch.

The teacher came and got me, and right away, I knew. I just knew. This was not going to be a good meeting. I went to school for a long time - 13 years, including kindergarten, plus a couple years screwing around in college. And I never was a stellar student. I was way on THAT side of stellar, if you get my point. I spent a lot of time in detention and in-house and even got suspended oh, a trillion or so times. So I know that look, that air, that attitude, when the teacher has just had it up to here. And she was giving me that attitude from the second she saw me.

"Ah, hello, Mrs. S," she greeted me. "Why don't we go in and chat." She closed the door behind us. Bad sign.

"Well," she began, "we have a very serious problem with EJ."

"Really," I said, not believing her, because my children are absolutely perfect little angels.

"Yes, really," she said. "EJ has the messiest desk I have ever seen in my twenty seven years of teaching. It is absolutely atrocious."

"Oh, wow," I said. Then I started to laugh. "Really? Oh. Well what's the serious problem?"

She eyed me. "Her desk is the problem."

Now I was laughing hard. "No, Mrs. F," I said. "A very serious problem is starting fires. A very serious problem is spitting on her classmates, or cutting other people's hair, or stabbing a kid with her pencil, or not being able to read or write."

She started to speak.

"Mrs F," I continued, "I would be far more concerned if my seven year old had a place for everything and everything in it's place. A messy desk is not the end of the world. And I'm sorry you feel that way."

She gave me the hairy eyeball. "I'm sorry you feel that way. We take neat desks very seriously in this classroom."

I stood up. "Thanks for the conference. We'll get right on that."

And I left.

Weird OCD teacher anyway.


ebbandflo said...

OMG - a messy desk is sooooo NOT a problem! I would have been right there with you trying to hold in the giggles. We are currently having Problems with my wee guy (kindergarten too!!) and I would love to swap a messy desk for all his troubles with appropriate behaviour and socialisation. (His teacher is BTW absolutely awesome so we are having productive meetings to sort out his "attitude" and he's not being labelled a bad kid).
OCD most definite (a clean desk signals an empty mind).

Zeemaid said...

*L* Good for you. A messy desk. Talk about ridiculous. She actually had nothing more serious than that to discuss?

I'm with you.. if she's doing her work and behaving herself then be happy for her.

Kimberly said...

What a weirdo! I guess you really have to "work on" MDS (Messy Desk Syndrome)with EJ. The only thing missing in the story is the part where you flip her the bird:)

Lisa said...

Wow, that's crazy. Um... this reminds me of a kid in my elementary school named James who couldn't ever clean his desk. He would pull his hair and get all spazzed out about it and the teacher would ask me to do it for him. Now THAT is a kid with a problem. Your kid sounds normal to me!