I teach 10th grade English and my students were making the usual complaint about them feeling like they're not learning anything useful in school. So I created a lesson the next day teaching them about soft vs hard skills and what employers in 2019 look for. In the discussion with students I mentioned that regardless of what you choose to do after high school, you will always need to continue educating yourself within your field of expertise to be successful to strengthen those skills. No one can just stop learning after high school, it takes continuous effort to grow those skills we discussed. One student then responds with "I legit just totally disagree with everything you just said. I plan on being a sports photographer and all I have to do to be successful is create a portfolio. Once I graduate I'm just going to live out of my van, travel, and take pictures...and no more education needed. You don't know what you're talking about. " 🤨 Deep sigh.
We have a parent on our campus...I'll call her "Kathy." She is notorious for just being a major PITA. She's full of conspiracy theories and her son "Keith" is a high schooler with an entitlement attitude that comes custom delivered from Mommy Dearest. Kathy hates a lot of things, but none so much as state mandated standardized testing. I mean, who doesn't, but Kathy takes it to an entire new level. Since she doesn't want to keep her kid at home on testing days (we have suggested this) she sends him to school with instructions to write "REFUSED" on every test and then just sit there. Well, her son can't "just sit there" and causes distractions for the other students. We had to remove him the last time when he took to getting up and walking around telling kids "you don't have to do that. Just write "refused." Well, since the library was being used to test, we sent her kid to the ISS room with a para and let him chill in there. The next day, Kathy is up at the school demanding why we are "punishing" her son. Principal explained he was not being punished, we literally had nowhere else he could sit supervised. Kathy then says we have to provide a teacher to watch her son. Not a para, but a teacher, because he's "entitled" to it. Principal says no, keep him home the next few days of testing or he's going to sit in ISS. Kathy begins a facebook harassment campaign on one of the parent FB groups calling out all of his teachers--myself included--and the principal. It eventually blows over, like everything online. Now, since Keith did not take the required end of course tests, he has to have a meeting to determine whether or not he will be retained. I got the pleasure of calling Kathy to set up the meeting, since I was one of the teacher's whose subject was tested and she seemed to not hate me as much as everyone else. She thanked me for the call and said she was busy and would call me back. A week passes, and I call again, leaving a voicemail. I also emailed her. End of May...no response. Principal takes over and calls, emails, and then sends a certified letter. If the meeting doesn't take place, the kid is supposed to be enrolled in a remediation program--like summer school. So now it's June, and I'm drunk by a pool in another state. My principal calls me. Kathy is raising hell because we didn't have the required meeting and is demanding we do it tomorrow. I said, "I'm off contract, I'm on vacation, if that means her kid has to do summer school, it's her own fault." Principal couldn't argue there. I hope to God that Keith gets put in summer school and I hope to God that Summer School Principal doesn't cave into Kathy's crazy.