Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Think of it as a VIP account.....

So it's been about nearly two months since school started, and no doubt some of you have received the unfortunate news that your wonderful child, who has brought so much joy to your life, is currently failing in someone's class.  For some, this news comes as no surprise.  For others, this may be the first time you have heard the news and you are shocked.  And always, the question runs through your mind: "Why didn't I hear about this earlier?"

Unfortunately, we can't call everyone.  I may have (and have had in the past) as many as 175 students to monitor.  If I called everyone and spent a scant two minutes on the phone with you, that's nearly 6 hours of phone time!  Oh, and I'm assuming you want more than one phone call this year?

So how do we choose who gets the call?  Well, if your student is passing, you probably won't receive a call unless I have extra time (ha ha hahahahaHAHAHAHA! HAha ha ha...ha......ok, it does happen from time to time) or your child does something wonderful that I'd like to share.  If I sent you a message and didn't get anything back, you're usually near the end of the queue until you contact me.  The student who is tanking fast gets jumped to the front of the line, but let's face it: this is not a VIP pass most parents want their child to earn.

So is there any way to earn the VIP pass without having to destroy your child's grade?  Yes there is.  It's called the teacher's bribe (well, we are government officials....).  We don't get paid much, so we can be bought cheap, believe me.  Below are a list of items that teachers covet as bribes (call it a back-to-school gift if it makes you feel better, but we don't mind shameless bribing):
  • cookies, candies, brownies, and anything home-baked. 
  • Starbucks gift cards
  • fancy or unusual pens and pencils.  Can be expensive, but doesn't have to be.  My favorite pen was a plastic ball-maze pen I got as a freebie at a reading conference.  Until someone stole it (you KNOW who you are).
  • bag of coffee or coffee cups
  • gift card to (fill in the blank: Cheesecake factory, local teacher store, Safeway, movie theatre)
Unusual teacher "gifts" I've received:
  • A bottle of wine (ok, I don't mind getting wine.  But please don't have your child deliver it to me and certainly not before class).
  • A certified pre-owned coffee cup.
  • A card that said, "My mom said I had to write a card so Merry Chrismas" (sic) on the inside.
  • Chocolates from Christmas.  Last year. (check to make sure the box design isn't year-specific)

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