Apr 27, 2010

Passive Aggressive Email from Parent about how Kid is not Going to do Homework because of a Funeral

 Parent to me


date: Apr 14 8:08 PM
        subject: re: online quiz (to be done at home tonight)

When is this due? We are at a funeral and cannot do this right now. Last nights assignment came in after Koumba was already in bed so she didn't even know about it.  I won't be happy if she recieves "F's" for these. Let me know if she can do these tomorrow night. Thanks, 

C. Parent

(504-272-7134)  
Director of Consulting
Anysuch Company
Hey, LA


Yes, she did know about it. Oldest excuse next to, "Dog ate my homework." Duh. It was homework. Second off, why the anger? She won't be happy if kid gets an "F". Is that a threat? Or am I misreading this? Third of all, why so defensive? As if my homework assignment somehow was an inconvenience to her daughter. Someone died. Ok. I get that. I have dealt with this situation before. But, don't put your pent up aggression on me. The kid was in bed. You don't make sure she's done her homework? Mom is still up. Ok. She checks daughter's homework online. At 8:08 writes me this email. I am about to go to bed. My inbox lights up. The last thing I want to read before I go to bed too. Wake your daughter up, not me, I think.

I  didn't even write back. Let the river flow on its own.

The funny thing about the situation is I told the student the next day, "I am sorry about your loss. My condolences." And the student responds, "Huh?" She looks at me glassy-eyed. As if I'd poked her with a dull blade. And then goes, "Oh. Yeah." She doesn't even inquire about the homework. "It was my third cousin's aunt."

Wouldn't it been better if this parent had simply stated the situation and informed me that her daughter would straighten things out with me tomorrow? I am sometimes feel as if parents feel teachers unjustifably burden their children. As if, dammit, why are you ruining my child's psychological well-being by making her do a quiz.

Granted. I did not like homework as a kid either. But, my mom never got into the fray. I cannot imagine my mom getting upset because I had homework. Even if Uncle Willy died. She would probably have said, "Talk to your teacher."

Postscript:
Do you think kid EVER asked me about this? Do you think kid EVER attempted to do the assignment. Both questions: NO.


So here is a template for anyone who writes a letter to their teacher about a missed assignment with an excuse. Note, have the student write it, not the parent. It is so much more appropriate. As if our kids cannot compose a message to their teacher? It's their grade, anyway.

Example Letter to Request an Extension on a Missed Assignment

subject[Your name] [assignment title] [class] [teacher]

Dear [Teacher's name]:

I  am aware the due date for [assignment] was [00/00/00].

I was unable to complete the assignment on time because of [state your excuse].

Is it possible to have an extension for this assignment? I can complete the assignment and turn it in [request no more than two days].

I would be happy to speak with you about this matter [before class, after class, etc.]. Please let me know if this is an appropriate request.

I want to catch up with my missed work due to [reason] and not fall behind with the remaining required course work.


Best,

[Your name]
School name
contact information

Keep in Mind:

Lots of teachers are not going to let you make up a homework assignment. You either have it or you don't (unless you have an excused absence).

Passive Agression:

Everyone is flawed. It is not the fact that a student missed the assignment, but the attitude people demonstrate in emails that reeks of passive aggression.




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