How to start off on the wrong foot with your son's 2nd-grade teacher

My lovely and talented wife, Aries28, shared this story with me when I got home last night. She has given me permission to share it with you. She won’t, because she’s embarrassed as all get-out.

Yesterday was orientation day at the Stepminion’s grade school. Aries28 took the day off work so she could go with him, meet his new teacher, sign various and sundry forms, and in general do whatever needs to be done to make sure our son is set to go for second grade.

The folks at this school are very nice, and the school itself is pretty good. But they cannot, for the collective life of them, organize something properly. We know this from experience, but it still grates on the nerves of my sometimes-impatient wife. Suffice it to say that by the time she actually got to the classroom where our son will spend second grade, she was a little put out by multiple minor frustrations.

She greets the teacher, who is (in my wife’s words) “very young and pear-shaped.” They talk amiably for a moment, and the teacher asks Aries28 to sign a few forms.

My wife sits down to do this, along with a few other parents who are there. There’s a packet on the table with our son’s name on it, so my wife opens it and starts signing. Then she turns the packet over.

On the back, written in pen, she sees the words “Given to Lie.”

This gives her pause. At first she didn’t understand why that particular assessment was written on the packet, and then she began to get mad. She finished filling out and signing the forms, and debated internally if she should say something to the teacher. At that point, the teacher happened to come over and ask her if she had any questions.

Aries28, as she is wont to do, seized the moment. “Actually, yes, I do have a question,” she said. She sent our son to the back of the room, because she didn’t want him to hear the conversation. Mystified, the boy went.

My wife pointed to the notation on the back of our son’s packet, and spoke in a tone of steely, barely controlled fury. “I want to know who wrote this on here, because I have NEVER been told of any problem with my son lying at school. I do not appreciate someone in authority here apparently trying to prejudice you against him like this without at least talking to me first.”

The teacher, reacting more to the tone in my wife’s voice than to her actual words, stared at her incomprehendingly. This frustrated Aries28 even more.

“If anyone at this school has a problem with my son lying, I want to know about it IMMEDIATELY,” she said. “I do not appreciate this type of rumor about my son being passed along without someone talking to me about it.”

The teacher still bore the look of a duck attempting to decipher the Rosetta Stone.

My wife tried a different tack. “Who wrote this on here?” she demanded. “If it’s one of his earlier teachers, I want to talk to them right now.”

The teacher at last felt she knew the answer to a question. “The office writes those notes on the back of the packets,” she said feebly.

My wife pounced. “How would anyone in the office know that my son lies?” she demanded. “Who should I talk to about this?”

The teacher, obviously thinking this was not the day to accidentally leave her Uzi at home, said, “Did you write a donation check to the school at the end of the last school year?”

“Yes,” my wife snapped, “but what does that have to do with this accusation?”

The teacher pointed to the handwritten note. “That says “Given to Liz.” It lets the office know that you’ve already donated money to the school for this year, and that the money has been given to Liz, the school secretary.”

When Aries28 told me this story yesterday evening, I collapsed on the kitchen table, shrieking laughter, while my wife beat me about the head and shoulders with a whisk. She said judging from the expression on the teacher’s face, that lady still doesn’t understand where my wife was coming from with her indignant outcry.

Second grade is going to be such an adventure this year.

Ooooh, I like that story. That cheered me up on an otherwise crappy morning. Do “e” and “z” really look that similiar?


"The teacher still bore the look of a duck attempting to decipher the Rosetta Stone.

Ha! Your wife always seems so reasoned here on the boards, making your tale even funnier. Okay, now you’ve got me eagerly anticipating the next installment. Sex, Liz and Video Tape perchance?


Poor Aries! Especially in view of all she does other children in the school system.

I am thinking this year is going to be interesting in view of my kitten getting suspended the last week of last year… went out of second grade with a bang!

Maybe I’ll hide when he gets to junior high!

He wasn’t suspended for fighting uh uh my kid likes everyone. He was suspended for being WAY too friendly.

She shouldn’t worry about it. Hopefully, the teacher will see the humor in her mistake and be able to laugh about it, too.
I teach preschool, and if it happened to me, I’d think, “Okay, slightly paranoid Mom, but it’s kinda funny.” And then forget about it.

Remember, if there really were such a serious problem with a student such as lying, it wouldn’t be casually written on the outside of an envelope full of forms for a parent to sign.

I have never wanted a floor to open up and swallow me as bad as I did yesterday.

The best part was when we were walking out Patrick said, “What kind of note was on my folder? What did it say?”

I replied, “It said your mother is an idiot.”

“WOW! They write that on the folders???”

I swear by all that is good and holy it looked like an E and not a Z.

This is going on your Permanent Record, young lady.

Thanks for the giggle.


As someone with attrocious handwriting, typing, and spelling skills, I can assure you that it is more than possible to mean to write an ‘z’ and instead make some odd scribble that looks like an ‘e’. Especially if the note was hadwritten in cursive, and the teachers and managers were all used to seeing the way the office writes ‘liz’. It seems more than reasonable (to me) that such a mistake is plausible.

Further, as someone with bad eyes who denied it for years, I can attest that the mind will play very funny tricks on you in regards to road signs. A brief glance at some word will result in an assumption about what is written. Once the emotional gears start to churn the brain will simply not even phathom the possibility that the assumption is wrong. I have successfully read signs from a disatance (reading them more than once) only to find that when I got closer I had completely missed the real words. And even then, I had to trick myself into seeing the real sign.

So, don’t worry, Aries28. I’m sure the teacher simply thinks you are paranoid, blind, illiterate, or some combination of these. :wink:

Now that’s the funniest part of the whole story. Rather than ridicule your embarrassment, I would rather commend you for sticking up for your kid. I spent my grade school years in a place where the teachers and administration would rather stick their fingers in their ears and yell “la la la la la” at the tops of their lungs than talk to a parent, especially if the child was a problem in any way. Your mistakenly righteous indignation reminds me a great deal of my own mother taking apart the Education Machine piece by piece. :slight_smile: Nice job.

And I’m sure it looked like an e.

Me too. You did okay.

See, I tend to agree with Draelin and gatopescado. I think what my wife did was cool. She doesn’t see it that way, though.

I told her this was the kind of thing that would happen to me, and she said, “Exactly! YOU should’ve been the one to get embarrassed, not me!” However, I also said that I probably would have pointed to the writing and said “Can you tell me what this means?” before launching into a tirade. That got me another whisk-beating.

Good thing it didn’t say : Given to fo’shizzle

I don’t even know what fo’shizzle means

Aries, dear, you had every right to do what you did. Jumping down some young pear shaped teached ass about accountability and whatnot regarding our precious perfect wonderful children are all apart of this embarrassing thing we call Parenting By The Seat Of Our Pants.

Just think, for years you will be remembered as the “One time, I had this parent that jumped all over my case about Liz…”.

You’ve just become an amusing anecdote, dear. And, the best of it is that this teacher will always be wary of you, so you got that going for you.

We here in Doperville, look forward to hearing every parents amusing farkups.

*Pain shared is cut in half.

Dumbass things shared is mortification amplified. *

It’s means “For sure”, but I’m not sure how that would work in this context. :slight_smile:

Ahhhhhhhhh…suddenly the Old Navy commercial with Fran Drescher makes sense and still makes me recoil in horror at that horrid memory.


If she is a beginning teacher, you may have provided a little humor to her and her colleagues during a time that can be very stressful (open house).
That is greatly appreciated. :cool:

BTW, Aries28, let her know you are an ally, not an enemy. Make fun of the incident. If she is new, she’ll be more willing to call if something does go wrong with your son. Otherwise, she’ll think “No way am I calling that crazy b*tch”.

I gotta believe she found it funny. Especially if she overheard what Aries28 told her son. Frankly, I think I make a worse impression whenever some school employee asks me the name of one of my kids’ teachers. Hell, with five kids it is all I can do to remember my own kids’ names, let alone their teacher’s.

Relax. We all screw up. She may even forget to tell her grandchildren about it.

Give her a gift.
A copy of THIS in graphic novel form is appropriate. :slight_smile:

LMAO. What a great story. Thanks for sharing!

This reminds me of a couple of similar incidents at the medical office where I work . We had a pt , Pam X, leave a little note for her friend Vivian W on the sign in sheet on a day when they both had appts. The next pt that came in started SCREAMING about how e put personal info on the sign in sheets and it was outrageous and how dare we etc. Huh? Oh. Pam write Hi V, P. The pt thought we had written that Vivian was HIV positive next to her name.

Our nurses were also in the habit of scheduling pts for “follow up checks” until I pointed out to them that their abbreviation was printing on the pts encounter sheets as FU CK.

Thanks for the laughs as usual Sauron !