Troll Opinion

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

This is a little Trollish Gem I very recently recieved:

You are so obviously a superior educator to anything else that exists in the school system. Have you given any consideration to home schooling? It is not a great idea to continue to antagonize your kids teachers as human nature will ensure that a negative attitude will impact on your child’s education. She already has learning problems and these are unlikely to be lovingly catered to by an antagonized teacher.

You suggest that you could sit in as an observer? Please, go and ruin your own kids life by yourself. I predict that whichever route you chose, your kid will end up as a educational basket case. Despite your many qualifications, you are a very stupid and self centered woman and you deserve all the misery coming your way.

Mikeave you considered home schooling?
First I am going to assume the last sentance is "Have I considered homeschooling?" I know your name is Mike, as you sent the email with your full business contact info. I wonder if your Boss at Gemini Structured Carbon knows you are using the company email to jot off hate mail to Bloggers...

It is however a fair question when stripped away from your personal feelings about me, my professional expertise and the quality of my mothering.

No Mike, I haven't. While I do indeed have superior qualifications to many teachers currently serving in the school systems, I also BELIEVE in the school system. I believe that there are dedicated, wonderful teachers who serve in the public school systems in spite of rotten funding. I believe that there are families who deserve excellence in their public school systems and as such should be involved and active in the decisions about their childs schooling as PARTNERS with the school system. Education is never a spectator sport.

Part of what I do is train those teachers in University, talk with them about what children deserve, what families deserve and impress upon them that when they dismiss a parent and her concerns because "They" know better because "They" have the teaching certificate that it is a very very bad choice.  And was my child ever lovingly attended to by this teacher? The first words out of her mouth to us were "Emily has a MULTITUDE of ISSUES - Emily has trouble paying attention and asks me to repeat things over and over..."

Look, I don't believe that every teacher and every child have a deep connection. I, and every other teacher on earth will tell you there are some kids we like more than others. Some we click with, others ...not so much. However,  in my dream world of "competant" teaching, I expect that my child will be known as a learner by her teacher. Part of that is knowing her IEP information and making specific changes to the way some information is delivered.

I also believe in accountability, Mike. Teachers don't get to become teachers and then sit on their collective asses for the next 25 years resting on what they learned in 1973. They progress in the field, or should be counseled out. The reason teachers like the gem my daughter currently is encountering is that Parents never SPOKE UP. Or they were silenced because they were afraid of what the teacher might do to their child. Or Principals who Should have counseled these types of teachers out years ago just never wanted to rock the boat. So we all have to suffer - but mostly the children who are stuck with these teachers most of all, because you know what happens in teachers rooms with the door shut?  Whatever the teacher wants.

In one of my lectures, I tell my students that I have observed there are two types of people who are drawn to the teaching profession - Those who really love children and teaching....and those who like to exert control over people they know can't really do anything about it. 

Well, I am not a fan of people who like to decide when a child can pee because they CAN. Those people are bullies, and I do not suffer bullies well.

I am sorry, Mike, that your parent or parents pissed off your teacher and you were some how penalized for it. That comes over loud and clear in your note. It wasn't right. Someone should have protected you. Had you been my child, I would have protected you. Shit, if I you were in my kids class and I SAW it, I would protect you. The bullies credo doesn't just work with my child. I tend to be that person who speaks up about everything. I am also the parent who will discipline other peoples kids on the playground if needed. But I bet you already guessed that about me.

As to my suggestion that I sit in the classroom, I have sat in on MANY of Emilys classrooms. In fact, if a teacher resists that suggestion I get nervous. What do they Not want me to see? If they are secure in their teaching it shouldn't matter if I am sitting in or not. Did you see the part about Ms Deb? I did my Masters Thesis work in her room with her reviewing the information I gathered. She was Em's teacher for 2 years. I knew that she was the same teacher regardless of if the parents were in the room. I TRUSTED her.

I do not trust this current teacher. I have been given no reason to trust her and she has certainly not shown the depth of her profesional knowledge by ignoring me, failing to read my childs IEP or not responding to notes I have placed in the agenda.

Finally, the reason we keep Em in public school? Because it is important to both her father and I that she experience all types of people - Kids, Families and yep, even Teachers. Private schools tend to be limited to those who can afford it, thereby canceling out some families by virtue of economic situation. Educational elitism (and I am SO not talking about what Neo-Cons like to pretend is some evil force) is probably one of the deepest divides in North American Society. No child left behind, my ass. How about every child who can't afford to get the hell out of the public schools left behind?

While it remains to be seen if my daughter ends up the "educational basket case" you predicted
[For the record, I am pretty sure she will be fine], your final wish for all the "misery coming my way" is sweet.  Not unlike the person who wished I would just kill myself now so my daughter won't grow up to be the same shallow bitch her mother has become.

A very happy new year to YOU Mike.

23 Baleful Regards:

Anonymous said...

Boy, did Mike mess with the wrong person!
And don't we all love when some random dude feels the need to mansplain things to us?
You go Dawn. And a happy and prosperous new year to you and your family!

Shannon said...

I fully comprehend that we, as readers, likely do not have every single detail in this continuing story with your daughter's teacher. However, from what you have shared it sounds like you have not made any unreasonable demands and the teacher has been anything BUT professional. Good for you for standing up for her. Teachers who want parents to sit back and tune out deserve to be reminded of their responsibilities to students and their parents.

SUEB0B said...

I worked for the second kind of person - the bully - and she actually had a teaching credential but had never used it because she wanted a higher pay rate than our schools provide. When she used to drive me crazy by micromanaging me, I would think "Well, at least I'm an adult and have perspective. Thank God she isn't off ruining some child's life."

Anonymous said...

You go, mama! So tired of the "not it" attitude of some teachers. Went through a similar situation last year with our son; phone call from teacher first week of school about his "behavior" and during the phone call she says "oh, I see he has an IEP" - YEAH, and maybe you should have actually LOOKED at it, let alone UNDERSTOOD it before you called me! Don't let haters get you down! Being a good advocate for your kids isn't easy. And to MIKE - if you are going to spout off to someone about their ineptness you should be sure to check your message for grammatical errors etc. and really speak to what you know, which obviously is not mothering or attending to the needs of a child, Jackass.

Blue House Studio World HQ said...

Well said. I applaud you for speaking up and advocating for all, not just your child.

julia said...

You put into words exactly how I feel about public schools. My husband and I are from Chicago, the actual city, not the outlying suburbs that people claim are Chicago. We have since moved to Indianapolis for work, and I am desperate to provide our yet to be born children with exposure. I am really sad they wont have Korean, or Afrian, or Greek, or Thai, etc children in their lives! (seriously, there are only while christians in Indiana). We plan to ensure they are exposed to as many different types of lifestyles, people and cultural differences that we can find. We will most likely have to do this through travel, or "special classes". If you have any ideas on how to make this happen, I'd love to hear them. How do I make sure my child is well rounded, and tolerant?

Emily is lucky to have you as an advocate. My parents were not educators, but did the same things for me. There was no bullying allowed by my teachers. At. All. I think my dad was at School more than I was, defending us kids! Was there backlash? A little. But it was worth it. I peed when I needed to.

And Mike, whenever a woman stands up for herself, or rocks the boat, the first instinct is to call her stupid, bitchy, too aggressive etc. I suggest you take a look inside of yourself. If it bothers you so much what Dawn is doing, perhaps it's a sore spot for you from your own life.


Amanda said...

I would have placed a wager that the teacher wrote that message, and then you called him Mike. All sorts of sadness came crashing down on me, as I was in hopes the teacher found your blog. Is it sad and scary that my emotions are so tied to your life events? I keep checking for updates. You are your child's only advocate. My son's teacher told me I can't fight his battles for him. I politely informed her that these are not his battles. Fights with teachers and administration are indeed my job, not that of a second grader.

yarnwhore said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
yarnwhore said...

As someone who teaches at the university level, bless you, Dawn. From a total atheist, bless you. The answer to the problems that I am seeing coming out of the public (and even many private) schools is a direct result, in part, of the sort of "teaching" that Emily is currently exposed to. Parents actually giving a damn about their children's education, much less parents with an experience level of Dawn's, is never a bad thing. Parents who complain because people don't think that their child is a precious snowflake who could never do any wrong and should never face any consequences for their actions do suck donkey dong, yes, but not parents who solely have the quality of their children's education in mind.

I had a teacher like Emily's when I was in second grade. I still have her name burned in my brain at the age of 37. She was all about control. I was a different problem for her than Emily. I was a year ahead already, coming directly from a strong Montessori background which encouraged free learning, and my mother was a former teacher who had worked me up through the 6th grade MacGuffey Readers at that point. That woman's head almost split open because I wrote in cursive, used a pen to do so, and knew about the existence of negative numbers. Since "the other children d[id]n't" do these things, I wasn't allowed to and was sent home with many notes to that effect. My mom did what Dawn is doing now and bless her crazy ass for it. I barely have a relationship with her now for many other reasons, but I will ALWAYS give her due credit for overseeing my education and advocating for me on a phenomenal scale. I'm betting Emily will, too. (Hopefully without the screaming fights, but if you keep substance abuse and major personality disorders to a minimum, you should be OK.)

jwg said...

Still another example of why you could have a side business writing letters to fools. You could call it "Taking Umbrage". Seriously, great response.

MOCK! said...

I start the new year with a new teaching who is new to the profession. I think he is getting a link to your blog as his "Welcome" present...

Dawn said...

Look! He emails me!

The Troll replies

Mike McWilliams
to me

show details 2:42 AM (12 hours ago)

Firstly, You are a real piece of work. Threatening me with exposure to my boss. I am the boss, you sweet natured lady.

Secondly, I never had any parent/ teacher issues, so please don’t offload your psychobabble onto me.

Thirdly, what to you , may appear to be Hate Mail is, in your child’s case, Love Mail.

You need to concentrate on your child’s problems, not her teachers failings.

If you put just a little of the energy you put into fighting with teachers and total strangers, into coaching your child and ensuring that she is getting the appropriate medication, you would not have the problems you have. To try to make the world fair, and teachers, or bosses ideal, is painting a false picture of the world for your kid. The world is not fair, and authority is often useless and bullying. Don’t try to modify the world so your child can cope, arm your child to cope.

Mike McWilliams

Mike McWilliams
Gemini Structured Carbon Ltd
5 - 8 The Sanctuary
London , SW1P 3JS
United Kingdom
South African Office
2nd Fl, West Tower
Maude St
Nelson Mandela Square
Sandton City
Tel +27 11 881 5764
Fax +27 11 881 5611
Mobile +27 82 604 5334
PO Box 785553
Sandton 2146

roo ( aka sasquatch?!) said...

sorry for the off-topic comment, dawn-- just wanted to wish you and yours happiness and health in 2010.

Happy new year, from a godless heathen who thinks you're cool.

soul said...

From the company website listed here:

10 Margaret Street
Richard Wilson - listed as CEO

2nd Floor, Hyde Park Corner, Jan Smuts Avenue, Sandton, South Africa
Contact: Mike McWilliams
Tel: +27 (0) 11 325 5878 | Fax: +27 (0) 11 325 5884 | Cell: +27 (0) 82 604 5334

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7486 4960
Fax: +44 (0) 20 3008 6171

**THe address 'mike' listed belongs to Wogen Industries.
Of the phone numbers only the cell is SA cell is accurate.

**my apologies for the intrusion, but I can't stand bullies especially 'interweb gangstas. who allegedly own entire businesses but still have time to be abusive aholes online.

I suspect this troll isn't Mike at all and is trying to drum up trouble for him, hence leaving dodgy contact numbers.
Ignore it. (yes.. I said it)

Dawn said...

Thanks Soul - I will ignore it. I think I liked best in his response when he tells me about his "Love" mail to me.

Like I hit you because I love you so much.

And I also liked that he thought I was threatening him with "exposure" - which I really didn't do. And then tried to bully me If I respond to bullying well...which I don't, obviously.

I will ignore it and thank you again.

Gina said...

I really love this post. I live in a small school district and like any others it has its problems. And I get sick and tired of hearing people put it down and ask me about private school or homeschooling.

I - like you - believe in the public school system. I don't have anything negative to say about parents who do send their kids to private school or home school, but it just isn't for us.

And I also kind of hate the idea of making those choices based on problems or issues with teachers, etc in the public system. I feel like doing that should be a last resort. Sure - it may fix the symptoms, but I think that as long as folks run away from the problem the problems will never get fixed. It takes parents willing to stand up and make some waves to change things. I respect you for that.

Anonymous said...

I'm one of those people antagonizes people by saying things I don't really mean while I'm irritated. I try to be aware of it, but lack of sleep, too much stress, and even low blood sugar tend to lower my tolerance for idiocy. I've come to learn that my lack of tact is hampering my career.

I wonder if these passive aggressive exchanges aren't just making things worse. I'm not saying back down, mind you, just that in the interest of harmony it might be better to request an intervention with a mediator so that you and this teacher can learn to communicate and work together. She needs to know that you're not going away, and you need to learn how to talk to her without reminding her of her short comings.

Woman with Kids said...

Wow. ...'mansplain' *snort*

Unknown said...

As a Hoosier I'd like to say there are not only white Christians in Indianapolis.


You go, Dawn.

Anonymous said...

Two things:


I agree with Rayne of Terror in regard to the Indianapolis comment! A blanket statement like Julia made is not all that "educated" coming from someone who claims to value equality and education and exposure to "all types of people". Big cities are not the only places where people can learn to become open minded, well rounded individuals.


As for YOUR predicament Dawn, I feel for you. One of my almost 4 year old twins has a sensory integration issue, speech and language processing delays and a documented brain injury as well. We suspect ADHD at times, but can not diagnose that at this early age. We are in the beginning stages of IEP's/occupational/speech and physical therapy/major psych assessments and all the stuff you have likely been dealing with for years.

As a first born rule follower myself, it took me a long time to accept that my daughter's issues were not simply about poor behavior. I was afraid to coddle her too.....but have learned that by changing my natural frustrated response to some of the things she does, she benefits. The same is true for her education and I EXPECT our teachers to work WITH us, not against us. There is a fine line between expecting special treatment and expecting fair treatment. I want my daughter to be successful and happy and will do everything in my power to give her skills to deal with all aspects of life as she grows.

If I have learned anything through the situation that we have with our daughter, it is that you don't really know what you will do or what you believe about parenting until the job presents the actual challenge. It is easy for others to sit in judgement when they don't understand what you are dealing with.

I applaud you for being an advocate for your child. It is exhausting, but I believe it will pay off in the end.

julia said...

Anonymous and Rayne:
Do you think I really don't know there are not just white people in Indy? I think you all took that comment a little too serious. It was meant as a bit of sarcasm.
Also, anon, I don't "claim" to value diversity, I DO value diversity, and it's why I chose the career I did.
If you are familiar with Indy, and all it's wonderful diversity, point me in the right direction instead of attacking.
I'd love some ideas of ways to see other cultures here. We've been looking for 18 months, and haven't found much more than shopping malls. Well, I guess there is that 1 chain Indian restaurant down the street from me....

Anonymous said...


If you chose your career because you value diversity, then why are you living in a city that you haven't been able to locate any in for the last 18 months? Your words, not mine. Maybe you should relocate to the BIG city where diversity is easy, obvious and not a challenge. How easy it is to pretend to be one thing, until we actually have to go out and prove it.

The only tip I'll give you is your eyes and you'll find the diversity you claim to seek.

I'm not going to argue with you on Dawn's blog. Sorry. But don't expect to be welcomed to any city with open arms or advice if you have nothing but "sarcastic" (elitist)comments to offer.

White, Christian, Shopper.

Ann said...

How very trollish of him. He obviously took your intervention the wrong way.
But I have a question—how would sitting in class as an observer work? Wouldn't the children behave differently if one of the parents is watching them?

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