Excuses, Excuses

Alternative Title – Stop Encouraging Your Son To Be Such A Lazy S.O.B.

This year, I have several parents who are professional Excuse Makers. You know, I contact them about something their child has done and without fail, that parent will give me an excuse as to why it was not their precious baby’s fault.

Excuse Maker: “It was MY fault that Little Angel didn’t do their homework. Not his. (But he’s in second grade and should be able to do it independently.) Plus, I think the directions were unclear (Yes they were.) And you forgot to remind him to do his homework before he left that day.” (They have homework every night, you want me to remind him every freaking night?)

Excuse Maker: “How dare you allow Little Angel to have a bathroom accident!!! (He never asked to go to the bathroom.) It was not his fault that he held it all day and didn’t ask. You should’ve asked HIM if he needed to go every hour so something like this could have been prevented!!” (Um, ask him every hour? Sweetie, do you need to pee pee? Yea, not going to happen. Tell him to raise his hand…he doesn’t seem to have a problem asking for a drink of water every fifteen minutes.”

Excuse Maker: “My little Little Angel would never take something from another child’s desk!!! How dare you!?!? (But I saw her do it with my own eyes and then she lied about it….I’m concerned that…) No! No! She did not take it. I do not care what you saw! I know someone must have TOLD her to do it.”


When I was little, the teacher was almost always right. In fact, I can only remember one occassion in which I got to be right. When I was in first grade (and second grade, we looped with this Nut), my teacher was a trainwreck. She called my mom one day and told her that I had been talking too much in class. Ok, so maybe I was. But so was everyone else. AND….she neglected to mention that while we were all talking, she was standing outside our classroom SMOKING and watching us through the window!!!! True story.

So, I am not chainsmoking outside my classroom. And I’m not making it up for my own sick personal benefit. I’m telling you about your child so that maybe, just maybe, you can do some parenting and help your child progress and mature. Just a thought.

I have one Little Angel who does NOT like math…or working hard for that matter. He’s the type of child that will do ANYTHING to look busy when in reality, he is doing absolutely nothing productive. You know the type.

We’re working with coins and the children have to come up with two ways to show a given amount using quarters, dimes, nickels and pennies. This is something that they have all done before, today is simply a refresher so that we can move on to more difficult concepts. I know they’ve done it before because I taught first grade last year and WE DID IT TOGETHER!!!

You can then imagine my surprise when Little Angel had done absolutely NOTHING in twenty minutes.

Me: Little Angel, what’s going on? You haven’t even started your work.
L.A.: I don’t know.
Me: You don’t know what? Do you understand what you have to do?
L.A.: I have to show 42 cents two different ways.
Me: Yes, so what’s up?
L.A.: I used 42 pennies.
Me: Great! But let’s think of another way, because I know that people don’t usually have all those pennies in their pockets. What other coins could you use?
L.A.: I don’t know.
Me: You don’t know?
L.A.: I’m confused.
Me: Ok…well what other coins have we talked about?
L.A.: I don’t know any other coins.
Me: You don’t know any other coins!?!?
L.A.: No.
Me: Nickels?
L.A.: No.
Me: But we talked about them all last year. And yesterday. And they’re on the wall. Come on, I know you can do it!
L.A.: I’m just really confused and this is hard. My father says that the cashier will make change so all I have to do is give them dollars. And my mom says when things are hard, I shouldn’t let myself feel frustrated, I should just stop.
Me: (Your dad is a raging idiot…what is he doing?!? And I think I want to hit your mom right now.) Oh, but you want to know things for yourself. It’s OK if this is hard, but I need to you to try a little harder. Now, let’s think. How much is a nickel worth? (Remind yourself that I teach SECOND grade).
L.A.: I don’t know.
Me: Do you mind if I write this all down Little Angel? Because I think your mom might be interested in all this and maybe she can help you at home too.

Conferences are Tuesday and Wednesday. I wonder what she is going to say about this one. It should be Excuse Extraordinaire!

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