It doesn’t matter if you like change or hate change. Change is here to stay … as ironic as that sounds. And you’ve only got two choices: You can muddle your way through it or you can manage your way through it. Whether certain things should or should not change is open to debate. The fact still remains that you must learn to manage your way through it. Change is tough enough without getting into a pity party over it. Find something to laugh about.
A school district in California was having huge difficulties with students and parents not taking responsibility for excessive absences and missing homework. So the school tried to implement much stricter policies. Of course, some of the parents went berserk and threatened the school and teachers with lawsuits if they didn’t change their children’s grades, even though their children were absent 15 to 30 times during the semester and did not complete enough schoolwork to pass their classes.
I like the way some teachers said they would have liked to respond. They didn’t actually do it, but they wanted the school’s outgoing answering machine to say the following:
“Hello. You have reached the automated answering service of your school. In order to assist you in connecting to the right staff member, please listen to all the options before making a selection.
To lie about why your child is absent, press 1.
To make excuses for why your child did not do his homework, press 2.
To complain about what we do, press 3.
To swear at staff members, press 4.
To ask why you didn’t get information that was already enclosed in your newsletter and several flyers mailed to you, press 5.
If you want us to raise your child, press 6.
If you want to reach out and touch, slap, or hit someone, press 7.
To request another teacher, for the third time this year, press 8.
To complain about bus transportation, press 9.
To complain about school lunches, press 0.
If you realize this is the real world and your child must be accountable and responsible for his/her own behavior, class work, homework and that it’s not the teacher’s fault for your child’s lack of effort, hang up and have a nice day!”
There’s a lot of wisdom in what those teachers and that school district wanted to say because they found the humor in a very difficult and changing situation.
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