The joys of teaching

July 1st, 2010 · 99 comments

Our submitter, an English teacher in Thailand, received this letter from a parent so notorious at the school for notes like this that she has her own nickname among the staff — “SS, as in nuttier than squirrel shit.” The exasperating part, our submitter says, is the mother’s uncanny ability to “correct” non-mistakes in her daughter’s essays. (“As you may guess from reading, the daughter’s English is better than her own,” she says.)

And as tempted as she was to correct the mother’s grammar in her note, “I had to stop, for fear of my head exploding.”

Hope we are on the same direction

If that note left a bit of a bad taste in your mouth (or you’re one of those short-attention span “TL;DR types,”) not to worry: enjoy this end-of-the-year note written to a first-grade teacher in Atlanta. No, it’s not passive-aggressive…just adorable.

Dear Mr. [Redacted], You were the best teacher a student could ever have!  I love my class too!  I am sad that I'm going to second grade.  If I had a choice between you getting killed and my favorite tree getting chopped down, I would choose my favorite tree getting chopped down.

related: Sympathy for the Devil

FILED UNDER: Atlanta · kids · schools & teachers · Thailand · TL;DR

99 responses so far ↓

  • #1   jakeneff

    “all the sudden” — AAAAAAGGGGGHHHHH!

    Jul 1, 2010 at 5:49 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #2   Snarkmeister

    Well, at least the mother in the first note cares about her child’s education. That’s more than you can say for most of the parents here in the U.S. She may be a pushy bitch, but her heart is in the right place.

    Jul 1, 2010 at 5:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   shwonline bang

      But she’s a pushy bitch who has no freaking business evaluating anyone’s English writing! Oh, why do I even bother…

      Jul 1, 2010 at 6:04 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.2   FeRD bang

      You’d think that, but you know what they say about the road to hell… The problem is that, from the sound of it, SS has no qualms about inflicting her pushiness on her child, as well. And, judging by her writing, if this woman sincerely thinks she’s remotely qualified to critique her child’s grammar, then I have a feeling her “good intentions” are doing more harm than good.

      (Or, if I hadn’t taken 2 minutes to type my comment, thus missing the response before mine… “What shwonline said.”)

      Jul 1, 2010 at 6:06 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.3   tyler

      I don’t think it’s fair to call someone passive-aggressive or a “pushy bitch” when you’re way outside that person’s cultural context. Having worked with adult English learners, the letter writer’s attitude actually reflects the general approach of most learners. They want constant correction and they really fear being wrong. I think this lady’s communicating her concerns as best she can and she’s in the right place, and she has a right to demand a certain standard if the school is known for it. TEAM SQUIRREL SHIT!

      Jul 1, 2010 at 10:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.4   Maas

      Why was the letter written in English?

      Jul 2, 2010 at 7:22 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #2.5   katie


      As an English teacher and tutor, let me assure you, this mother is just like many American parents I encounter–aggressively ignorant and certain they know better than you. They all have their hearts in the right place, you could say, and it rarely does more good than harm.

      It’s disheartening.

      Jul 3, 2010 at 9:34 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #3   Angela

    She lives in Thailand, all she needs to say in English is “sucky, sucky for 50 dollar”.

    Jul 1, 2010 at 6:01 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   shwonline bang

      Class, please correct the following sentence: “Me love you long time.”

      Jul 1, 2010 at 6:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   FeRD bang

      *raises hand* “Um, shouldn’t the sentence end with a formal term of respect, such as ‘…sailor boy!’?”

      Jul 1, 2010 at 6:13 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.3   deeyan

      Ahh, the irony. Angela makes Snarkmeister’s point in 20 words or less….

      Jul 1, 2010 at 6:16 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.4   chrys

      That’s not all. There’s also “me love you long time” and “me so horny.”

      Jul 1, 2010 at 6:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.5   shesajem

      5o dollars will get you a sucky sucky, a blowy blowy and a humpy humpy! Haven’t you even been to Thailand? Everything is very very cheap cheap!!

      Jul 1, 2010 at 7:32 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.6   enso

      Let’s all fall back on racism for the lack of a clever, insightful response. You’ve been most helpful.

      Jul 1, 2010 at 9:03 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.7   shwonline bang

      Speaking for myself, enso, I am falling back on “Full Metal Jacket,” but thanks for playing.

      Jul 1, 2010 at 9:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.8   Canthz_B bang

      Frankly, I’m impressed that Mom works her ass off to make sure her daughter goes to the best school possible.

      Perhaps a personal “conference” with the Headmaster would help her cause?

      Jul 2, 2010 at 1:22 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.9   1948goa

      Bloody you ! That’s all you learnt from travelling in Thailand ? Did you miss all the rest ?
      Stay home and be a patato couch…. you’ll get better thrills, believe me !

      Jul 2, 2010 at 8:14 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.10   Jill

      What really surprises me is that seven people left such racist comments on this post.

      The mother’s response to the teacher is at least understandable given the global context.
      But your responses are just boring, predictable, and hmmm… passive aggressive?
      No… not even that. You’re just falling back on the same old detached sense of Western superiority that has always justified colonialism and imperialism.
      Yeah, so much for that cutting-edge wit you were going for.
      Uccia, these people ARE couch potatoes. I imagine if they had been outside of the safe boxes behind their computer screens, they would have much more interesting things to say.

      Jul 2, 2010 at 10:12 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.11   shwonline bang

      Dear Jill,

      i·ro·ny  –noun
      a manner of organizing a work so as to give full expression to contradictory or complementary impulses, attitudes, etc., esp. as a means of indicating detachment from a subject, theme, or emotion.

      There’s a lot of this on the board. You might want to clip this definition and keep it handy for reference so you don’t assume that everyone’s comments are accurate representations of their true feelings.

      Jul 2, 2010 at 10:34 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.12   Canthz_B bang

      Nice, shwonline.

      I was going to go with, “Shut the fuck up! We’re joking, BITCH!!!”

      But I like yours much better.

      Jul 2, 2010 at 2:50 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.13   shaniatwainHEY

      Hey! How y’all doing?

      Jul 2, 2010 at 3:34 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.14   HandyMarigolds


      Come back when you’ve recorded an appropriate pop-country cover of “One Night in Bangkok” for this thread. A’ight?

      Jul 2, 2010 at 5:30 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #3.15   shaniatwainHEY


      Your comments on my comments are good comments.

      Jul 2, 2010 at 6:11 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #4   shwonline bang

    What if your favorite tree was choped down, and it fell on your teacher? Hm?

    Jul 1, 2010 at 6:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   infant tyrone bang

      Like if the teacher was alone in the woods,
      choping down the tree, and then the tree fell on him ?
      Well, after the teacher was quiet, the tree woodn’t make a sound.

      Jul 1, 2010 at 7:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   Canthz_B bang

      If a teacher is killed in a classroom and the students (as usual) aren’t paying attention, does he make a sound.

      *Back edited from #14 :oops:

      Jul 2, 2010 at 1:07 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #4.3   infant tyrone bang

      My first thought was that he wouldn’t make a sound because the students are listening to music on their personal communications modules.

      If Teach has a 3G device, maybe it’s a different kettle school of fish.
      If Teach composes a txt mssg before he expires, codes it as urgent, and sends it to each class member, some of whom react by emitting words (how they divide between the categories, among others, loosely defined by “Whoa, dude…bummer!” and “Yes!” is probably irrelevant), can we say that Teach made a sound (or sounds) ? Clearly the students are involved, but since their noises are secondary time-wise to Teach’s initial,
      though silent, action, can we stretch the meaning of “make a sound”
      far back enough to include the clearly causative action ?
      It’s been 200+ years since “the shot heard ’round the world”.
      Is it yet again time to expand the borders of the metaphoric envelope ?

      Jul 2, 2010 at 8:48 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #5   ISpy

    OMG. If I’d only known that notes to the teacher from wacky parents qualified as PAN. I just thought they were hilarious.

    Jul 1, 2010 at 6:20 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #6   UnclGhost

    I’m amazed at how little of that I retained as I read that. It just goes to show how important actual sentence structure is for conveying meaning.

    Jul 1, 2010 at 6:38 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #7   Don

    OK, so this parent does not understand English well, and thought that her child was making mistakes where none occurred. But how is this letter passive-aggressive? She is very straight-forward in requesting that her child be held to the highest standards. Not P-A at all!

    Jul 1, 2010 at 7:00 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   mamason bang

      Don? Are you new?

      Jul 1, 2010 at 7:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   Ashmeadow

      Not passive-aggressive? No matter how directly this letter is written, the mother is implying that the teacher is incompetent and is not teaching her child correctly, but this is implied by saying she’s “noticed” errors, and by giving helpful “advice.” While the grammar is an F, the pa is an A+.

      Jul 1, 2010 at 10:32 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #7.3   sleeps

      Gold star for Ash! Please move to the head of the class.

      Jul 2, 2010 at 12:21 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #8   mamason bang

    I would try to come up with a response for this, but I’m kind of busy trying to scrape up what brain matter I can since my head just exploded.

    Jul 1, 2010 at 7:15 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #9   infant tyrone bang

    If I had a choise…
    Think cleaning up BP’s recent disaster is going to be expensive ?
    Try hiring primary grade teachers if kids got a choise
    between a teacher’s demise and a tree’s.
    The Fed’s not equipped…

    Jul 1, 2010 at 7:17 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #10   oi bang

    ahh! future environmentalist in it’s natural habitat!

    Jul 1, 2010 at 7:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #10.1   HandyMarigolds

      Its. Try to keep your eye on the ball, here. ;)

      Jul 2, 2010 at 5:33 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #11   Lhyzz

    I would have returned that note to the parent with my corrections, along with a note asking her to please trust me to evaluate her child’s English grammar, as she seems to have no grasp of the concept. Considering the parent’s reputation, I probably wouldn’t be fired.

    Jul 1, 2010 at 7:27 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   Peter

      “I highlight samples that I think is wrong for your reference. If I am mistaken because of my English is incompetent, you can let me know.”

      “I’m feel obliged to let you know you’re mistaken because of your English is incompentent…”

      Jul 2, 2010 at 6:39 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #12   daylightsavingscrime

    Sometines I think of tines. ‘Pretty Woman’ taught me that there are different ‘tines’. Maybe there are numerous ‘tines’ for every different essay written by a different child… maybe she just doesn’t understand the ‘tines’. Give her SOME credit. When she first read her paper, she feel she no improve! Maybe it’s time for different course? Maybe a NEW and IMPROVED tine would quench her dismay?

    Jul 1, 2010 at 8:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #13   Zoe

    Everybody is saying the mother isn’t qualified to evaluate here child’s English as her own English is rather poor. The note writer does actually point that out: “If I am mistaken because of my English is incompetent, please let me know.” She’s open to to being wrong. And as someone pointed out, she cares about her kid’s education.

    + 2 for considering she might be wrong
    + 2 for caring about her kid’s education
    - 5 for being a pushy bitch

    Total kudos: -1

    Jul 1, 2010 at 9:40 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   sleeps

      Right, but that’s just it; I wouldn’t try to correct my kid’s trigonometry homework, and then tell the trig teacher he wasn’t grading it properly, because I realize that I can’t do trigonometry. Maybe if mom had sent the kid’s homework off to some English grammar expert who had adjudged that there were mistakes the teacher had missed, she’d have a leg to stand on.

      Jul 2, 2010 at 12:26 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #14   Canthz_B bang

    Sorry for the inconvenience…this comment box is under construction! ;-)

    Jul 2, 2010 at 1:05 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #15   someone

    My 6-y-0 nephew said: A kid in grade 1 wrote that? But it’s written so badly!

    Jul 2, 2010 at 1:07 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.1   Canthz_B bang

      WOW!! He’s six and can already see?!?!

      Jul 2, 2010 at 1:11 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.2   1948goa

      Well, he isn’t really that prodigious. In Italy we open our eyes just after the “quarantine” (?) and see immediately.
      We are not backward as they say, are we ?

      Jul 2, 2010 at 8:22 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #15.3   katie

      Dear Canthz B,

      Upon reading, I found your comment to be utterly hilarious. Concerned that I may have been mistaken, I re-read the comment several times. I can now conclude with confidence: your comment is f-ing hilarious.


      Jul 3, 2010 at 10:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #16   MalKatz

    “Dear teacher—
    In my eyes, you are slightly more valuable than a tree.”

    Jul 2, 2010 at 1:32 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #17   Vlad the impaler

    “When she turns professional”?

    Does SS expect her future hooker-daughter to have high standards “with her grammar”?

    Jul 2, 2010 at 1:44 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.1   Amy

      “Her future hooker-daughter”? Wow, thank you for that insight into your prejudices.

      Jul 2, 2010 at 6:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.2   jayskinner70

      Geez, Amy, its just a joke. You see, the word “professional” is sometimes used in polite company as a euphemism for a prostitute. Nobody knows for certain if the child will grow up to be a “lady of the evening”. Honestly, nobody even cares. Welcome to the world of subtle (and sometimes not-so-subtle) humor. You would definitely enjoy this site more if you learned to lighten up.

      Jul 2, 2010 at 8:10 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.3   Canthz_B bang

      Michael Jackson lightened up…look what it got him! :-P

      I know, but it’s been over a year and I’ve been chomping at the bit to do an MJ joke! ;-)

      Jul 2, 2010 at 8:45 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.4   sleeps

      Nobody knows for certain, Jay…but we can hope! (fingers crossed)

      Jul 2, 2010 at 12:27 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.5   zbird

      Eh, Amy? The only response to this thread that looks prejudiced is yours. Wow.

      Jul 2, 2010 at 1:05 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.6   Vlad the impaler

      Wow, Amy. Are you professionally ignorant?

      Jul 3, 2010 at 4:39 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.7   Blogmella bang

      If Amy IS professionally ignorant, at least she gets paid for it. Most of the “Oh I’m so witty, look at me being an ironic racist!” twats on here, are doing it for free.

      Jul 3, 2010 at 8:01 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.8   shwonline bang

      Wow, Blogmella. You really don’t understand irony, do you? Let me put it his way: Ironists play with ideas, and frequently with stereotypes. It is quite often a type of intellectual meta-wanking — at least the way I do it. But the key point is that it involves playing with ideas as ideas. If you’re going to automatically label someone who uses a stereotype in a clearly ironic context as a racist, then you have to label the creators of “All in the Family” (or “Till Death Us Do Part”) as racist because they created a racist central character. And the folks at The Daily Show must be a bunch of racist twats because they play with stereotypes all the time.

      I have no problem with being called an ironic twat. I take great exception to being called a racist or even an ironic racist.

      Jul 3, 2010 at 10:42 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.9   Blogmella bang

      There is nothing “intellectual” in most of these comments. I can’t see much in the way of “playing with ideas” or being “ironic”. Irony isn’t just “saying something a bit different to the truth”, there has to be some twist to it and it has to be the direct opposite of reality, to an almost absurd degree. Blurting out things like “sucky sucky”, because somebody comes from Thailand, is not ironic – it is racist. Calling someone’s daughter a “future hooker”, because her Mother said she would “turn professional” is just a cheap joke, not “irony”.

      I was laughing at “Till Death Us Do Part” many MANY years before you “explained” it to me, thanks. The creators of that show were not guilty of racism, because their central character was clearly flawed and he often came off worst because of it. We laughed AT his racist remarks, we didn’t laugh WITH them.

      To be fair to you, your joke at 3.1 was actually quite funny, mostly because of the idea that the teacher would set that task, given the context. But you know that, you wrote it.

      I’m sick of the idea that some people online seem to have, that you can just say any old nasty shit and then later claim it was “ironic”, when in fact it was blatant bigotry, with no redeeming qualities of wit or humour.

      Jul 3, 2010 at 2:07 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.10   park rose bang

      I’m on blogmella’s side here. It seems that any of the notes that are written in Asia, or by an Asian subject attract the same old jokes and stereotypes. Of course, I could be suffering from HandyMarigold’s (comment 24) Dunning–Kruger effect.

      Jul 3, 2010 at 4:28 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.11   mamason bang

      Don’t forget the Christians.

      Jul 3, 2010 at 4:42 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.12   Canthz_B bang

      Blogmella, it’s only racist if the writer believes it. Joking about the sex industry in Thailand isn’t the same as believing that every young girl in Thailand is or is fated to eventually be involved in it any more than the “Fat American” jokes are ALWAYS tasteless. But a great number of Americans are overweight, and Thailand is known the world over for its sex industry. Thrust me, if we get around to a note about a German business traveler, Thailand’s sex industry will come up…I promise!!
      Richard Prior was no racist, but he told some damned funny jokes using stereotypes about White people.
      They laughed at themselves, and he’s widely recognized as one of the comedic geniuses of our time.

      Sometimes a joke is just a joke…appreciate it as such or ignore it.

      Jul 3, 2010 at 6:07 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.13   shwonline bang

      Thanks, CB. And thanks, Blogmella. Really. I was speaking only for myself in my response, because I took your note personally, since I was the one who cited irony earlier. I completely agree that the knee-jerk airing of a stereotype is not the same as playing with a stereotype. And someone can try to be funny and simply be offensive. I expect that to happen a lot; most attempts at humor miss the mark, and the attempts on this board tend to be pretty aggressive, so the result can sometimes be ugly. There’s a post on the latest note talking about “obese Americans” and calling them “angry hippo-beasts”. Not particularly funny, but not worth getting upset about. Sorry if I pushed any buttons; just had to defend myself. Hugs and kisses.

      Jul 3, 2010 at 8:26 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.14   infant tyrone bang

      I’d like to take you at your word, but I’m having thrust issues.
      (After an exhaust-ive con-science check, I just couldn’t resist.
      Hey, we’re all trying to achieve escape velocity from something, no?)

      Sorry if I offended any German “tourists” up in Business Class.

      Jul 3, 2010 at 8:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.15   Blogmella bang

      Shwonline, I’m glad we are all loved up now. I agree there is a fine line between being funny and just being rude… I know I’ve crossed it in the past. I just thought things were going too far, in this instance.

      CB, I DID ignore it at first but then I saw people who spoke up getting attacked. I decided to say how I felt, because the whole thing was getting very uncomfortable to read.

      I tend to tease Americans quite a bit on my blog (saying that they don’t speak English properly, or that they are ignorant, because they don’t know everything about the UK). We swap some banter and it is normally all good. I don’t really poke too much fun at Americans for being fat, that has been done to death.

      Jul 4, 2010 at 3:17 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.16   Canthz_B bang

      Sorry, Ty…this all reminded me of my trip to Bangkok, and I had a slight Freudian slip! :-P

      Jul 4, 2010 at 3:24 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.17   infant tyrone bang

      Oh, a little psychoanalytic cosplay ?
      Must have set you back
      baht, seriously…

      I wonder if it is racist only if the writer/speaker believes it.
      That’s my default position, but after reading some of the above back + forth, I thought about it more and here’s my thought experiment.

      Mind you, I’m not asking if we have responsibility for how our ideas are taken by stark raving loonies, but what about the stupid (or ignorant, which I think is an important distinction) people in the audience ?

      So, take Richard Pryor’s classic bit about the neighborhood bum/wino who has lines like “I fought in the battle of Chateaubriand.” If some knucklehead-but-sane Amurkan or a tourist hears that and decides that Pryor is engaging in some level of racial self-hatred*…who’s the racist ?
      You could say the dummy, the newbie, or the artist or any combo.
      I’m not sure any of them are racist, although the dummy has the lamest defense (surprise, he’s a dummy).
      *which is NOT what I think

      My takeaway is that humor is dangerous (in the clip below, Bonnie McFarlane says ‘delicate’ about the technical part of humor and if you don’t think she demonstrates the danger…) because the artist’s intentions can be misunderstood, especially wrt racism, sexism, xyzism.

      Glad everybody’s lowered shields on this one, so w/o further uh, doo, ladies + gents, Ms. Bonnie McFarlane, who, on at least one night,
      was the funniest person in the world.

      Jul 4, 2010 at 12:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.18   Canthz_B bang

      Ty, are you internet stalking me?
      Where’s jinx when he/she is needed!! :-P

      Jul 5, 2010 at 3:00 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.19   Vlad the impaler

      Ha. I started a cultural firestorm in the media! And it went national!

      And PS: I was making a jeux de mots at the mention of “professional”. It really had nothing to do with Asian stereotypes. Nice jumping to conclusions and calling me a racist…I guess it shows where your mind is, you sad, humorless curmudgeons.

      Jul 5, 2010 at 3:06 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.20   infant tyrone bang

      1) No
      2) Like a superhero, Jinx appears only when desperately needed.
      If we’re not in dire straits, she won’t show up. I’m OK…you ?

      Jul 5, 2010 at 4:22 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.21   Blogmella bang

      “I was making a jeux de mots at the mention of “professional”. It really had nothing to do with Asian stereotypes.”

      You hadn’t noticed all the things written before you said that? You hadn’t connected it in your mind with her being from Thailand? You’re a hilarious but misunderstood comedian, who didn’t even THINK about stereotypes, when he called that woman’s daughter a “future hooker”?

      Gosh – I guess I stand corrected.

      Jul 5, 2010 at 9:12 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #17.22   Vlad the impaler

      At least you bow out gracefully when your faults are revealed, Blogmella.

      Current estimates predict that the mountain out of a molehill will grow one comment taller.

      Oh whoops, my bad. Is that autoschediasm offensive to overly sensitive moles?

      Jul 5, 2010 at 2:08 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #18   JetJackson

    If I were the teacher I would be making sure that favourite tree didn’t get chopped down… After all I would be the next logical choice in this childs ultimatum.

    Jul 2, 2010 at 3:48 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   H for Toy bang

      The teacher should still watch out… notice it says you were the best teacher a student could ever have.

      Jul 2, 2010 at 3:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #19   Jennifer

    As a former teacher who taught it Thailand, I don’t find this note out of line or offensive. It’s nice to see a parent who is interested in their child’s education. And in the parent’s defense, many “teachers” in Thailand are young travelers, with little or no real teaching experience, so I understand her frustration. These parents pay a lot of money to have their children in special english classes and should expect high standards from their teachers.

    Jul 2, 2010 at 6:28 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #19.1   Canthz_B bang

      Jennifer, me love you long time!

      Jul 2, 2010 at 8:47 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #20   Splint Chesthair

    See, this is why I consistently stayed ranked about #30 in my highschool class of 400. Good enough to be in the top 10% so no one is going to worry about you or think you’re not working hard, but not good enough that someone would take a special interest in you.

    Jul 2, 2010 at 8:17 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #20.1   clumber

      my life’s vision statement, SC. Stay in the bell curve… just barely past the high point, in the shade… Much safer!

      Jul 7, 2010 at 8:53 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #21   bunnyfoofoo

    I am also a high school English teacher, and the best series of emails I ever had was over the course of last summer. The daughter did not bother to show up for her final presentation and could not pass the course. The mother chose to email me several times, each time increasing more angry at my lack of response. My out-of-office response stated that I would not check my email again until August, and to contact admin. with further issues. The last email I heard from her was “I know you are checking this regularly and choosing to ignore me. I WILL get to the bottom of this!”. It was a lovely surprise when I saw it 2 months later in August. Later she told me her daughter was going to drop out if I didn’t pass her. Oh well!

    Jul 2, 2010 at 9:08 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #21.1   mamason bang

      Oh, there’s that charming apathy we’ve all come to expect from our public school teachers. :roll:

      Do we know why the student didn’t show up? What if it was something completely out of her control?

      Jul 2, 2010 at 12:13 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #21.2   Beth

      If the mom didn’t contact the admin like the auto-reponse said she should, then the mom’s at fault here. I’m sure there’s more to the story that causes the teacher to shrug and say, “Oh, well.”

      What I’m dismayed about is that the mom is angry at the teacher because the DAUGHTER didn’t do what she needed to do to pass. No, no, far better to bitch at the teacher who did her job.

      Kids can’t just be passed if they didn’t do the work. If they need help, the parents should get it for them, not go all, “Oh, my precious, precious princess is being treated unfairly at school by the teacher.”

      Hell, I’m just in the admin category at the school I work at and see this sort of attitude from the parents constantly – it’s not my child’s fault, it’s not my fault, it’s the school’s fault. We can’t take responsibility for ourselves or our actions and non-actions, so we’re going to blame somebody else.

      It’s a buncha BS.

      Jul 2, 2010 at 2:57 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #21.3   katie

      This is a great example of one thing that contributes to the difficulty of improving public schools. Here we have a teacher getting attacked for a student’s failure to to turn in work by a mother who is refusing to accept what she is told and take the proper steps to handle her complaint. This illustrates the problem teachers are having with holding students accountable for their own work and actions. Students are being passed through the system without having to achieve understanding and mastery of a subject, and it becomes a battle for teachers who don’t want to let students slip through the cracks this way. On the other hand, mamason’s comment illustrates the other half of the problem. With so many unreasonable complaints and escalating insanity from some parents, it becomes impossible to take action against the teachers who are truly incompetent or at fault. We’re left with a system of appeasement in which no one wins, least of all the students.

      Jul 3, 2010 at 10:28 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #22   Ethrdg

    Dear Passive-Aggressive Notes:

    I am not with short attention span. It is that the good grammar that I am always practicing is make it impossible for reading of first of the notes all the way through. When I am reading of the note, my heart is screaming with agony about the verb and the proper tense. Why is there no proper tense or proper use of plural?

    When I am reading of this internet blog, I am to be expecting that you are correcting such notes before they are posted. Such bad grammars are offensive to the good learning which I value.

    This is why I am skip on to second note.

    Sincerely yours,
    (Name rescinded )

    Jul 2, 2010 at 9:42 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #22.1   infant tyrone bang

      Dear Ethrdg,
      Sorry to have been reading about your name is rescinded.
      But you must still look at inside of a pig’s eye for silver.
      You will now be having big chance for a new name.
      I can be reading cooking dishes on this site for long time.
      Best way is you are chosen Freaky Deaky or Fervent Denile
      or pick up any kind of names with eff and dee.
      If you get this names people here give you the thumb things for nothing.
      So you can write crazy talk, but if you just
      sign with your name, you are being thumb-body.
      Hope you are not mad because I try to make you laugh.

      Jul 2, 2010 at 12:41 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #22.2   Ethrdg

      You see? You see the problems with bad grammaticals? Now because my name is being rescinded instead of redacted, I am without the good name.

      You say good name is with eff and dee? I likes the Freaky Deaky.

      I is sad because my daughter will now be called Tiffany Deaky. Is no good name for great success.


      Jul 3, 2010 at 8:26 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #22.3   infant tyrone bang

      No easy chance to catch good man with ‘Tiffany’.
      ‘Tiffany’ make man think her reputation stained. Glass lamp fortune tell lady say rescind Tiffany name to choose’ Teaky’ Deaky or ‘Tiki’ Deaky.
      But if ‘Teaky’ then be careful she no fall on a teacher.
      And if ‘Tiki’ be careful she know how to work a pole.
      If Tiki/Teaky still OK she open breakfast restaurant, but Tiffany do that she get screwed, blued, tattooed, and sued. Business tru-ly go Capute!

      Jul 3, 2010 at 1:33 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #22.4   FeRD bang

      Heh. Hey, my initials are F.D! (Hence the handle for my online persona.) Guess I’m cooler than I thought.

      Jul 4, 2010 at 2:25 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #23   xenylamine bang

    Now I’m wondering if SS has ever questioned the teacher’s English skills or corrected her grammar.

    That would REALLY make my head go ‘splody. And I’ve love to see the note(s) she sends for that purpose…

    Jul 2, 2010 at 5:14 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #24   HandyMarigolds

    Next time I have to explain the Dunning-Kruger effect to somebody, I’ll just print a copy of this note.

    Jul 2, 2010 at 5:23 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #24.1   shwonline bang

      The Dunning-Kruger Effect: The perfect ironic name for an indie band.

      Jul 3, 2010 at 10:47 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #24.2   FeRD bang


      Wow, thank you! Now, the next time I encounter an example of the Dunning-Kruger effect (and I doubt I’ll have to wait more than a few days), I won’t have to wonder if there’s a name for what’s wrong with that person. I’ve finally learned what it is! :)

      Jul 4, 2010 at 2:22 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #25   krcamera

    To whoever said “It’s only racist if the writer believes it” …. nope! It’s also about the impact and context of the comment. When Richard Pryor did his thing, he was doing it in the face of an oppressive majority, and it was and is hilarious because it took balls and wit. To ridicule an oppressed group of people anonymously, especially when you’re not funny, is not at all the same thing. Ask yourself this question – would you say any of these comments in a stand-up routine in front of a Thai audience? If not, don’t compare yourself to Richard Pryor for God’s sake! You’re not edgy, you’re not ironic and you’re not funny. Your comments are racist, though. You make me think of this:

    Jul 3, 2010 at 8:25 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.1   FeRD bang

      Yeah, dagnabbit! That really steams my asparagus! Whoever said that should be ashamed! If only there was some way to know who dared to write such offensive things, to go back in time and re-live the horrific moment when a mysterious unknown uttered the words, “It’s only racist if the writer believes it”! But, I guess that’ll remain one of life’s great mysteries…

      Jul 4, 2010 at 12:59 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

    • #25.2   infant tyrone bang

      Don’t worry, almost nothing on the Interwebs can disappear.
      Someday cyber-CSI’s will find the varmint to whom that quote belongs.
      Probably some smart whippersnapper who just got born will invent some amazing technology that we can’t even begin to imagine today..

      So, we may not live to see it, but justice will be done.

      Jul 4, 2010 at 1:39 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #26   O-PANDA

    Oh dear. Clearly Korean. Not a racist comment. The spelling and grammatical errors are in sync with Korean English. I love that in Korea, parents know more about education than the teachers.

    Jul 5, 2010 at 6:34 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #27   Naomi

    oh man… as someone who went to high school in thailand, i’m wondering what school this was at…. the moms in those kinds of places are out of control.

    Jul 6, 2010 at 2:58 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #28   notolaf

    At least her spelling is good…

    (Yes, yes, I have heard of spell-check.)

    Jul 10, 2010 at 8:02 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #29   teachinfourth

    In reading that second note, I am reminded of some of the things that my own students have said. It’s good to know that we are loved.

    Jul 18, 2010 at 1:24 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #30   Teacher Appreciation: Letters from First Graders |

    [...] wrap things up, I just had to pull out this first grader’s letter from the archives. (And no, like many, many notes on this site, it isn’t passive-aggressive — just adorably [...]

    Jun 6, 2011 at 1:07 pm   rating: 90  small thumbs up

  • #31   ??????????????????? : ???

    [...] [...]

    Jun 7, 2013 at 10:30 am   rating: 90  small thumbs up


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