One afternoon while I was cleaning up my classroom and preparing for another long day, a parent of one of my students came into the room. By the looks of this parent, I knew that it couldn’t be good news.
I taught students with very severe emotional and behavioral disorders. These students were the cream of the crop – the top. That is to say that they had been kicked out of their classrooms, special classrooms, and even their home school due to the severity of their disruptive or dangerous behavior. Only then would I get them in my alternative program. Consequently, whenever the school called home it was always bad news for their parents. This made it tough for me to keep in contact with parents because they assumed I always had bad news.
So when the parent came in to class, I hoped that we would have some talk time. But looking at this parent, I was afraid to ask what she wanted to talk about. She began by stating, “I can’t pronounce your name! So I’m going to call you Mr. Chuck Chuck”.
This turned out to be the start of a great collaborative effort that succeeded in helping her son though some tough times at school. It was also the birth of my teacher persona, Mr. Chuck Chuck.