Some people just like to ruffle feathers. I get that. Not me though. I’m definitely a “keep it cool” kind of gal but every once in a while I am pushed just that little bit too far and then BAM! feathers are flying like there is a fox running amock in the henhouse. When these BAM! moments do happen I believe they are moments that should be captured for future generations to study and enjoy (even if I do say so myself)!
We recently changed Daughter’s school from the local village school to a private school in Mersin. Although not the point of this story but changing schools in itself has caused a plethora of problems for us starting with the fact that Daughter now has a kimlik and her original yabancı number can no longer be used when dealing with Government departments. Seems simple enough eh? In fact shouldn’t it be an automatic update? Perhaps, but it is Türkiye so it did prove to be three times more difficult that it needs be. The Turk has spent the past two weeks getting her ID number changed which encompassed 2 trips to the village school, 4 trips to the özel school, 3 trips to the Nufus and one set of paperwork to Ankara! And even today Daughter’s information is still wrong as it still shows that she has been absent for the first 10 days of school! Ugh!
But that is not the BAM! moment. This is the BAM! moment.
I went to a Parent/Teacher Meet and Greet recently at the new school. This means that all the parents sit at his or her child’s desks and each teacher comes into the room and spends 10 minutes introducing themselves and giving us a little bit of information about their lesson plans before we have a mingle and introduce ourselves. Seems pretty simple right?
And let me tell you why it is not simple. Let me tell you why these things always end in tears, or with a head on a stick. It is because of that one particular parent and it doesnt matter whether you are living in Sydney or Mersin, there is always that one particular parent that sends you closer to the edge than you have ever been before. That one particular parent that is now and shall be forevermore known as – The Mother Clucker.
The Mother Clucker is usually female and can be easily spotted when you enter a room. She will be that one parent smiling brightly at the teacher from prime position, pen in hand ready to make notes. There are different levels of Mother Cluckers too. There is a lower level Mother Clucker who has not yet found her wings (so to speak) but what you really need to be fearful of is the top tier Mother Clucker. These Mother Cluckers will have already made copious notes to discuss with each and every teacher and even before the Meet and Greet begins she can be heard cluck, cluck, clucking her important opinions to gain support from anyone who glances sideways at her. She will, of course, volunteer to be the Class Parent and she will, no doubt, want to discuss every insignificant detail because even the little things are important too.
This year’s Mother Clucker was, once upon a time, a school teacher so obviously she knows how things should be done. She has an opinion on every single subject and she wants her voice heard, in both Türkçe and English. Cluck. Cluck. Cluck. So what should have been a 1 hour Meet and Greet became a 2½ hour battle of wits between this obnoxious, know it all, top tier Mother Clucker and the poor teachers who, one at a time, were put through their paces, whether they wanted to be or not.
I sat throughout most of the cluck, cluck, clucking quietly. A lot of it was in Türkçe so I was oblivious to her clucking but every now and then she would speak in English (teacher dependent), to show off her language skills no less. I laughed once at the look on the poor Music teacher’s face when the Mother Clucker explained that her child did not want to play the particular instrument that he was assigned (well either does my kid lady but shut the feck up!). I rolled my eyes when she wanted to discuss how Din (religious studies) should be taught (Daughter will no doubt dramatically fail that subject again this year too) but I had to step up when she started having an opinion on how English should be taught.
Here’s how it went down –
Mother Clucker: You need to teach the children songs. Like Old Mcdonald Had a Farm. I was taught Old McDonald Had a Farm.
English Teacher: (American accent) We have a great program laid out but no I do not think that is the way to go. Children today do not relate to that type of teaching.
Me: Seriously? Old Mcdonald? You’d be better off teaching them Beyonce!
(Every single set of eyes are turned towards me)
Mother Clucker: Ah, you must be Daughter’s mother.
Mother Clucker: (the underlining does not quite put enough emphasis on Mother Clucker’s true tone of bitchy but just go with it) Your Daughter obviously knows English. You should sit outside. Your opinion is not valid.
Me: Sit outside? You didn’t sit outside when the Turkish teacher was speaking and honestly I’d much rather be sitting at home but I can’t because you won’t SHUT UP!
Like I said I’m definitely a keep it cool kind of gal. Aren’t I? Hello? HELLO???
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Lmao! Thank you for saying that to her! We need more parents to keep the Mother Cluckers in line.
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I thought of you yabanci. I don’t know how you teachers deal with these people! I would have lost my bok a few times to be honest.
‘light the blue touch-paper and . . ‘
I,m past those days now but I get what your saying so much time wasted you wanted to get an insite into the school and how it works
This is 2 1/2 hours I will never get back. Ever!
Did she say anything back, or did she seriously stop clucking?
Old McDonald? Really? 🙂
Dead silence and death stares. The Turk says I need to learn to shut up. Maybe I need to go back to school *sigh*
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Somehow, I can’t imagine you being a demure doormat. Your blog would be no fun to read. 🙂
I imagined smiles and a few chuckles by other women when you said what they didn’t have the courage to say.
Personally, I think you showed great restraint when the mother clucker insulted your daughter. (BTW: Great description of the mother who knows everything and makes other parents miserable).
I enjoy reading about your adventures in Turkey. Few people can make me laugh at the bureaucracy animal while nodding my head “Yes! The species is the same in every government.”
I am also an English teacher in a private school. Spot on, bravo and thank you.
Been there, done that, so glad it’s over! Wanted to take a cleaver to parents’ meetings.