One hot, stuffy summer's afternoon I was supply teaching at a school which had a bad reputation. The class was getting more and more boisterous as the sun beat down into the classroom. Moreover, the blinds were broken so I couldn't even open the windows to refresh the stale atmosphere.
At the front of the class, some tatty mobiles were dangling from the ceiling, partially torn down moments earlier by the pupils who were getting more and more fidgety.
I was at first relieved to have a teaching assistant on hand to assist. But it soon emerged that she wouldn't be of much assistance. She sat at the side of the class with a magazine, occasionally looking up to watch me trying in vain to educate the pupils and keep the noise down, while making no attempt to help me out.
Throughout the lesson, I was constantly telling off various pupils for misbehaving. There was one boy in particular who I needed to address relentlessly: "Markus Thornberry, do you act like this at home? Your behaviour is unacceptable ... Markus, put that chair down right now and sit on it please ... Markus Thornberry, I'm warning you, if you don't stop doing that, I'll tell your parents how poorly you are behaving."
Suddenly, my redundant teaching assistant looked up from her magazine, looked at me sharply and snapped: "Why are you picking on him any more than the rest of them? He happens to be my son!"
I couldn't believe it. My original thoughts about the school were now validated: it had one of the worst classes I had ever taught; it had one of the worst pupils; and certainly one of the worst parents I have ever encountered.
(i)Names have been changed
The writer is a secondary teacher in Worcestershire. Send your worst parent stories to firstname.lastname@example.org and you could earn #163;50 in MS vouchers.