My worst parent - Lady of letters had a sad story

18th March 2011 at 00:00

I retired last year and decided to move house - you need a project. Packing up the officeback bedroom was easy. Just bin bag everything. But there they were, tucked in a long-ignored curriculum assessment folder: a wad of letters I had kept from my early days of teaching. I guess I had plans to publish them one day.

Flicking through them brought memories of Mrs Rogers flooding back. "Dear Miss Robinson, Charlie will not be doing PE this week as I will not be packing his kit. Yours, Mrs Rogers."

There were several copies of this. And my favourite. I would have laughed then and I laughed now. It read: "Dear Miss Robinson, When I find my glasses I will write to tell you why Charlie wasn't in school next week. Yours, Mrs Rogers." There wasn't a follow-up letter.

I received 33 letters in one year and 32 excuses as to why Charlie wasn't doing something. There were 32 reasons why Charlie was a lonely, unhappy and dispirited little child. And one letter that still brings nervous tears to my eyes. It read: "Miss Robinson, If you ever force Charlie to go swimming again you will have my husband to answer to. You do not let him wear the school's swimming trunks and share a towel. Do not ever do it again. I warn you. My husband can be violent. Mrs Rogers."

As I dropped the letters into the bin bag I wondered if somewhere out there is an employer collecting letters from Charlie's mother. "Dear Sir, Charlie will not be in work today as he has to stay at home and help me look for my glasses. Yours, Mrs Rogers."

The writer is a retired teacher. Send your worst parent stories to features@tes.co.uk. Those published will receive #163;50 in MS vouchers.

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