My worst parent - PTA stalwart did my head in

24th December 2010 at 00:00

I was not, I must admit, at the front of the queue when patience was handed out.

This is odd, as being a teacher is a constant test of your patience, and I'm actually OK with kids. No, it is the grown-ups I struggle with. They should know better, shouldn't they?

So you can imagine my delight when I was "installed" as the teacher rep on the PTA. The thought of long winter evenings locked away with a bunch of well-meaning souls planning the summer fair wasn't exactly enticing.

In fact, it turned out worse than this. The chair took his role very seriously: think Speaker of the House of Commons and you are halfway there. He was a nightmare - a stickler for procedure. Everything was conducted at an excruciatingly slow pace.

I managed three of these meetings. Midway through the third - a painstaking review of the accounts - I lost the will to live. I'm not proud to admit it but drastic action was needed.

I slumped forward in my chair. I was afraid that no one would notice (most people dozed off for a few minutes at a time), but the chair paused his monologue. There was a brief silence as I tried to think what to do next.

A heart attack was too dramatic so I went for the migraine option. This elicited mutters of sympathy and I withdrew from the meeting, vowing never to return.

I kept my head down for a few weeks although I knew that my head would hear about what had happened. I was duly called in for "a chat". This consisted of three words, crisply delivered. "Funny things, migraines," he said. I was chastened, but free from the worst parent I had ever encountered. It was well worth it.

The writer is a teacher in Sussex. Send your worst parent stories to and you could earn #163;50 in MS vouchers.

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