The vast majority of the time, parent requests of teachers are totally reasonable ways we can help out. Relay a message to the child? Sure thing. Send work home for a kid with the flu? Of course. Keep an eye out for a little guy having a tough morning? We’re on it.
Other parent requests … not so much.
Here are some of the wildest parent requests we’ve ever heard (and for more, check out our other parent request roundup here!):
Can you get my twins to cut their hair?
“When I was teaching, and coaching, I once had a father ask me to make his twin sons cut their hair! Apparently he could not control his 15-year-old twin sons. I politely told him that was not in my job description!”
Can you clean up my kid’s pee even though I’m right here?
“I had a parent volunteer inform me a child had peed on his computer chair so I could clean it up. It was that parent’s own child.”
Can you give partial credit for plagiarizing?
“A parent emailed me to say her son only plagiarized 27% of the paper so he shouldn’t be penalized.”
Can you do something I could easily do myself or have my child do?
“Had a parent request that I send home a clean water sample from our drinking fountain in a non-plastic container. She needs to test for ‘toxins.’ Sorry, I’m just going to pretend that I never saw that email.”
—POCKALEELEE on Reddit
Can you prioritize my convenience before your critically ill child?
“I had to miss work on a parent conference day to take my own child to the ER. I still called and left messages/apologies/reschedule options. One parent let me know that it was still unprofessional of me to not be at work when I should have been.”
Could you prioritize my son’s textbook above your father’s funeral?
“The day of my father-in-law’s funeral, our school was out on e-learning. I had lessons posted and all parents knew I would be unreachable during the funeral. Right before we walked into the church, my cell phone had a notification from class dojo from a parent. The parent was wondering if I could possibly meet her at the school to get her son’s textbook. She just could not understand why I could not meet her at the school.”
Can my child be excused from chores?
“I teach AG and at the beginning of the year we had some chore days to get our indoor and outdoor lab areas in order. I told students ahead of time to wear or bring clothes they could work in. I got an email from a parent telling me she was not OK with me making her child do chores and that all the teachers she knew set up their own classrooms. When I told her that facility maintenance is part of the curriculum, she made me prove it.”
Can you regulate my child’s bowels?
“Can you ask my son (third grader) to go poo every day?”
Can you meticulously inspect my son’s BMs?
“It’s been over 30 years, but this story will never be forgotten. … I had a parent tell me one morning that her son had swallowed a screw the night before, so if he asked to go to the bathroom, I needed to go check his poo and call her if I saw the screw.”
Can you sacrifice your own free time so my kid doesn’t have learning loss after our October vacation?
“Kid missed 1.5 weeks of high school for a vacation in October—but it’s cool! She was willing to meet me ‘nights and weekends to catch him up!’”
Can you pretend you don’t know the difference between a cell phone and a fidget?
“I had a parent who reported me because I did not allow her daughter (who was a high school freshman) to hold her cell phone in class because she had anxiety and needed something to hold in her hand.”
Can you … be extremely creepy?
“A mother e-mailed me once during a morning test and requested that I please ‘whisper in Mary’s ear that her mother loves her.’ I was so done you could stick a fork in me.”
Can you give me a literal wake-up call every morning?
“I kid you not … this demand came after a meeting about the chronic absence of a child … can you text me every morning before I leave for work (@ 6:00 AM) so I can remember to bring my daughter to class?”
Can you give my child the special award?
“As a HS department head, a parent approached me to request that her child be awarded the Senior department award. She was concerned because … her daughter didn’t do well her freshman year and she was worried about her not having recognition.”
Can you discipline my child instead of me?
“I once had a student who refused to do homework. Her father asked me to devise a punishment because he couldn’t make her behave now that she was too big to spank.”
Can you help us think of the wildly obvious solution?
“Once I had a student who always skipped the last period of the day. Apparently, he would leave in his new pickup truck that his parents gave to him. When discussing his truancy with his mother, she tearfully asked what she should do. I tried hard not to look shocked that she hadn’t thought of the obvious course of action. How about not allowing him to take the truck to school? That would be a good place to start.”
Can you be my son’s valet?
“When I was teaching in junior high, I had a parent request that I go out to the bus each afternoon and make sure her son had his lit book in his book bag. Her son was in the ninth grade.”
Can you be my child’s nanny?
“I had a parent ask if I had sunscreen for her child and if I did, could I please apply it all over before recess.”
Can my daughter be mad at you instead of me?
“I taught for 19 years and was an administrator for 15 years. When I was the principal of a small Catholic school, the board had a policy that girls could not wear a lot of makeup to school. I had a board member ask me to tell his daughter she couldn’t keep wearing the makeup as he didn’t want to be the one to do it.”
Can you spend hundreds of dollars out of your own paltry salary?
“A parent of one of my kindergarten students told me it was my job to buy all the snacks instead of each family taking a turn.”
May I continue to control my child forever?
“I had the mother of a GRADUATE student email me about the grade her daughter received on a GRADUATE-level research paper!”