Esquire

Esquire (noun)– a man or a boy who is a member of the gentry in England ranking directly below a knight; title for an attorney, usually used in its abbreviated form after the name

A generalization based on my four years of teaching: lawyer parents are assholes. I have a student who struggles in geometry because he’s a memorizer and lacks understanding. If he’s given side A and side B of a right triangle, he can find side C with the Pythagorean theorem. But when he sees B and C on a quiz, he doesn’t know how to find A.

This student bombed a quiz the other day and called dad immediately afterwards. Within five minutes, I got a passive-aggressive email sitting in my inbox. Dad signed his email with an “Esq.” at the end of his name. He demanded to know why there was a disconnect between tutoring and assessment results. The tutor they paid $150/hr for couldn’t possibly be a bad teacher. Additionally, dad suggested that his kid doesn’t take any more tests and quizzes with me until we meet in person and discuss the situation in greater detail. Along with a learning specialist, I met with this family less than two months ago.

I honestly think the parents and their child would be better served generally in life if they had some humility. There was not a single question in the email but lots of commends that start with “please.” Giving statements tells others what to do; asking questions invites cooperation. The family wants a solution (which is equivalent to a grade of B for them) without having to change their approaches or attitude.

The worst part is, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. The kid takes out his frustration in the form of anger on the people who help him just as the way his dad does. For most of my bad days as a teacher, this comic strip sums up well the kind of attitude I deal with.

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