No matter their opinions on failing, and to fail being a learning opportunity and builder of character, no parent enjoys watching their children fail.
But some parents are more accepting of the occurrence than others, reasoned the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Minimum_Film_7eh was furious when their daughter didn’t do well on an assignment they knew she had worked hard on, but they were even more concerned when the grade impacted their daughter’s creativity.
When they approached the teacher with their concerns, the Original Poster (OP) immediately went on the defensive, citing how hard their daughter had worked on her project.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for confronting my daughter’s teacher?”
The OP was proud of how hard their daughter recently worked on an assignment.
“My daughter is in the sixth grade. A few weeks ago, one of her teachers asked them to create a children’s book.”
“My daughter has a very good imagination, she wants to be a writer when she grows up, and she is pretty good at it. Her favorite books are the ‘Goosebumps’ series books.”
“So when her teacher gave them this assignment, she decided to write a book similar to ‘Goosebumps.'”
“I’m not gonna say it was perfect because she is just a kid, but it was a decent book, and I was proud of her when I read it.”
“She also found a notebook with a picture of a girl on the front of it and decided to write the story in that notebook and chose the girl to be the main character in the story.”
But the daughter’s grade did not reflect the effort the OP believed she put in.
“Well, a week ago she came home, crying her eyes out. Apparently, the teacher chewed her out when she saw her story.”
“She basically told her that her story was the worst one in their class.”
“I comforted my daughter; however, it has been a week, and she hasn’t been writing anything. She used to write a lot of stories, but she has lost interest.”
The OP felt the teacher needed to fix this.
“I was really angry so I decided to meet the teacher and I told her she owed my daughter an apology and needed to compliment her book.”
“She said she would not be doing that as my daughter did an awful job.”
“According to her, my daughter should have created a cover instead of using a notebook cover and called her lazy for not putting any effort into it.”
“Also according to her, a children’s book needs pictures, and my daughter didn’t create any.”
“She told me that my daughter got a D on this assignment and she won’t get an apology for being ‘lazy.'”
“My daughter spent two weeks working on that story and its details. She is in no way lazy.”
“I called the teacher a b***h and told her she has no right to talk about my child that way or treat her like that.”
“She called me an a**hole and asked me to leave.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some understood why the OP was upset but stated that she seriously overreacted.
“You’re not an AH, but you overreacted. I’m both a veteran teacher and a parent of a 14-year-old, and one thing I’ve learned is to take everything a kid says about school or home interactions with a grain of salt. Comments often get simplified, blown up, or exaggerated, and there are usually more nuances to a situation.”
“You went in there guns blazing, all worked up, and assuming you knew everything about the situation. The teacher was instantly put into a defensive situation and felt too closed down to have an honest conversation with you.”
“Next time, seek to understand first, and you’ll get a lot more information before you fly off the handle.” – Dependent_Sport_2249
“Dr Seuss was rejected by 27 publishers before finding someone to take a chance on him. Stephen King had trouble getting published. H**l, even Agatha Christie struggled.”
“You should be teaching your daughter how to react positively to criticism, the teacher even laid out what was wrong and how to improve it.”
“YTA for insulting the teacher, and not teaching your daughter how to handle rejection properly.” – Solabound-the-2nd
“This reminds me of this one time I gave my students the assignment to write their own fairy tale. We spoke in detail about the characteristics of this specific type of literature and read and discussed many examples in our lessons for two weeks and also spoke about the requirements of the assignment.”
“They needed to have all the typical characteristics of a classic fairy tale, their stories should be one to two pages max, they should have a fitting title, and the kids had to draw a picture of one scene.”
“Everyone did great but one kid. He handed me a seven-page sci-fi story instead. I gave him what would be a D- in the US. I could have given him an F but I gave him some credit for writing something even if it was not at all what the assignment was about.”
“The mother came to school and screamed at me for being ‘on a power trip’ and ‘getting joy from humiliating kids.’ Teaching is such a fun job sometimes.”
“YTA. Even if the teacher’s decision was questionable, your behavior still makes you the AH.” – Susannah_Mio_
“You don’t get to tell a teacher she has to compliment your daughter, that’s overstepping and not your call.”
“It sounds like your daughter didn’t follow the assignment instructions.”
“Both the alleged adults handled this badly.”
“ESH.” – Careless-Ability-748
“I’m leaning toward ESH. It sounds like the assignment required a cover and illustrations. If your daughter didn’t hit the requirements, then it impacts her grade.”
“In sixth grade, part of the point of this kind of big project is learning to hit the requirements.”
“That said, I don’t think the teacher helped your daughter understand that. It was taken as the story wasn’t good, which is a problem. Your daughter has abandoned, at least for now, something she loves because of the teacher’s reaction.”
“Unfortunately, your reaction comes across as anger that your special snowflake shouldn’t be told her work didn’t meet the criteria for a good grade.” – CemetaryDweller7719
Others encouraged the OP to have a calm conversation with the teacher and review the rubric.
“You should have asked the teacher for a rubric. Maybe your daughter left out important parts. While the story may be good, she’s right that most children’s books have pictures.”
“As a teacher, I always provide a written rubric for my students to make sure they include everything. I will tell you that by name-calling the teacher, you have probably messed up any chance of her having a good relationship with you and your child.”
“You need to apologize to her and yes, the teacher shouldn’t have called you a name back, so she needs to apologize as well.” – RandiLynn1982
“Your daughter didn’t follow the assignment directions. Are you sure she wrote an original story? I wonder if she rewrote or copied parts of a ‘Goosebumps’ story instead. Did you ask to see the rubric or directions? Did you ask for the teacher’s side of the incident? You know it’s respectful to hear the ADULT’s perspective before demanding an apology and compliment.”
“FYI: kids don’t always tell the truth when they get grades they don’t like or when they get caught doing something they shouldn’t.” – Radiant_Humor5110
“It sounds like the assignment was not to write a novel or story but to write a children’s book. This means it was only, in part, a creative writing assignment. It was equal parts an art project.”
“Your daughter skipped the art part completely. This would suggest she only scored 50% for this assignment even if her writing was top-notch.”
“Neither you nor the teacher communicated appropriately with each other or with (in the teacher’s case) your daughter. There are respectful ways of communicating disagreement. It sounds like the assignment was not made clear to you or your daughter.”
“An initial failure in clear communication leads to your own failure in communication.”
“The two adults should work harder on communication. I suggest asking the principal to mediate between the two of you in the future if you’re not capable of respectful communication.” – la_maman
“YTA, seems like your daughter had just done what she wanted, not the task she was given, and then cried after getting a poor grade. The teacher is also at fault for her methods.”
“I don’t like school as an institution at all, but I also don’t like spoiled people who cry after being criticized for deliberately not doing what they had to do.” – AnArcher_12
“YTA. Every other student managed to do cover art and pictures except your daughter. Weird that apparently, they all knew to do that. Sounds like those instructions were given.”
“As someone who tended to daydream during school, I missed things and it’s much easier to blame the teacher than take responsibility at 11. I’ve also never heard a teacher talk to a student like that in front of the class. Things are much more dramatic in our heads at that age.”
“Next time you try talking to someone, don’t go in assuming your daughter is perfect and the other person messed up.” – Dr_Pepper06
We can all agree here that creativity should be nurtured at every possible opportunity, but we should also be able to agree that learning to follow instructions and complete an assignment to-task is important, as well.
Though these adults poorly communicated in this situation, the only person who was really poorly served was the student. Not only had her flow of creativity been interrupted, but she also had missed learning something about following instructions for the project, and she had certainly been modeled bad behavior in regard to how to interact with other adults.