Steve Peifer, associate director of college counseling at Oxbridge Academy of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Fla., reported on a counselors’ listserv this (non-) conversation that he had with a parent at an open house, and he has given me permission to publish it.
Yes, this stuff really happens.
Earnest Parent: My daughter just raves about you! The way she talked about you being so with it, I just assumed that you were one of the new, young teachers.
Me: (No idea how to respond)
Earnest Parent: Then I saw you, and I told my daughter ‘OMG he is even older than ME!’
Me: (Still no idea how to respond)
Earnest Parent: Isn’t it GREAT that you can be OLD and still communicate with kids?
Me: (Absolutely no idea how to respond but nodding in agreement)
Earnest Parent: I just LOVE encouraging people.
Me: (Wanting to say ‘And you are SO good at it’ but instead smiles weakly.)