Have you heard about the “Common Core check”? If you missed it, here’s the summary: A father became frustrated by some new methods of teaching math which rendered him unable to help his second-grader with assigned homework. To mock the new teaching system, he wrote a check using the new teaching methods to protest what he saw as “change for the sake of change.” His photo of the check went viral, being shared across social media and news outlets, as a symbol of the new curriculum that many other parents found mysterious and confusing.
It happens to every Division Head at some point. A father flags you down in the parking lot for a “quick chat,” or leaves you a voicemail on your office machine, or shoots you an email with his child’s name in the subject line. Within moments of the interaction, it becomes obvious that the parent needs to vent about his child—and he expects you to do something about it—immediately. How do you handle this?