The One Who Silently Complains

Would you complain to your child’s teacher if you thought something should be better?

A few weeks ago my children started a gymnastics program. The first class was great…better than great. The teacher was fantastic, and the kids came home with nothing but good things to say. However, the excitement of the first class was completely dashed the next time around.

The teacher (a different one from the first week) had absolutely no control over the kids.  If they weren’t running around like lunatics, they were stuck at a station not knowing what they were supposed to be doing while waiting for the teacher to come and give them some help.  The more I sat there and watched the incompetence of this new teacher, the more I was fuming (inside, of course).  However, my regard for having to control 8 kids took over and I started to feel sympathy for the teachers, and instead was angry at the owner for not giving her an assistant. Clearly that is what this young teacher needed.

I thought about complaining, but of course I didn’t. My hope was that she was a substitute, and that the next week would be back to normal.

No such luck. My heart sank a little as the perky young teacher greeted the kids for their class. A few of the parent’s exchanged regretful glances as we plodded upstairs to the viewing area. The whispering happened almost immediately.

“Oh, I was really hoping the other teacher was back this week.”

“This girl just has no control over these kids”

“I hope the kids get to do more today than they did the last time”

“Yes, there was way too much standing around last week”

We sat there as a group grumbling, mumbling, sighing, and picking apart the poor girl trying to conduct and control the 8 young eager gymnasts.  Yet not one of us went down and complained to the manager that something must be done, if not for the kids, for the teacher herself.  For some reason it was easier to just sit there and complain amongst ourselves.  As the kids were receiving their stamps for a job-well-done, one of the parent’s turned to me and said, “So are you going to say something to the manager?”.

“Me?!”, I replied all flustered!

Me!?  – The one who never says shit if her mouth was full of it.

Me!? – The one who tries to fade into the background and not get noticed.

Me!? No, I couldn’t possibly complain to the manager!

And so as this group of parents were looking to me to be the one to save the class, I said the first thing that came to mind. “Well, this class was a lot better than last time, don’t you think?”.

As typical, I took the easy road out and did nothing when I probably should have done something. No, I wasn’t the only parent in that room complaining, but I am not here to judge how other’s react.  I am only allowed to judge myself, and I am not happy with how I handled this particular situation. It isn’t enough to sit back and be caddy and make snide remarks towards someone who obviously needs help. What I should have done, and actually told myself to do – but obviously didn’t – was to get off my ass and offer the poor girl a hand.

Well, I guess there is always next week.

Have there been times when you whole heartedly felt that you should have stepped up to the plate and done something in order to rectify a situation, but didn’t? If so, why didn’t you?  


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