Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I need educatin' - a plea

I have been raised to respect my elders.  And I do.  So therein lies the struggle.  Somehow I've gotten hooked up into something that sounded wonderful and exciting at first.  But as time has gone by, the situation has revealed itself to be very touchy and complicated.  The lady I'm dealing with  - this was her livelihood so she is super stoked.  But, and I hate to blame it on her age, she's in her 80's.  I think it's a bit of her personality and a bit of age, but she's scattered and all over the place - and cannot for the life of her connect people to their names.  She keeps referring to me as Ann Marie (when she's talking to other people) and cannot keep straight that Amy is a parent-volunteer, not a teacher and she is connected to ME not Ann Marie.  And that's just an example of the scatteredness, out of many examples.  Anyway, I'm finding out the situation will require much diplomacy and delicacy and organization and positiveness - and the idea may get shot down.  But, as I work with my 80 year old friend - I believe she can't handle it.  That's my gut.  She declares that she's done this for 30 years and knows how to handle principals.  But she doesn't know our principal.  Kid gloves, I'm telling ya.

I have tried in every way that I know how to put this topic to rest.  To call back the hounds.  Without directly saying "this ain't gonna happen with you involved".  I've gone the "it's too soon - we aren't prepared - I don't feel this is a good fit for the school - I don't have a good feeling about it - let's table the idea until next semester", I've even gone the "I feel our school needs something low key" (I got "oh no! that won't do!)  I mean, the red flags couldn't be any more clear to me.  I think she views the red flags as a personal challenge!

Come on.  I know you are out there.  Those of you who charge full steam ahead when you are told no.   What can a person say to stop you - while being respectful?  And without lying?

The last few days have completely put me off the idea.  Theoretically, it's a great idea and would be good for the kids and the school.  But...  but... but....

Oh, and she thinks this thing was my idea.  I don't know how we got hooked up - but this was not something I pursued in the least.  So she's even more determined to help me get this accomplished. You can see how hard it is to let someone down who is going the extra mile for you.  I've tried to explain it - was almost in tears with frustration on the phone with her.  But I had to hold back out of respect.  To me, it's a neat idea, if it happens great, if not, that's sad.  To her, this is her passion and we will prevail!



mumma4evr said...

I have no idea how to help you....sorry!

gosso23 said...

Sorry, I am one of those people pleasers who back down and say...ok whatever you want. I know I should change, but I don't have the guts. I usually just go with the flow because I am afraid of confrontation. Good luck

lanurseprn said...

If she's so driven, it's gonna be tough to get her out of the picture subtly. You might just have to say it directly. That there are some issues that you feel have to be resolved before your project can proceed. And explain the issues to her. Explain in a tactful way that there are cognitive issues that she may not even be aware of, but they need to be addressed. Maybe she can be given a part in the activity that limits her contact with people?  I don't know what project you are talking about, so I don't know.  
Then, take it from there. I usually take a few days to sort it out in my mind what I will say....and then I can say it pretty directly....but tactfully. I also hate confrontation, but usually, I find after I address an issue, it does get better.
Good luck, and let us know how it goes.