There’s one lurking in every schoolyard – that parent who marches into the classroom and confronts his child’s teacher when he doesn’t agree with something he does or says.
You can spot them from a mile away. She is the flawless mother, a queen bee – the one who runs the PTA with a rod of iron.
But it’s not the bees that cause the real trouble for us teachers, but rather the disruptive underlings we call the momma mafia. The kind that terrifies other mothers who deem them unworthy.
I’ve been a teacher for 27 years and you won’t believe how annoying they are. Here I reveal their “type” and how they are perceived at school.
You’ll know exactly who I mean…
EVERY SCHOOL HAS A QUEEN BEE
On inserted days, we go through a list of all the kids in school – and the ones with a mom mafia parent are marked in red. There is a queen bee in every year and she is never a nice mother.
Inevitably, she grew up in the area and knows everyone from the local shopkeeper to the headmaster’s sister. She only surrounds herself with mothers she deems worthy, and if you’re unkempt and messy, she won’t look at you, let alone talk to you. The teachers are afraid of her.
We’ll hear when Queen Bee has rounded up her mafia troops and warn each other that within a few hours one of them will be there with some “suggestions.”
When Queen Bee is at the school gate, we send each other emails – forewarned is forearmed.
…BUT SHE KNOWS NOTHING
The queen bee will spread rumors based on nothing, usually on WhatsApp – which has overtaken social media as a means of sending parents into a frenzy.
Often she doesn’t know as much as she thinks, but she says it anyway. The worst thing I ever encountered was someone who told everyone that she knew someone from Ofsted and that the school was rated as “requires improvement”.
It was actually rated “good,” but she made everyone think it was a hair’s breadth instead of looking stupid.
CHECK YOUR CONTRACTORS
Not only are our teaching methods regularly criticized, but the mafia also wants to invade our private lives. Dating is a nightmare – I once ran into one of the mafia’s on a date, and the next day her son asked me about my “new” man.
Another time I was hiding in my local Sainsburys when I had a few bottles of wine in my shopping cart, knowing that a rumor would start that I was an alcoholic. I became so paranoid that I started shopping online…
YOU ARE READY TO FALL
When the Mama Mafia decides that something needs to change – from the school menu to the uniform policy, Queen Bee mobilizes her troops. It’s amazing how quickly they gather. Just a few hours after a new decision, we are prepared for the attack. It’s a coordinated thing – they take turns because the queen bee hates looking like “that” mother. We know their tactics and are taking bets on who will get in this time.
The Mum Mafia wannabes – those who didn’t make it into the clique – are tasked with emailing tirelessly until they get their way.
YOU ARE ABOVE THE LAW
Most schools have parking rules that were created for rational reasons, such as safety. The mother mafia never accepts them and crowds in at the gates, blocking the school bus’s path and insisting that it is absolutely necessary because they have a baby inside or don’t want their car to be scratched.
They also refuse to accept that vacation cannot be taken during term time. And not only will they book a week’s holiday at the start of the semester, but they will also require you to send them the work so that their child doesn’t have any problems when they return. My answer is always no…I don’t need more work
YOUR CHILD IS NEVER A RULE BREAKER
Not only does the mafia believe that they are above the law, but also that their child is above the law. They’ll come over all sweet and say that their little one had a manicure for their 16th birthdayTh birthday, and she’s sure we’ll agree that while there is a no-painting policy, just this once would be fine. When we object, the smile quickly turns into a scowl and they go to the end of the year to complain.
Another point of contention is cell phones. I made a kid go to the bathroom and send a classmate a picture of him vaping. When I confiscated the vape and phone, the mafia mom complained about ME telling me my classes weren’t challenging enough and her poor son was bored.
YOU FIGHT FOR BETTER BRANDS
Some mothers are now researching which exam boards are said to be more lenient with GCSE grades. Then they suggest that we should use the “easier” ones. Once the course starts, they download the grading schemes and review the returned homework to see if they can find an extra grade – and then write a dirty email explaining why little Johnny actually got an A * deserved it (he didn’t!).
AND MANAGE THE SCHOOL DAY
The Mafia will stop at nothing to manage their child’s school day down to the last detail – even suggesting a seating chart for class and making sure their child is next to their best friend and far away from the child who isn’t them like. They will also require that they be taught by a specific teacher. What they don’t realize is that we also request that their child NOT attend our classes as we cannot tolerate the discomfort.
Give me the children of the messy mother who doesn’t even know my name.