10 Types of Parents You See in the Drop-Off Line

10 Types of Parents You Find in the Drop-Off Line

If you’re not a teacher you might think that a teacher’s day starts at the beginning of school and ends when those adorable little munchkins go home. But you would be wrong. So very, very wrong. Our day starts long before that first bell goes off, during a little slice of time we call “Parent Drop-Off”, and ends with pandemonium known as “Parent Pick-Up”. Both are rather unusual times of day full of some very unusual characters. See how many you recognize in our list below:

1. The parent that decides to hold a PTM right in the middle of line

Who needs to schedule a parent-teacher meeting when we can just have one right here in the drop-off line… while there’s a line of cars backed up a mile long. This parent just can’t be bothered to schedule a meeting because that’s way too time-consuming. It’s just “easier” for them to hold up the line for 20 minutes asking every teacher to give them a full and detailed report on their child, complete with accurate grades. Because you know, teachers have the grades of every student burned into their brains at all times.

2. The parent with the obnoxiously loud speakers blaring the obnoxiously inappropriate songs

You can, unfortunately, hear this parent coming a mile away… literally. And no matter what song they’ve decided to blare from their speakers you can be sure it’s going to involve an ear-splitting amount of bass and the world’s most inappropriate lyrics. Then we wonder why little Johnny has a hard time following instructions in class. It’s probably because he can’t hear a word we’re saying because Daddy blew out his eardrums in his lifted pickup truck.

3. The parent that wants a complete debriefing of their precious angel’s day… while they’re still in line

The parent pulls up, the child gets in and you would think that would lead to the car driving merrily off-campus. But oh no, this parent must first reconnect with their child as if they haven’t seen them in 2 years. Never mind the line of cars behind them is growing exponentially, they aren’t about to let 40-50 cars stop them from asking how their little bundle of joy’s day was.

4. The parent that believes the rules never apply to them, because they are just so special

Usually driving a car that makes you wonder aloud “Do you think they’re compensating for something?” this parent will whip in and out of the drop-off line with absolutely no regard for teacher, student or parent safety. Waiting in line? Ugh, how totally beneath them! Speed limits? Those are for losers! These parents believe they are the most important person around and want you to know it every chance they get.

5. The parent that absolutely, positively has to be the first one in line no matter what

You can send home memos, print up flyers, or project it on a 50-foot high screen but there’s always one parent that will arrive at least an hour before pick-up or drop-off starts. And they just sit there waiting, and waiting and waiting. What sort of lives to these people even lead that they can take so much time out of their day to just idle in a parking lot?

6. The parent that doesn’t know where to go or what to do every… single… day

Whether this parent is dropping a child off for the 1st time or the 581st, their confusion remains a constant source of wonder, amazement and sadness. They never know what line they’re supposed to be in, and don’t ever seem 100% sure of when to let their child out of the car. You can wave your hands, hold a placard or install a 50-foot neon blinking signs and you can be assured this parent won’t pay attention to any of it.

7. The frazzled parent who drives a minivan

Every school has at least one parent that drives a minivan that doubles as a clown car. The door swings open and what appears to be an endless stream of children pour out. The parent behind the wheel usually has a well-deserved glazed look on their face and may or may not still be wearing their pajamas. Their frazzled hair and vacant stare let you know just how much of a struggle it was getting those kids to school on time in the first place

8. The parent that volunteers at the school, therefore believe they are more special than everybody else.

Some parents volunteer at school because they love giving back and being a part of the school community. Others volunteer because they exist under the delusion that it gives them access to some exclusive parent club. You can find them ignoring the drop-off line completely and beelining straight for the front. Sometimes they may even get out and stand next to the teachers to “help direct traffic”. Oh goody, just what we wanted… a helper.

9. The parent who has no idea what’s going on because they’re glued to their phone

We may give students a hard time for being attached to their phones but they learned that behavior from somebody, and that somebody is usually a parent. Is there a car that hasn’t moved up in line for 10 minutes? Have you been frantically waving your arms trying to get that person’s attention? Maybe try texting them?

10. The parent that turns each and every morning into a sloppy, prolonged goodbye born out of a Nicholas Sparks movie

Some parents cannot wait to drop their child off and zoom out of the parking lot. Others find this to be a trauma-inducing part of their day. Even though they had the entire drive to school and the entire time in the drop-off line to say their goodbyes and relay any final instructions, these parents wait until their child has left the car and is halfway into the school before they roll down the window and start talking to them.

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10 Types of Parents You See in the Drop-Off Line

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David Rode

Dave is a middle school math teacher. He's also a musician, a community theater, dad to two amazing children, and he doesn't get a lot of sleep.

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