Whelp now we're *those* parents
August 22, 2017 8:03 AM   Subscribe

My daughter got a dud fourth grade teacher assignment we were notified about last week. We are pushing for re-assignment. Please offer advice as to how to do this effectively without any of those involved dealing with significant future awkwardness.

Little Llama has a buddy whose mom taught at Llama's school until this summer, when she took a new job, so she knows the district and players involved.

We like her a lot and respect her. She's a special ed teacher and while Little Llama never had a class with her, we take her opinion very seriously and trust her expertise--she's not the kind of person given to quick or catty judgments.

She knows the proposed 4th grade teacher in question and indeed *navigated her son (LL's friend) out of this exact classroom assignment*. She thinks that this teacher is a poor match for Little Llama, who she knows well. She has gone so far as to say that if necessary, we should go to the superintendent.

We are concerned and have written a polite and respectful letter to the principal, who is pushing back with boilerplate willingness to meet but trying to let us down gracefully as 'much thought has gone into classroom assignments'. We too will push back and will meet with her in person.

Little Llama's grades and interest/overall positivity about school fell noticeably last year with the introduction of 'teaching to the test'. This is 100% new. She has been in preschool/school since she was three. We are concerned about the school's ability to allow her interest in science, math, and technology to flourish. She's a very skilled artist, but math was her favorite subject until last year. She's nine and it is vulnerable age for girls.

Our biggest concern is her happiness and continued self-esteem. We want her to like to go to school and continue to have positive feelings about it.

Can anyone offer guidance to help us diplomatically but assertively handle this situation?

Please assume my analysis is fair about the above and that we are not trying to sand every bump off the earth for our little darling and that our expectations are realistic and the advice we have been given by her friend's mom is expert and well-informed.
posted by A Terrible Llama to Education (24 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
My son had 2.3/6 years of public school with bad teachers (his school is small so there's no other class to switch to and up until we got a new principal was a bit of a final resting place) and my only advice is, don't back down, don't explain or equivocate, just keep insisting relatively politely but firmly as high up the chain as you can go; we have and still have to work every day to keep his engagement with his own education up.

If by chance it does not work out MeMail me because we effectively flipped the classroom and have homeschooled him on the side.

(The .3 was the teacher coming out of the classroom which resulted in 2 different substitutes but they were at least lovely.)
posted by warriorqueen at 8:14 AM on August 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


I had a lengthy battle with the principal when I questioned the teacher assignment. I wanted to observe the 2 teacher options. I was civil but persistent. In our case, the assigned teacher was was not 'cool' and therefore not a popular choice, but she was perfect for my son. In your case, maybe not so much. Be persistent because you are advocating for your child. Do go observe classrooms.
posted by theora55 at 8:39 AM on August 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


You're in a fortunate position in that you know this former teacher who knows the players. Can she help you with the language that you can use in your messages or conversations?

Otherwise, I agree, keep pushing back. While I don't disagree with the comment that we don't always get to be around people we like, I think it's important to demonstrate to our kids that we will advocate for them, so that they will learn to advocate for themselves.
posted by vignettist at 8:40 AM on August 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


[One deleted. Sorry, the asker is very specifically asking "how do I approach changing the classroom assignment" not "should I do this".]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:40 AM on August 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


I am on the Board of Ed in my town. I can speak for our district. I do not know anything about your district. I do not even know what State you are in.

First, in our district, getting a change of assignment for a 4th grade teacher (or any grade teacher) is virtually insurmountable especially prior to the student actually being in the classroom. I say this from experience in that my wife and I requested a change for one of my children's teacher while I was a sitting Board member and was rejected. (It turns out that said teacher, despite her reputation, was a terrific fit for my child and even ended up writing one of their college recommendations.)

Second, I think your daughter's friends mom, the former teacher was able to navigate this change because she was a teacher at the time. If she is okay with it, I would use her and her child as an example of a time a change was made.

Third, I do not know the personalities involved, but I assume they are all professionals and there will be no lingering resentment or taking of it personally. Do not make a fear of that or a fear of awkwardness an excuse to not pursue the change.

Fourth, when you meet, I suspect the response will be as you noted a polite "no". I think if you keep pushing, they will end up with a "let's see how the first month goes and if we both feel there is a need to change, we can consider it at that time". Ultimately, you have little leverage. The school can just say no and take whatever heat you choose to bring.

I can say in our district, we have been sued to change a teacher and still have said no. There are many reasons for a no. Ultimately, it is anarchy if we let the parents choose their child's teachers. There has to be a good reason. And by that I mean not just, "We heard she is not a good teacher and not a good fit for my child", but maybe your child has some sort of special need that this teacher is not trained to address. That is the path I would take. I would not speak in generalities about the teacher's reputation. Every district, no matter how hard they try and no matter how high performing they are, have some clunker teachers. The district knows that.

If your district "teaches to the test", they are likely not enlightened enough to recognize how teacher assignments and how the teachers mesh with their students matter. After all, they will likely say, "All teachers teach the same things. We are teaching to the state standards. Who your child has should not be relevant. Teaching to the test tells me that they do not look at students as individuals with distinct needs.

I think you best chance at getting the assignment changed rests on both precedent and as warriorqueen notes, persistence. I think the best time to affect the change would be before school starts so that the reassignment is not so obvious to other parents. If the year starts and the teacher truly does suck, then you will not be the only parent asking for a change. It will be harder for the district to make the change for one student when there are others asking too.

Ultimately, I think you will be unsuccessful in making the change. I also think that it will not be the end of the world if she stays in that classroom. Engagement is certainly about the teacher, but is is also about personalities, outside influences, difficulty of the subject matter, and so many other hard to predict issues.

I loved my 4th grade teacher. In fact, when I first got on the Board I looked him up and contacted him to thank him for a great and memorable year. But, I hated my 5th grade teacher. I still remember her as being mean and not caring. Having said that, neither teacher was responsible for my level of engagement in school going forward. I was.

Finally, I am not sure what your daughter knows about your desire to switch, but I hope she knows very little. If successful, great, although she may want to stay because of the other students in the classroom which is a big influence on other student's engagement. If unsuccessful, she will spend the year thinking that she is stuck with a bad teacher and have a lot of negative thoughts that are counter productive to engagement.

Finally, I think general reputations of teachers are not relevant so much to any one individual student. Some students click with "good" teachers and some do not. Some click with "bad" teachers and some do not. Teacher assignment is very dependent on the individual student and the way that the entire class interacts with each other.

Although I do not recommend you push for the change, the best way to do it would be to be polite but persistent and to focus on why this particular teacher is unable to meet your child's needs. I also advise against going public with the request. Once more parents hear about it, the harder it will be for the district to make the change.

If you are in the Metropolitan NY area feel free to memail me.
posted by JSM at 8:45 AM on August 22, 2017 [40 favorites]


My daughter definitely experienced some not so great teachers in elementary school, especially in grades 4 and 5. Those are SUCH pivotal grades for girls when it comes to math and science. In retrospect, I wish we had known what we were in for because we would have requested a classroom switch. Her self esteem plummeted but because she was SO GOOD at hiding it, we didn't know until she started a new school in 7th grade and admitted that she felt stupid for years at her old school because of the teachers she had. It took a good long while for her to recover from that, even though at home we encouraged her and supported her and I volunteered in all of her classrooms.

When you meet with the principal, be prepared with specifics about why this teacher will not be a good fit for your child and why leaving her in the classroom would be a disruption not only to her but to the rest of the class. Be respectful and acknowledge that a lot of effort probably did go into classroom assignments. Make sure that moving your child to a different class won't over burden the other teachers; one student may not seem like a lot but really could be when we're talking class sizes in the 20s (which I'm assuming, so discard that if it's not appropriate). Ask to observe all of the classes in action. Discuss your child's learning style and personality and why the teacher she has isn't going to be a good fit for anyone.

Unfortunately, your request might not be approved. I hope it doesn't come to this, but it may take something documentable before the administration takes you seriously. Right now all you've got is your gut and your friend's recommendation, and I 100% believe you...but the administration probably doesn't care about your gut, to be frank. If they end up flat out refusing, make sure you document EVERYTHING you can. All the phone calls, all the written correspondence, all of it. In a few months, you might have enough ammunition to demand a classroom change.
posted by cooker girl at 8:45 AM on August 22, 2017


I don't know that there's any great secret besides *be persistent*.

I wish I had pushed harder for my child's reassignment in our 4th grade year - it wound up being a rough year for him. I assumed the principal and school leadership has his best interests at heart. (My child has a 504 plan and is already "in them system" as needing some particular accommodations. It didn't help.)

Don't be afraid to be a pain in the neck.
posted by pantarei70 at 9:20 AM on August 22, 2017


. And by that I mean not just, "We heard she is not a good teacher and not a good fit for my child", but maybe your child has some sort of special need that this teacher is not trained to address

I think this is kind of the angle you need to go. Like, let's take you totally at your word - let's suppose this is just kind of a crummy teacher - not bad enough to fire, which takes a whole lot of work fighting against the union, but just not a very good teacher. They probably know it - if your friend, who teaches in a different lane entirely, is aware, probably everyone else at the school is as well. But they may not have options as far as getting her totally out of the classroom, which means they need to give her students.

Thus, any attempts at "This teacher is a bad teacher and should not be teaching a student who I care about" will fail, not even because you're wrong, but because if they yield to you on those general terms, then presumably every parent should be getting their kid out of that incompetent teacher's class, and then they can't handle things.

The way that I would approach this is to say some variant of, "Little Llama has special and particular difficulty with teachers who do X, as you see by last years' grade slip. While I know you put a lot of effort into your classroom assignments, and I'm sure Teacher Horror is a perfectly adequate teacher for most children (even if she's not), I know you want to make this a good fit for everyone, and would appreciate you changing her assignment to a teacher with Y skills, such as Decent Teacher."
posted by corb at 9:40 AM on August 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


This very same thing happened to me/my kid when he was going into fourth grade. Until this time, I had a very strict non-interventionist policy when it came to teacher assignments and school in general. But my friend - a teacher - worked with his assigned teacher at her previous school, and there were some specific egregious issues with this teacher. I just found the letter I wrote last year:

This morning, I saw Kid was assigned to Teacher's class. A friend of mine worked with her in her previous school and I have some very serious reservations about this. I know her teaching style will not benefit Kid at all and I urge you reconsider his assignment.

Had I known she was teaching X grade I would have made this request earlier, but according to the school's website, she was teaching Y.

If you'd like to discuss this in person or by phone, I'm available. I'll do whatever I need to, to get this change made.

So far, our experience at School has been spectacular. Kid loves school, and learning, and I'd like to keep it that way. I'm sure you are getting a ton of these requests and I appreciate your time.

Thanks.


When the principal called me, I was very specific and open about what I knew, without throwing my friend under the bus. Once the principal heard what I had to say, she transferred him (although she wasn't very happy about it.) So it can happen.
posted by lyssabee at 9:48 AM on August 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


This is tough, because you don't really have much to go on. Your only support for your position is your teacher friend' hunch. And regardless of how well she knows both the teacher and your daughter, it's still just a hunch. Moreover, it's coming from a former employee, so they're probably not going to take a dimmer view of her opinion than you do.

You're going to have to be specific. Don't just say "our friend thinks it's a bad fit". Say "we're concerned because our daughter has shown some aptitude for science, and we'd like to encourage that, but Mrs. Teacher is the weakest fourth-grade teacher at the school in terms of science test scores, and her reputation for engaging students is underwhelming". If you just say you have a hunch, they're going to try to pressure you into giving it a chance. You gotta have more than that.

That said, if you're open to giving it a chance, that could work in your favor. Your willingness to compromise will hopefully inspire them to compromise as well. Plus, you'll have actual data about how your daughter reacts to this teacher.

Whatever you do, don't make it personal. Chances are, the teacher is aware of her relative strengths and weaknesses, like anyone else. If you say "Mrs. Teacher's science test scores aren't as good as the other reachers'", she can't really dispute that. But when you say something like "Mrs. Teacher's personality doesn't fit with my daughter" or "Mrs. Teacher just isn't a very good teacher", she will get upset about that, and I wouldn't be surprised if the school did, too.

All that said, it's worth trying. I know idea of turning points in life is silly, but it actually happened to me. Until third grade, I loved school. Straight As, teachers loved me, I was sad when I had to go home at the end of the day. But in third grade, suddenly, my grades dipped and I lost my enthusiasm. I started having behavioral problems. Then, about two months into the school year, my school established a gifted and talented program for third-graders. I was transferred into that. Immediately, my grades went back to straight As, and I fell back in love with school. I stayed in the gifted program until high school, when I took AP classes and got into a pretty good college. Even now, I'm the kind of person who reads Tolstoy and Proust for fun. That is not a common outcome for kids in my depressed Rust Belt town. A lot of people (including my brother) got into drugs; I know multiple classmates on Death Row. I have no doubt that I would have gone down the same path, but for changing teachers in third grade. As for hard feelings, my original teacher had a daughter slightly younger than me. She fell in with my social circle in high school, and I ended up hanging out at that teacher's house fairly often. No hard feelings. Hopefully that shows you it can be done successfully.
posted by kevinbelt at 9:58 AM on August 22, 2017 [3 favorites]


Side recommendation that is not helpful now; in our district, parent requests for assignments are considered (but not always fulfilled) when they come at the end of the year before or over the summer. Whatever happens this year, find out about the teachers for next year, decide which one you'd prefer, and ask for it between May and July of next year.
posted by gideonfrog at 10:26 AM on August 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


I could really use any help with keywords/key phrases/framing. For example, in medical offices 'X interferes with the quality of my life' is a magical phrase and the difference between getting a prescription you need and not.

I do not know the specific details of the teacher's issues--my impression is rigidity, short-temperedness, and a lack of patience but we are working on getting the details to speak to them. I do not think the teacher has a general lack of expertise or is not a professional; I think she's a bad match for our child, who recoils and folds into herself when presented with military-style figures. She will disappear in a class like that.

The teacher who is advising us has to live in this town and seek future jobs, so she has asked that we not bring her name into it, which we will respect. We can't refer to her specifically.

We are absolutely not talking to our daughter about any of this or presenting anything to her but the excitement of the coming school year and we would never say anything less than positive about any teacher without far better reason than this.

I was clear about the parameters of the question and am not asking for a referendum on my parenting decisions. There is enough evidence from other posters in the thread above to clarify why this question is being asked.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 11:19 AM on August 22, 2017


I don't know if there's a magic phrase per se - but the "blunt instrument" in these kinds of cases in any sort of outside assessment (medical, psychological) of your child indicating they benefit from a certain kind of classroom environment.

You will not get anywhere with a critique of a teacher, I'm afraid.

Which is problematic on a number of fronts (not the least since it sets up your child as the "problem" and possibly pathologizes things that aren't pathologies at all) - but it tends to get things moving more quickly since it plugs into the legal responsibility of the school and the district.
posted by pantarei70 at 11:29 AM on August 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


She knows the proposed 4th grade teacher in question and indeed *navigated her son (LL's friend) out of this exact classroom assignment*. She thinks that this teacher is a poor match for Little Llama, who she knows well. She has gone so far as to say that if necessary, we should go to the superintendent.

Is this a polite way of saying that this person is a bad teacher? If so, I imagine you won't be the only parent requesting a change, which will complicate your situation.

This was the case with my (now adult) daughter's 2nd grade teacher. I'll spare you the long story and simply recommend that if the transfer is denied, you change schools for the year. It is very difficult to recover from a bad teacher in elementary school.

Best wishes with this. I wish we had done more to remove our daughter from that classroom.
posted by she's not there at 11:47 AM on August 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


How is your relationship with the school administration generally? Have you met with the principal over other issues? Are you involved in the school? Have you ever met the teacher in question?

Agree with the answers above that this probably isn't possible until your child has been in the classroom for some period of time. Then, once you have the data, you'll be able to see "Gee, this class isn't a fit for my child because of [these specific things]."

Certainly take advantage of the meeting offered with the Principal. Also, contact the teacher and schedule an "adults only" meeting for you to discuss your child's specific needs -- no so much, "I hear you do X" but more "LL loves science and art and math. Can you tell me specifically what the curriculum will be to address her interests? Can you tell me specifically what your classroom management style is like?"

Then, once the school year starts, continue to check in - email, drop in, schedule meetings, volunteer in the classroom. My guess is that it may take a couple of months, but this is doable -- but not doable before the school year begins.

First, you need the data to support the change you're requesting.
posted by anastasiav at 11:51 AM on August 22, 2017


anastasiav: How is your relationship with the school administration generally? Have you met with the principal over other issues? Are you involved in the school? Have you ever met the teacher in question?

In the past we have only had some "leverage" in the local grade schools because my wife volunteered a lot. We knew the teachers from attending school events and parent/teacher conferences religiously. As a result, the teachers & principals all knew us, and we were able to express some preferences ahead of time about classroom assignments and the like.

That said, some of my kids got teachers in grade school & middle school who they HAAAAATED, and they are still bitter about it years later.

This made me believe that you can try to get where you want to be ahead of time, but once the rosters are set, it's really hard to change without an IEP, medical cause, or something equally objective.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:24 PM on August 22, 2017


I'm a special ed teacher who has had years of trying to field requests like this, as well as a parent of a kid who had a certain type of brain and style and I knew that her 4th grade year, with Mrs. Houser, was going to be terrible because Mrs. Houser had a reputation like you spoke of. Rigid, not very kind, called kids out and was a fan of negative reinforcement as a classroom strategy.

I think she's a bad match for our child, who recoils and folds into herself when presented with military-style figures. She will disappear in a class like that.

Much to my surprise, my daughter LOVED this military Mrs. Houser. LOVED HER. Yes, there was a hardcore adjustment period but as soon as Thing 1 understood the expectations, she thrived with this type of teacher. I am not saying this may be your case, but don't rule it out. Kids can surprise us by reacting positively to very strict adults (like, I used to cringe at Thing 2's "Typical Tough Guy" soccer coach but I'll be damned if Thing 2 didn't rise to the challenge and end up becoming a star player who did whatever coach said).

Now, as a sped teacher who has some say in where students are placed, the advice you're getting saying this could be close to impossible to switch is accurate. It depends on the admins and if you're generally considered a helicopter parent. Chances are the most sympathetic admin is still going to insist your kid try the teacher anyway before switching (the whole facing adversity, building grit, etc.).

But there is a magic phrase and you have to promise to only use it if it's true: if after a few weeks in this teacher's class your daughter comes home and says the teacher makes her feel unsafe, that's almost always the key to opening the door. School admins do not screw around when a kid reports an adult makes them feel unsafe.

I don't advocate using this phrase if it's inaccurate, but it can often open doors.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 12:33 PM on August 22, 2017 [6 favorites]


One more thing: don't EVER apologize for being "those parents." Every kid needs someone to champion them and think they're the greatest and to help them. Teachers LOVE involved parents and it makes us sad when they apologize for simply caring and advocating for their kid!
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 12:36 PM on August 22, 2017 [4 favorites]


Two more points I neglected to mention. One, even if you are successful at changing the teacher, you do not know if your daughter will thrive under the new teacher. A change to a teacher that is also not a good fit brings up its own set of issues. It can be very disruptive to your daughter. Two, while I agree with yes I said yes I will Yes above that the word unsafe will certainly, in the least, get the administration to investigate, it is a nuclear option that can affect all the kids in the classroom. The teacher may be investigated. All the students may be interviewed. Unsafe is an accusation whether that refers to emotional or physical unsafeness that will not just open the door to your daughter's change, but will open all sorts of butterfly affect doors too. As yIsyIwY points out, ONLY say it if it is true and you are prepared to escalate. It will not be a phrase where they just quietly say, "Ok, we will change her." and then move on. But if it is true, it is true and you should advocate on behalf of your child.

Finally, I think it is too late for you this year, but I add it as advice for next year or for anyone reading this thinking about their own child, the best time to affect the teacher assignment of your child is at the end of the previous school year, BEFORE classrooms are publicly announced. Our district has an informal policy of accepting a negative request about a teacher if a sibling has had that teacher previously. If you ask for a specific teacher, we will thank you for your letter and then make whatever decision we would have made otherwise.

I know that a parent knows their child best, but the school district is presumably an expert on education and knows both your child well as well as the teachers. Courts have consistently upheld school district's rights to make education decisions based on their expertise over the opinions of the parents. Having said that, do not NOT advocate on behalf of your child. Always advocate for their best interests.
posted by JSM at 12:59 PM on August 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


As others have said, if a school leader grants every request like this, it would be a mess. Then again, if you can have a good conversation with the principal that describes why your situation is unique, and if you can appeal to the school's responsibility to meet all students' needs, the switch could possibly happen. You'll have the best chances here if you can be as specific as possible, both about the teacher (does your friend have examples of their behavior?) and your child.

"Last year LL's grades fell (give specific grades, and maybe list some other reactions, like a drop in her enthusiasm and self esteem as evidenced by X and Y). After talking with her and observing her with other adults, it's clear that a rigid, strict authority figure (provide evidence for how you know that's the case), while effective for many students, makes LL feel/act (can you give specific examples of how you know she'll disappear in that environment?). It will not be in our daughter's best interest as a learner to be in this classroom."

If you're told to give it a few weeks to see how things go, you can say something like, "Please make the change now, as we know it would be detrimental/disruptive to her, the teacher, and the other students if this switch isn't made before the school year begins."

You can also have in your back pocket, "Since you will not make this change, we'd like to talk to your supervisor at the district level. Could you please provide us with that person's name and phone number?" This is a nuclear option, though, and would almost definitely lead to the future significant awkwardness that you're trying to avoid.
posted by violetish at 2:05 PM on August 22, 2017 [2 favorites]


You can also have in your back pocket, "Since you will not make this change, we'd like to talk to your supervisor at the district level. Could you please provide us with that person's name and phone number?" This is a nuclear option, though, and would almost definitely lead to the future significant awkwardness that you're trying to avoid.

I would ask your friend who worked for the district about this option. Generally, higher level admins never interfere in placement decisions, they're going to back their principals, and this could very much put you on the admin's shit list.
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 3:00 PM on August 22, 2017 [1 favorite]


Couple thoughts.

My first year teaching, a parent heard my certification came from an 'alternate route' (it did) and used this as a reason to request her child be moved from my class- he was. Actually, she attacked my preparation to teach publicly, at our 'meet the teacher' event. Funny thing was, he ended up not being a great fit with the re-assigned teacher and I remember to this day thinking how I would have better served that kid. Ah, Jordan- he must be 40 now.

Anyway. More to your point, when similar questions come up, friends often express concerns to me about appearing to be jerks or in some way negatively affecting their kid's teachers impressions of them (the student). My experience in public education is that this is a non- issue: every teacher has had pushy, obnoxious parents (sorry) and a professional has no trouble separating the actions of the parent from the character of the kid. I always advise parents to do what it takes to get what their kid needs without concern for making their kid in some way unpopular with their teachers. I'm sure there are teachers who CAN'T separate parents' actions from kid but in 30 years I haven't worked with them.
posted by carterk at 11:27 PM on August 22, 2017


Update:

It turned out really well. Without residual awkwardness, even!

We met with the principal and asked for the thinking behind the placement. She was able to speak to it in detail. She was unaware that LL had no friends in the class (forgot to mention that detail above) but was surprisingly aware of some specific social stressors that didn't make it into the question, and part of the placement was to alleviate those stressors which were real and which we knew about and had genuinely made an impact on her daily life last year. (Basically: LLs friends *fight* over her. I know that's weird, but there you go.) She made a detailed case for it being a good and well-thought-out placement due to some of the teacher's strengths and LL's interests.

She also:
-Fully heard us out and spoke to each point with clarity and thoughtfulness
-Spoke to the strengths of the teacher in detail
-Agreed we can revisit at the six week mark and absolutely will make a change if LL is miserable
-Let us know LL was going into the gifted and talented program so would be out of the classroom two days a week for X number of hours and that would help keep her interest up and give her some agency (Mr. Llama knew about this but had forgotten; the official mailer hasn't come out yet-it was news to me)

I'm really excited about the g and t program b/c I think it will help her be more excited about school overall and give her some of the agency and excitement I think she has felt is lacking in the school. We'll also seek counseling for her in or outside of the school if that seems like a good idea.

As far as LL is concerned, she knows nothing about any of this. We don't make a big deal out of school starting and have always presented it with good cheer and will do so again this year. We would never present anything but positivity about school without a good reason. Her positive feelings about school are really important to us.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts and especially to those who reassured me that we were doing the right thing by pursuing it at all. It felt weird to do it but the whole thing made us a lot more comfortable and less suspicious walking into this.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 8:22 AM on August 25, 2017 [5 favorites]


Well done!!
posted by yes I said yes I will Yes at 6:12 AM on September 3, 2017 [1 favorite]


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