So parent teacher conferences were this week and I really don't enjoy them at all. We get half days and then have an afternoon session and an evening one to be flexible for parents. I also find it strange that children come with there parents to conference. I never went with my mom but these parents can't find a babysitter. I'm just glad they show up. Not all of them do. So these are some pieces of conversations from the conferences.
Me: I know that ______ is capable of doing so much more, she just needs to focus
Parent: Well I've been away (in jail) so that may have been affecting her.
Me: Yes I think so...
Me: I know we just met recently and discussed the problems with _____'s behavior and I want you to know that I really appreciate you talking to her.
Parent: Uh huh.
Me: When you tell ______ that school is important...she hears you and it does make a difference. She is such a smart girl and her behavior is what keeps her from doing her best and off the honor roll.
Parent: She is who she is and ain't nothing gonna change that.
Me: Okay (her phone rings and she starts walking away) thanks for coming!
Me: I would really like to see _______ stop yelling out in the middle of my lessons. It is really distracting for the other students and for him.
Parent: I'm sorry and I've spoken to him about that
Me: I think it would be a good idea to discuss it again
Parent: What does he yell out?
Me: Mostly jokes and strange noises
Parent: Oh I see. Well he'll be going to a new school next year
Me: I think they will probably have the same expectations there.
I know that there are things that need to be said but I really hate giving bad news to parents, like that there child may have to be retained. I hate it even more when the parent acts like it the first time they are ever hearing it and is shocked. I guess they missed it at the last report card conference when I said it and the two progress reports that I mailed home and the letter saying that I was still concerned. Also the meeting that they were invited to at school on how to help their child because they were in danger of repeating.
To those nonteachers out there I probably sound terrible and when it's my child who knows maybe I'll be as shocked as these parents but for now I'm just annoyed. These conferences always seem to get me down. I love all my students and want to see them succeed. Can I really expect as much I do from my students after meeting their parents? I really believe I can! Don't get me wrong I also have lovely parents that make the job worthwhile and let me know how much they appreciate me and tell me that I'm doing a great job and that I make a difference.