Tonight we have parent-teacher conferences. It’s my chance to sit down and discuss the good, bad, and sometimes the ugly with parents. It’s a touchy situation for both of us. Most parents of kindergarten students are still too young and inexperienced to separate their ego from their child’s skills and actions. They still see their child as an extension of themselves. Most parents end up telling me much of their own life story and school experience as an excuse for whatever problem their child is having. Most don’t see their children as entirely separate human beings until about the third grade.
Many parents will blame me for whatever is wrong with their child’s school experience. I’m too strict. I expect too much. There is too much work. I don’t watch them closely enough. I don’t praise them enough. I’m too loud. I’m too old. I could go on and on…
Several years ago I wrote an article, “Ten Things I Hate About You”. It was based on surveys done of teachers and parents. Both sides have issues that never seem to be resolved. And on top of that many parents are also teachers and strive to find a balance between their two roles.
I decided long ago that humor is the cure for most tense situations. So I offer a little today, and I hope I don’t get any hate mail. J
Things teachers never say at parent-teacher conferences:
1. I see an orange jumpsuit in your child’s future if he doesn’t stop lying, cheating, and stealing right now.
2. Your child has crushed my last nerve and is now pounding on my head. Make him stop!
3. Your child has the manners of a wild animal. Who raised him?
4. Your child has no intention of ever willingly learning anything, ever. Be prepared for years of bribing, threatening, and begging.
5. Oh, we really don’t need to talk now. Five minutes with you and I understand why your child won’t listen to me.
6. Can I get a handwriting sample from both of you? Because I want to see who has been doing this child’s homework.
7. Your child has the attention span of a gnat. I think you should unplug the video games.
8. Yes, “overly assertive personality” really means bully.
9. Thank you for trashing me at the bank, post office, hairdresser’s and on FB. Now I don’t have to explain my teaching methods to everyone.
10. Yes, it’s me. I’m to blame for all of your child’s problems.