There are 4 types of parent-teacher conferences. These are actual quotes from today. I wish I was joking.
Where both the parent and the teacher feel like the student is awesome.
These are the best conferences. They go by the quickest. They sometimes go by long because both of us want to talk about how happy we are. These parents always show up, but there’s usually only one or two students like this.
Teacher: “I love having Lehani in class. She’s always on task and looking to help out. She’s wonderful. She’s doing very well.”
Parent: “I’m so happy to hear you say that. She really loves school. She loves you. She’s doing great! Is there anything we should be doing at home?”
Where the parent thinks the student is awesome and the teacher doesn’t.
This is the one where the parent is either completely blind or a lying sack of shit. I hate these parents.
Teacher: “Barook is struggling a lot with reading and math. He’s often very distracted in groups. He also hasn’t been turning in any of his assignments.”
Parent: “I find that very hard to believe. I’m not seeing that at home. I spend an hour each night going over his homework with him. He’s done every assignment. I would know. He says he’s doing very well, I believe him. I don’t think you understand my son very well. You certainly don’t know him like I do.”
Where the teacher thinks the students is awesome and the parent doesn’t.
This is the one that makes you like that student even more. Usually these parents are no-shows.
Teacher: “Derak is doing fine. He’s good working alone and in groups. He needs to put a little more effort into his writing, but other than that I think he’s making a lot of progress. I’m glad to have him in class.”
Parent: “Really?! I’m surprised to hear that. He’s just awful at home. You can keep him. He’s yours, I don’t want him.”
Where both the parent and teacher feel like the student isn’t awesome.
This is most of my conferences. I think most parents come in expecting me to fix their children for them.
Teacher: “I don’t know what to do with him. I can’t get him to work, he’s constantly talking and off task. I’d be open to any advice you have.”
Parent: “I was hoping you could give me some advice. I’m at my wit’s end. I also don’t know what to do with him. He’s completely out of control at home.”