I have concluded that there are really only 3 types of parents that come to Parent Teacher Conference. There will be your anomalies and different flavors, but they’ll all fit generally into these 3 categories. For your reading convenience they are listed from the easiest to the hardest. Enjoy.
#1 The Mandatory Parents
“Yes. Your child has 110% so everything really is fine. Thank you for coming. Bye.”
These parents will go to every academic event, every school function AND bring their entire family. Always. Their kids are always at the top of the class and talking to the teachers is kind of a waste of time, but they do it anyway. Although I roll my eyes at them, I really appreciate them and their dedication to their student’s education.
#2 The Interrogation Parents
“So he’s telling me there is never any homework and that everyone is failing and that he’s turned in everything and you just haven’t graded it. Is that true?”
“Well….. no. Actually none of that is true. At all. Even a little bit.”
These parents have kids that try to pull a fast one on them, but they use Parent Teacher Conference to
attack confront their child in front of the teacher. It seems that tension has existed in their relationship for a while and the parents use this to spearhead the imminent conflict. With me watching. These kids might be B students or D students, but they get an A+ for Awkwardness and embarrassment.
#3 The Two Face Parents
“I know he is failing/he’s just been so stressed/we had to move/we’re getting a divorce/I’ll have him stay after school/She’s going to be grounded until this changes/I will make SURE she is up in time to get to your class first period/He’s just been SO sick/Thank you so much for your help!”
These parents are the worst kind. They come in 100% on the teacher’s side. They coo and simper and agree and justify. Their guilt (mixed with true parental concern, I am sure) forces them to Parent Teacher Conferences because they know they aren’t doing everything they should as a parent, but they want to cover that up. And they probably honestly want to do better.
Today they are an attentive parent and a true ally, but tomorrow the kid will be late or absent from the first period class their mom PROMISED to get them to on time. Tomorrow their brand new iPhone won’t be taken away as promised. This weekend they won’t spend grounded and “working on homework,” but instead having a great unsupervised weekend.
But even these parents, working 12+ hour days and cleaning pencil penises off my desks can’t make me quit smiling over the 100% test scores, high fives and lightbulb moments I get every day. 🙂