Parent-Teacher Conference, hilarious. As a teacher I've actually had these types of conferences!


#1

Anyone who has taught in a public education classroom has met this parent. In fact, being a 13-year veteran, we meet A LOT of these folks. People might re-think the "blame the teacher" philosophy that is so prevalent in our culture if they had to deal with these parents. They might realize that the parents are too often the problem! This is pretty hilarious and all-too-familiar! :p

youtube.com/watch?v=sr5kWOdkHYA


#2

Parent: You'll never work as a teacher again.
Teacher: I wish that were true.

SNORT! Too cute and true!


#3

It is pretty cute; thanks, horse! :stuck_out_tongue:


#4

I am not a teacher, but I have for the past four months been working as a tutor with fifth grade students, free of charge, at the local elementary school. This very much speaks to my experience there!

It has been 20 years since I was in a fifth grade classroom, and my how things have changed in this time! Even though the group I am working with (a non-profit, volunteer-run organization) provides countless hours of extra-curricular math and language assistance for all students, at the recent "parent-tutor conference night", there were a handful of "Mrs. Smiths" in the audience who made the entire thing incredibly painful and awkward for the instructor and several of the program coordinators. If the instructor told the parents that their children were by and large shirking their required weekly reading assignment (of a whopping 30 minutes per week! Oh my stars, what a burden!), then certainly the instructor must not realize the unconquerable mountain of work that the students have to deal with from other classes, and couldn't she take pity on them and reduce the reading to 20 minutes, or better yet 10? And why can't the tutors take time to teach the parents how to do the fifth grade math, as well? What's so unreasonable about that? I tell you, some people just don't want to work with you and be reasonable! :rolleyes:

I wish that I could be safe from it by simply refusing to ever teach at any level below college, but having been through that myself in the past five years or so (and knowing a few people who currently teach at universities), I know that this sort of attitude isn't alien to that environment, either. The only difference then is that it is the students making such claims about themselves and their own work, not (usually) their parents. "But, Professor Suchandsuch! You don't understand! It's not that I slacked off and didn't do any of my work the entire semester and have now come rushing to your office to beg for a grade I don't deserve, it's just that I've been really, really busy! Road trips to Cancun don't take themselves, you know..."


#5

[quote="dzheremi, post:4, topic:222514"]

I wish that I could be safe from it by simply refusing to ever teach at any level below college, but having been through that myself in the past five years or so (and knowing a few people who currently teach at universities), I know that this sort of attitude isn't alien to that environment, either. The only difference then is that it is the students making such claims about themselves and their own work, not (usually) their parents.

[/quote]

Glad you added (usually) because one of my professor friends was telling me that it's not unusual to have a parent visit and state "My little darling is going to get a PASS for this course because I'm paying for it." Why bother ever attending a lecture? Just dish out 40K and get a sheepskin.


#6

my colleague administers the student teaching program at the local college, the program they must all follow to get teaching assignments, graduate, etc. and regularly has parents trying to register the students for classes, attending classes for the student who is working or sleeping, even trying to attend the counselling sessions. The typical college student here has the emotional dependency on the parents of an 8 year old. Kicker was a parent who showed up for the intern’s first teaching day since her son was still sleeping and she didn’t want him to “miss” his first day in the classroom.


#7

I teach in a private school in a culture where the parents take it personally if their children don't pass.
Line I like from a teacher who taught in a different school. "My father's the king. I'm going to tell him all about you and you will be fired."
Teacher: "Class. Wear your best clothes tomorrow. The king is coming to fire me."
Result: No more problems with that student.


#8

I have been teaching for over twenty years. I always tell parents, "I won’t believe what your kids say about you at school if you won’t believe what they say about me at home.“
We had several codes to put on report cards when I taught in school. One secret code for middle-school was “K” (student needs exorcism. Call priest to schedule.”).
I love teaching but so many times parents are clueless.


#9

See, the key is that the PARENTS take it personally if their children aren't successful. So the key ingredient in the equation is the parents. That's why I find vouchers such an ineffective idea. You can move kids out of public schools and into private but if parents refuse to help their kids with homework, force them to study, make sure they eat nutritious food and go to bed on time as well as be competitive and goals-oriented, nothing will change. I think the Far Right is trying to convince the public that it's all the "system" and the teachers that are failing the kids. I think the parents, social laziness and irreverence for education, and a general immoral country is taking us downhill. Half of my class has divorced parents, usually about 6 or 7 have parents shacking up with different folks all the time, usually 2-3 have incarcerated parents. Putting those kids in a private situation will change their academics? Private schools ARE effective because they set high standards and the parent group that are at that school meet those standards or try dang hard to. The kids are from homes that have higher expectations. The schools have the power to drop the kid or kick them out for bad behavior, etc. There is a lot on the parents' shoulders whereas in public where I teach it all falls on mine. My son is at a private Lutheran school and he's successful because my wife and I will him to be so and because he's a smart kid anyway! :) But if he had trouble, my wife and I would be the first to be ALL over it! It's all about parenting.

But no governor, senator, congressman, or president is going to have the guts to blame the culture and parents when we can blame the teacher, the system, and propose vouchers. :shrug:

[quote="DebChris, post:7, topic:222514"]
I teach in a private school in a culture where the parents take it personally if their children don't pass.
Line I like from a teacher who taught in a different school. "My father's the king. I'm going to tell him all about you and you will be fired."
Teacher: "Class. Wear your best clothes tomorrow. The king is coming to fire me."
Result: No more problems with that student.

[/quote]


#10

[quote="puzzleannie, post:6, topic:222514"]
my colleague administers the student teaching program at the local college, the program they must all follow to get teaching assignments, graduate, etc. and regularly has parents trying to register the students for classes, attending classes for the student who is working or sleeping, even trying to attend the counselling sessions. The typical college student here has the emotional dependency on the parents of an 8 year old. Kicker was a parent who showed up for the intern's first teaching day since her son was still sleeping and she didn't want him to "miss" his first day in the classroom.

[/quote]

There is definitely a difference between helping a student and enabling him/her.
Workbooks may no longer go home since often it was the nanny doing the work. I find myself telling parents to stop helping students, to stop reteaching what was presented in class.
Instead, get some flashcards to help with math facts. Play dominoes, chess, or Scrabble. Provide a study space, but allow the student to make mistakes, to discover his or her own capabilities. Give him/her books to read other than the textbooks used in class. Encourage the child, but do not do his/her work for him/her.
I write test scores in the student agenda, as well as send tests home to be signed and returned. One parent was angry when her son failed, blaming me because his tutor said he was doing well. Conversely she wanted to know how he passed a test he had not studied for.

Stateside, I actually do favor school vouchers. It allows the not so rich to send their kids to better schools. We pay taxes whether we send our children to public school or private school. Vouchers would allow parents who might not otherwise be able to afford it to send their children to parochial school. Parochial and private schools are not necessarily the better schools. While my parents sacrificed to send us to parochial schools when available, I went to public school. In my hometown, many parents remove their children from expensive private schools and send them to public schools that better meet the needs of their children. The vouchers should only cover the educational costs of the equivalent public education. All taxpayers are still responsible for maintaining safe public school buildings and their grounds.


#11

What would happen possibly could go something like this...

The hard-working, intelligent, mature students would take a voucher and go to St. Paul's Private School or the Assembly of God school or the Charter Academy for Geniuses while the low kid who are English-learners or mentally-challenged or ill-behaved or possessing ADHD and learning disabilities will be all that is left in the public arena. All the bright, mature kids will be gone and thus there will be a leadership vacuum. No one to model off of, period. Group work and team dynamics will be shot. So in many ways public education, which I teach in, would be crippled beyond belief.

Secondly, the quality of some private schools will go down as mediocre and 'bad apple' kids will now be mixed in with the awesome, mature, hard-working kids at the more "accepting" private schools that are willing to take in the 'little turkeys.' The private schools will go after $$$ more so they'll be willing to take in some risky kids and adversely affect the good kids. Those parents who don't give a dang won't step up so many of those kids will get kicked out of private OR the quality of private will go down to accomodate the new, lower-expectation pool.

It's a pretty big fantasy to imagine that all the kids in the "hood" are incredible, hard-working, intellectual kids and it's just their neighborhood holding them back. It's parents, drugs, incarceration, shacking up, divorce, abuse at home, a victim mentality, poor nutrition, poor sleep, and lousy parenting that screws up these poor kids. Taking them and transplanting them to a private school won't change all those factors.

What we really need to do is this:

Have kids take tests to pass each grade. If they don't pass, by law they may not move up to the next grade. If kids don't pass, parents are held accountable financially and fined. If they do pass, they are given tax breaks and incentives. If the kids don't pass a certain amount of times and don't fit the academic criterion, by fifth grade they should be placed according to assessment data in different schools that teach a trade. They should be placed in vocational training and re-assigned to different possible future careers rather than continue the silly fantasy that "all kids will go to college." We need a stricter country with higher expectations for parents and a system based on talents and strengths and honesty, not the notion that we're all college-bound. That's what's killing us.

We also need more support for teachers and principals to suspend and EXPEL kids from the schools. Parents need less rights at school. We had a kid at my school IN SIXTH GRADE bring a huge bag of marijuana to school! Result: cops were called, kid suspsended two days, returned a couple days later, that's it.

[quote="DebChris, post:10, topic:222514"]
There is definitely a difference between helping a student and enabling him/her.
Workbooks may no longer go home since often it was the nanny doing the work. I find myself telling parents to stop helping students, to stop reteaching what was presented in class.
Instead, get some flashcards to help with math facts. Play dominoes, chess, or Scrabble. Provide a study space, but allow the student to make mistakes, to discover his or her own capabilities. Give him/her books to read other than the textbooks used in class. Encourage the child, but do not do his/her work for him/her.
I write test scores in the student agenda, as well as send tests home to be signed and returned. One parent was angry when her son failed, blaming me because his tutor said he was doing well. Conversely she wanted to know how he passed a test he had not studied for.

Stateside, I actually do favor school vouchers. It allows the not so rich to send their kids to better schools. We pay taxes whether we send our children to public school or private school. Vouchers would allow parents who might not otherwise be able to afford it to send their children to parochial school. Parochial and private schools are not necessarily the better schools. While my parents sacrificed to send us to parochial schools when available, I went to public school. In my hometown, many parents remove their children from expensive private schools and send them to public schools that better meet the needs of their children. The vouchers should only cover the educational costs of the equivalent public education. All taxpayers are still responsible for maintaining safe public school buildings and their grounds.

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#12

[quote="Musician, post:8, topic:222514"]
I have been teaching for over twenty years. I always tell parents, "I won't believe what your kids say about you at school if you won't believe what they say about me at home."

[/quote]

I sure hope my daughter's teacher adheres to that. She tells me stuff that just doesn't make sense sometimes (and after talking her though it find out things aren't what she implied). I remember once how she told me her teacher "hit her in the eye for no reason." After much fact wrangling, I figured out that her teacher accidentally bumped into my daughter who was standing behind the teacher (there wasn't a bruise or anything BTW). :rolleyes:

But I worry sometimes that she might go to school and say. Just last week my daughter got in the car and I shut the door behind her right as she decided to stretch. The door tapped her hand (literally, just tapped her knuckles with the glass on the window. She was fine and there wasn't a tear.) But later she asked me, "should I ask the school nurse for ice tomorrow since you slammed my hand in the car door?" :eek:


#13

Thank God for teacher tenure, the most misunderstood legal protection in the country! I had a kid one time get angry when I talked to him about his poor attendance. He thought I was out to get him so he told his mom and the principal that I was whispering threats in his ears, threatening to hurt him, etc. He told his mom that I had mocked him on the playground supposedly saying he kicked a soccer ball like a gay little pansy. Problem is, I was out sick at home that day! He made a lot of allegations against me. It all caught up with him when five or six of my kids witnessed him saying to all the kids at the table in the cafeteria at lunch time that he wanted to "bring me down" by going into a conspiracy having a bunch of kids concoct lies about me so we could get get that teacher fired! He said it too loudly and my kids signed a letter stating what they heard.

Imagine teachers having no tenure. Just accuse a teacher of anything, and boy kids DO, and the teacher is history! :(

[quote="mellowcalico, post:12, topic:222514"]
I sure hope my daughter's teacher adheres to that. She tells me stuff that just doesn't make sense sometimes (and after talking her though it find out things aren't what she implied). I remember once how she told me her teacher "hit her in the eye for no reason." After much fact wrangling, I figured out that her teacher accidentally bumped into my daughter who was standing behind the teacher (there wasn't a bruise or anything BTW). :rolleyes:

But I worry sometimes that she might go to school and say. Just last week my daughter got in the car and I shut the door behind her right as she decided to stretch. The door tapped her hand (literally, just tapped her knuckles with the glass on the window. She was fine and there wasn't a tear.) But later she asked me, "should I ask the school nurse for ice tomorrow since you slammed my hand in the car door?" :eek:

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#14

[quote="gurneyhalleck1, post:13, topic:222514"]
Thank God for teacher tenure, the most misunderstood legal protection in the country! I had a kid one time get angry when I talked to him about his poor attendance. He thought I was out to get him so he told his mom and the principal that I was whispering threats in his ears, threatening to hurt him, etc. He told his mom that I had mocked him on the playground supposedly saying he kicked a soccer ball like a gay little pansy. Problem is, I was out sick at home that day! He made a lot of allegations against me. It all caught up with him when five or six of my kids witnessed him saying to all the kids at the table in the cafeteria at lunch time that he wanted to "bring me down" by going into a conspiracy having a bunch of kids concoct lies about me so we could get get that teacher fired! He said it too loudly and my kids signed a letter stating what they heard.

Imagine teachers having no tenure. Just accuse a teacher of anything, and boy kids DO, and the teacher is history! :(

[/quote]

Oh, just to be clear... the "fact wrangling" I did was with my daughter. I never called the school or teacher. Sometimes it can take a while to get the truth out of a 6-year-old with an active imagination and a limited vocabulary. It's not that I won't believe my daughter, but I ask a few questions to see if things are consistent before I take it a step further.


#15

Oh, I totally understood ya, no worries. I wasn't meaning you are this type of parent....heavens no. I was just talking about my experience. I've had some doozies.

I had a parent years back find out I was Catholic and since she and her husband were in this church that HATES Catholics, and she is open about the fact they are apostates and NOT Christians, she went and told the principal that I told her daughter that she may under NO circumstances mention the name of Jesus or write about her church or her faith EVER!

That was a head-scratcher seeing as how I said nothing even remotely like that! :eek::p

[quote="mellowcalico, post:14, topic:222514"]
Oh, just to be clear... the "fact wrangling" I did was with my daughter. I never called the school or teacher. Sometimes it can take a while to get the truth out of a 6-year-old with an active imagination and a limited vocabulary. It's not that I won't believe my daughter, but I ask a few questions to see if things are consistent before I take it a step further.

[/quote]


#16

[quote="gurneyhalleck1, post:1, topic:222514"]
Anyone who has taught in a public education classroom has met this parent. In fact, being a 13-year veteran, we meet A LOT of these folks. People might re-think the "blame the teacher" philosophy that is so prevalent in our culture if they had to deal with these parents. They might realize that the parents are too often the problem! This is pretty hilarious and all-too-familiar! :p

youtube.com/watch?v=sr5kWOdkHYA

[/quote]

:rotfl: Thank you for this! Hilarious!!! :D


#17

You got it, Sprite. I figured as many anti-public education teacher folks as I've met in here who have ripped me personally to shreds more than once, I would get a lot of flack but I've mostly received positive replies :):p

[quote="BlueSprite, post:16, topic:222514"]
:rotfl: Thank you for this! Hilarious!!! :D

[/quote]


#18

Well I'm a proud product of the public school system...representin' public schools! :thumbsup:

Yeah and thanks again - shared it with some of my teacher friends and they loved it too! :D


#19

And I bet you're a Sox, Celts, and Pats fan, too! :)

[quote="BlueSprite, post:18, topic:222514"]
Well I'm a proud product of the public school system...representin' public schools! :thumbsup:

Yeah and thanks again - shared it with some of my teacher friends and they loved it too! :D

[/quote]


#20

All of my students are English Language Learners. In many cases it is their third language, their first being that of their nannies rather than their parents. By law, they will also need to study French in Middle School.
Economic circumstances do not determine how intelligent a child is, or how motivated the parent is to help his/her child have a successful life.
The age of the building is also not the main factor when it comes to education provided. I went to school in temporary Army barracks where the teachers provided better education than what I received in the next school I attended with its modern building. Even so, children have a right to feel safe physically in order to develop cognitively.
School bonds continue to fail, leaving our most economically vulnerable students in unsafe buildings. Those with the resources, whether or not they are provided vouchers, will remove their students to elite private schools. What incentive do these parents have to provide for public education?
Again, my working class parents would sacrifice to send us to parochial school when available. In my case, however, it is the public school that provided for my needs, and it is where they would have sent me even if the local Catholic school provided for my grade level. My younger sisters received free tuition for Catholic education in exchange for my father's janitorial work.
When we moved to a small town, it is the parish that provided the tuition to the school for all its parishioners. It made it possible for my husband and me to send my daughter there. On the other hand, even though my grandson was accepted into the district pre-engineering magnet school program, it is lack of transportation (due to budget cuts) that prevents him from taking advantage of the program. The magnet school is in the "ghetto" part of town. He really wanted to go there.


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