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Parent Teacher Conferences

I loathe going to Parent Teacher Conferences. Sorry.

Not just because of this time, or this time. But, because I can not deal with fighting for a parking space, in the rain, rushing to get there on time after work, and feeling like I am under the judgmental microscope of glaring educational eyeballs, when it’s just The Same Exact Conversation. Every. Single. Time.

Your son is incredibly smart. He could be a straight A+ student if he applied himself. He gets 100’s on tests when he doesn’t even study… but, the ‘TUDE’ is an issue.” Blah. Blah. Blah.

Can’t she just write that statement in the comments section of his report card that I am going to receive in 3 days?

At some point, I always drift off into my own thoughts usually around mid-conference. I simply can’t help it. I cannot pay attention to the same conversation 35,865,129 times.

Thanks to my friend Jennifer, all I could think about while Justin’s teacher was talking, was pretending I did this:

Suddenly interrupting the meeting, grabbing the teachers’ forearm, leaning in closely to the teacher and say, “Look, these are all really valid points and I support your teaching methods 100%, but I have to know something. This has been on my mind for weeks, and I have to clear up any gossip that’s been going around the school. Are you? Or are you NOT currently dating the Gym Teacher?

As I laughed to myself, fighting back my smile, I could tell the teacher knew I wasn’t actively listening to what she has to say. The meeting ended with her handing me a copy of Justin’s pre-report card. (All A’s & B’s) Big. Surprise.

How many of you drift off during parent teacher conferences? And what do you think about?

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  • I think my mom used to plan dinners during my parent/teacher conferences. I doubt I’ll be much different. And I know for sure I’ll respond to everything with, “Well yeah… that’s because she (or he) is a genius!” Haha… that should be fun.

  • Lee

    You’re going about the parent teacher conference thing the wrong way, Meleah. You are the consumer here, which means that you get to ask the tough questions and be the one making the evaluation. Not the teacher.

    Since your son is obivously bright, ask the teacher what inovative ways she has come up with to challenge him. What is she doing to get him to stretch beyond his comfort zone? If he is showing an attitutude, could it possibly be because he is bored to tears with her less-than-creative teaching style? What suggestions does she have for ways to develop his interests and his talents?

    Don’t let the stupid teachers make you feel bad because they are too damn lazy or stupid to do their jobs. True, they are underpaid and under appreciated. But they chose their profession. Now they need to do their jobs.

    I’ll climb off my soapbox now.

  • Lee is absolutely right. I wish I could take his advice but when it comes to parent teacher conferences I become the world’s biggest wimp. I feel like I’m 16 and back in the Principal’s office for some misdemeanour. What is with it schools, do they put some kind of mind-numbing drug in the air-conditioning or something?

    Anyway, I hate those conferences. HATE. I’m due to have one in two weeks and know I’ll just be sitting there the whole time thinking :”Is it over?” or “Tell me something I don’t know.” Jake is considered to be ‘ very smart but prone to daydreaming at inappropriate moments.’ I don’t really see why that is a problem but apparently it is. Oh curse you, dreaded Parent Teacher Conference. Why must I endure you?

  • At the twins first kindergarten one, I found myself distracted by all the colorful drawings hanging up in the room.

  • I don’t drift off, because I currently have on child who makes me worry every single minute of every single day, whether or not he will graduate on time. The other child is the over-achiever and it’s so refreshing to hear teachers sing her praises that I don’t want to miss a moment of it!

    I sympathize with you though and agree with Lee. It’s your right to question the person who spends so many hours a day with your son and make sure she is providing him the challenge he needs.

  • yo momma

    hey!

    just be thankful you didn’t have to endure yet another ‘meleah is a monster, what kind of terrible mother are you?’ parent teacher conference.

    every. single. time.

    meanwhile, what does THAT tell you — those damn conferences have absolutely NO ability to predict the future. because, from where I sit, i must have been a DAMN good mother to have raised such an intelligent, creative, funny and beautiful woman. they should be so LUCKY to have another student turn out to be one-tenth as great as you.

    piss on ptcs!!

  • Heck, I drift off on a regular basis. Cracking a smile and people wondering, “What are you smiling about?” All I can think is, “Nothing that you are presenting to me at this time.”

    Sometimes you have to drift to keep yourself from chocking the person that is talking at you.

    Great stuff. I have no kids so the question isn’t for me. But I love reading about it.

  • I have two completely opposite kids. My daughter’s teachers tell me to not even bother showing up for conferences, because she’s such a good student. For my son, however, is a different story. I think the teachers dread talking about him more than I do!

  • Aren’t these things quite big in the States? If I ever have children, I would expect the school to take responsibility for them. Haven’t parents got enough to do?

  • cmk

    I used to always get–with BOTH girls–“She is so polite.” “She is such a good worker.” “I wish I had a classroom full of students like her.” etc, etc. I would sit there and try to figure out who they were talking about because that didn’t describe MY kid! The other one I really loved was: “I don’t know why you even have to come here for this–she is doing so well. I have nothing to tell you.” Well, then, why the freaking hell am I here!!!!!!!!! No, conferences were never a fav.

  • I loved the 2 previous posts about the conferences! I too hate going to them. My daughter is a great student. I love her teacher. Her teacher loves me, the class mom. She loves my daughter. That’s basically how it goes and then we gossip for the rest of the time, since I’m on the PTO board and know the teacher gossip. SO why can’t I just do that over the phone? Why find a sitter, or worse, drag the kids and have them sit in the hallway?! Worse yet, why do I have to fit my fat ass in the smallest chair ever made?! I love what your Mom said!

  • Meleah

    Jillian:
    Good now I have something to think about at the next conference

    Lee:
    Wow. Great points. Will you go to my next PTC with me…or better yet….FOR ME?

    Selma:
    What is with it schools, do they put some kind of mind-numbing drug in the air-conditioning or something?

    Yes… I think they do. I normally have all my wits about me, and I plan on entering the PTC fully prepared and armed and ready, but the second I have to sit in those tiny chairs, I am a blithering idiot.

    Lee is right and a smarty pants! (in a good way)

    Michael C:
    OH! I miss the sweet days of kindergarden.

    Terri:
    I guess I am lucky to have such an easy child. Lee is way right.

    Mom:
    Thanks for making me CRY. (in a good way)

    because, from where I sit, i must have been a DAMN good mother to have raised such an intelligent, creative, funny and beautiful woman

    You are THE BEST MOM and I am the LUCKIEST daughter.

    Urban:
    Sometimes you have to drift to keep yourself from chocking the person that is talking at you.”

    Isnt THAT the truth

    Momo:
    I can’t EVEN imagine how IMPORTANT the PTC are when it comes to your son…but, thats funny the teachers dont even think you need to show up for your daughters meetings.

    CMK:
    “”She is so polite.” “She is such a good worker.” “I wish I had a classroom full of students like her.” etc, etc. I would sit there and try to figure out who they were talking about because that didn’t describe MY kid!

    I know at home my son has entered the ASSHOLE phase. Hoping this passes quickly.

    I wish my sons school would tell me NOT to come. Seriously, its a complete waste of time.

    Chef Mom:
    “why do I have to fit my fat ass in the smallest chair ever made?” hahahahahahah I think that’s part of the plan to make us as uncomfortable as possible. I loved what my mom said too. xxoo

  • I kind of like going to Open House at school; maybe it’s because Paula is still in elementary school or maybe it’s because it only happens twice a year. Getting a parking spot is rough, though. So I am with you on that.

    I don’t drift off because usually I have some concern to discuss with the teacher. Usually it has to do with Paula’s math grades. She does great in Language and Writing, but Math is always challenging for her.

  • I am not looking forward to parent/teacher conferences…but, I think I’ll be doing the same thing as you did. LOL!

  • slip a whoopee cushion on to her chair….:)))

  • Meleah

    Ingrid:
    Good for you…wanting / needing to pay attention. If there was something NEW being brought to the table I MIGHT be able to pay attention.

    Random Chick:
    he he he he PTC can suck!

    Robert:
    Now thats a GREAT idea.

  • there is soooo much more to life than book knowledge,, and in order to get what that sooooo much more is… he’s gotta have the “tude… you know it as well as i do.. no tude no balls… and ya gotta have balls you gotta….

  • The best friend

    I really did say and do that at Chloes conference.

  • I have taken a new tactic and it seems to be working for me, haven’t had a parent/teacher conference in a few years now with either of my two kid’s teachers and they are not even close to the perfect students who do not require them. Here is what I do: I get those slips about the fact that it is conference time and I write on it “I don’t feel the need for a conference but if you do, please let me know” and I never hear back. I suspect that those poor teachers have nothing really to say about most of the kids but they are forced to since parents expect it. When I give them the option to not meet, they seem to grab it. In the meantime, if I have something I need to talk to them about during the year, I email and I always get a response. It works well for all of us, you might consider trying it.

  • I absolutely hate them PTA meetings too. I just look forward to the part at the end when they invite everyone to the school cafeteria for free food! LOL!

  • Meleah

    Paisley:
    Its all about tude and balls sometimes, But its about knowing WHEN its OKAY and when its NOT okay to implement them.

    Jen:
    I am sure you did.

    Beth:
    I am going to TRY that the next time around. Thats a great idea

    Nick:
    Agreed!

  • This is an excellent topic seldom brought up in a blog (and SO in such a peculiar way!). With my best Austin Powers accent: “Having said that, I do have some thoughts…” 🙂

  • Unfortunately, I don’t have any children yet (that I know of…lol!!!!) but if it is of any comfort to you, I drift out of life sometimes…. ending up in the clouds sometimes, then wake up wondering what I have missed…LOL!

    Your post took me back to when I was little. I used to go to bed when my mum and dad went to parents evening at my school. The reason I went to bed, is that I knew if I was still up when they got back from meeting my teacher, they’d send me straight to bed anyway as punishment…lol! I used to talk FAR TOO MUCH when I was st school and my report always said “Graham must try harder”. Nothing’s changed there then..lol!

  • Meleah

    Rog:
    Please….feel free to share your thoughts! I cant with PTC conferences anymore.

    Graham:
    Thats adorable. You knew you’d be in ‘trouble’ so you punished yourself. HAHAHA

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