Parent-Teacher Conferences

Dear Parents Planning-To-Attend-Parent-Teacher-Conferences:


In the interest of the fact that rarely, as parents, do we ever get told, "Good job!" I thought I would tell you to pat yourselves on the back for attending PTC (parent-teacher conferences.)


Not everyone does, you know. Some parents give less craps than it takes to spend 15 minutes talking to their child's teacher about said child's behavior/attitude/effort/work and school life.


Attendance is not mandatory, so give yourself a gold star for going. Two if you cared enough to show up in something other than fleece pajama pants.


That being said, there is one thing you should be aware of this year... and every year (it's not a new thing, so much as a new thing I'm addressing) and that is that your child's teacher, is not, in fact, a habitual liar.


This may shock some of you.


I know. It's easy to think otherwise when the teacher sits directly across from you - them in their normal chair and you in the too-small-for-your-behind sized chair. It seems like they're already over there ready to laugh at your reaction.

But I'm here to tell you, it is possible for your child to behave one way around you and entirely differently around their classmates and in a school environment.


Let me say it again for the guy in the back, it. is. possible.


I know - it's weird. That's YOUR kid. You should know how they act. You see them for a solid hour in the morning and like, two or three in the evening and then there's all those weekend hours!! That teacher only sees them for.... (tw..fou...wait, seven.) SEVEN hours of the day. How do they really know YOUR kid??


Well, it would seem that in those seven hours, teachers can learn a lot about your kid. And hey, in today's norm, your child likely sees more than one teacher in their day - so by all means, if you think Teacher A is full of malarky - by all means, get a second opinion. Find another teacher! THEY CAN'T ALL BE LIARS, CAN THEY?!?!


For years my children's teachers would shock me into oblivion sitting across from me and telling me my kids were, "so well behaved.. and QUIET, oh goodness he hardly says a word."


SERIOUSLY?? The kid who tells stories so long they span from birthday to birthday?? That kid hardly says a word??!


So I thought maybe it was me. Maybe I appeared too intimidating at conferences. Maybe teachers feared telling me the real ways of my turd-heads. So next year I dressed conservatively, no fake tattoos, no purple streaks in my hair, no nose ring, black from head to toe and steel toed boots.


And still, I was fed, what I assumed to be, a pack of crap. I double checked the name at the top of the conference folder. Twice!


My kid??


And then, still in disbelief, I would go home and question said child.


Me: "Your teacher says you hardly talk at all in school. Why do you talk all the time here and not there?"


Kid: "I don't know. I have a lot to tell you guys."


Me: "WELL TELL YOUR TEACHER! SHE WANTS TO HEAR MORE FROM YOU AND I WANT TO HEAR LESS. WAY LESS. SO THIS SEEMS LIKE A WIN/WIN SITUATION."


Kid: proceeds to launch into a two day story about Bradford and something in the lunchroom.


Me: drinks a bottle of wine and tries to balance the checkbook in my head while nodding.


The point, I guess, is that the teacher knows. In those seven hours, my kid is apparently a quiet and borderline shy human being. At home his shouting causes the neighbors to close their windows and his hanger makes a T-rex look like a Labradoodle.


I guess.. he can... be different.


Which means, if my kid can - yours can too.


Even if it's the reverse direction and your baby is an angel face to their siblings, the neighbor kids and polite-as-a-peacock to the people in the grocery store it is possible that in school - things are different.

It's possible that in school, they are annoyed nine-tenths of the time. Enough to act like a cobra to their tablemates, seat neighbors and the kid across from them at lunch.


Hey, if my kids can be quiet for seven hours, I'm here to tell you, anything is possible.

Even that teacher knowing what they're talking about....


Enjoy your PTC's. May your reviews be raving, your grades be shockingly better than you expected (unless you're that parent that expects only 99% A's because "there's always room to improve!" in which case - get real, honey!) and your pajama pants be at home where they belong.

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