Most parents are invited to meet their child’s teachers at least once every year. This is an opportunity to learn more about your student -- how he or she is performing in the classroom, what strengths and weaknesses the teacher sees and if there is something going on that you should know about.
But many teachers have horror stories about parent/teacher conferences. For every parent who is deeply committed to their children’s schooling and supportive of the role teachers play in education, there is a mom or dad who has blinders on.
7 simple ways to flunk a parent/teacher conference.
Don’t prepare ahead of time. The more disorganized you are, the better. Just fly by the seat of your pants. Don’t talk with your kids ahead of time either.
Don’t ask the teacher if there are any issues or how your student can improve. Everyone knows your spawn is the golden child who has NEVER done anything wrong.
Talk, talk, talk.
Be sure to blather on about the weather, the traffic, last night’s television show, anything, so the teacher can’t get a word in and doesn’t have time to address anything of substance.
Assume that if your child is having a problem that it’s totally the teacher’s fault. You can also blame the child’s friends, siblings or the other parent as long as you take none of the responsibility.
If your child is having a particular problem or a unique challenge that might take some thought, don’t let the teacher know ahead of time so they can be prepared. Let them scramble.
When dealing with a sensitive topic, be disrespectful and defensive. Assume the worst and raise your voice.
One and done.
Communicate just this once with your child’s teacher. Be sure he or she knows you are unavailable for future meetings or discussions.
If you follow at least one or two of these tips, you’ll have your child’s teacher dreading the next meeting with you. If you attempt all 7 of these actions, you might not be invited back again. Ever. And you’ll be subject of your child’s teacher’s next horror story.
Enjoy reading Ann's article? Click here to read more of her posts! Ann Campanella is the parent of a Covenant Classical student. A former magazine and newspaper journalist, she is the author of the memoir, Motherhood: Lost and Found.