It is that time of year again—the Parent-Teacher Conference— so I asked my favorite teacher-friend. Ms. Seize the Moment, for some tips for a successful meeting.
TEN Tips (plus one) from a Real Elementary School Teacher
1. Don’t make excuses for your child—you know if your kid is a lazy little loafer and the teacher knows too. Admit it and ask for help. The teacher has dealt with lazy little loafers for years and she can help you.
2. Don’t threaten the teacher if she calls to let you know your child is not doing his/her homework—this is her way of showing you that she is paying attention to your child—unlike you.
3. The Parent-Teacher conference is actually about THE CHILD, not you. Although “Child” is not included in the title of the meeting, it is implied. Please stop talking about YOUR busy life because you are just enlightening the teacher as to why your child is having such a problem with social skills.
4. Do not send love notes to male teachers—it is just wrong…wrong and creepy—plus he shows the notes to the female teachers and you know how heartless those women can be.
5. The same goes for partially nude photos of yourself…. (Yes—these tips are here for a reason—not everyone seems to know these little social graces)
6. Do not fight, insult or in any manner disrespect your spouse during a Parent-Teacher conference—this is NOT a reality show, this is your life and the teacher does not really care what you think about one another because she has already formulated the opinion you are both selfish jerks for not even being able to hold it together at their kid’s school.
7. Please do not defend your child’s BAD, BAD MANNERS—if the teacher is bringing it up—it is not just to make polite conversation—again—do not make excuses such as boys-will-be-boys or she is too young to understand. The teacher works with children the exact same age as your child everyday and probably has done so for years—she knows better than you do what is age and gender appropriate for your child. Obviously your kid is missing the mark and it time for you to step-up to the plate as a parent. Have you heard of words “consequences” and “following through?”
8. When the teacher asks you to read more with your child—this is not your queue to go out and buy the child “educational video games” or any other game…she really means—open a book with your kid and read.
9. The teacher knows that TV is often a parents lifeline, but for god sakes turn the damn thing off once and while and take your kid to the library, a museum, a hike in the woods. When parents engage their child in outside activities it shows.
10. Do not talk bad about other parents or kids unless there is something dangerous that the teacher REALLY needs to know—like Billy’s father has a problem with the zipper on his pants when he is around little girls or little Katlyn has formed a S & M club in the girls bathroom—then and only then is the teacher interested in hearing your story. All other opinions—please keep to yourself.
11. Being on the PTA or School Board does not entitle your child to Prince or Princess status—just keep that in mind and please stop mentioning your associations during the Parent-Teacher meeting. The teacher is more than aware of who is on the PTA/School Board.