Parent conferences - how do parents react?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by d_anne5, Jan 30, 2009.

  1. d_anne5

    d_anne5 Rookie

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    Jan 30, 2009

    I was just wondering what parents say and how they react whenever you have a conference with them.

    So far, all of my experiences have been positive. The parents have been very supportive and tell us that they'll do whatever it takes to help their child and help us teachers help their child.

    However, one thing that irritates me is parent excuses. My team recently had a conference with the parent and the student. We all had the same story - the student is disrespectful, cops a HUGE attitude, eye-rolling and all, gets caught chewing gum, talks/socializes during class, isn't working to her full potential, etc. . .

    Now, if that were my mom, she'd be laying into me right about now or popping me in the back of the head. . . or both. This parent just sat there w/ a blank look on her face. Then the excuses started. She pulled the I'm-a-single-mom card, which was the only excuse she had. Now, I'm not knocking her for being a single mom and saying that it's easy b/c it's not.

    I grew up with a single mom, but I didn't act the way this child did b/c my mom laid down the rules and EXPECTED me to abide by them. Two of the teachers on my team who were in the conference are single moms, too. One has two teens, the other has three.

    Anyway, she then goes on to stare at her daughter and finally manages to squeak out - We're going to work on this okay? I care about you, and I'm here for you. We're all here to help you.

    Okay, that's nice and supportive, but I could totally tell that the girl didn't care about anything we or her mother were saying at all. She had that ok-whatever attitude. I could read her mind - Yeah, I really got a good "talking to." Big whoop. The look on her face read - I totally got away with this.

    As a teacher, I'm still trying to figure out what to with a student's attitude if they're getting away w/ it and walking all over their parent(s) at home.
     
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  3. Catcherman22

    Catcherman22 Companion

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    Jan 30, 2009

    ok I had the same situation as you..

    Student is disrespectful, cops a HUGE attitude, eye-rolling and all, gets caught chewing gum, talks/socializes during class, isn't working to her full potential, etc. .

    Mom proceeded to call the other male science teacher and myself racist because we were picking on her hispanic daughter.

    yea needless to say that was the end of that meeting :p and her daughter continues to fail and we make no effort to contact anybody.
     
  4. adventuresofJ

    adventuresofJ Comrade

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    Jan 30, 2009

    Um... San Diego... I'm going to assume that she is not the only hispanic person in the school. Oh please people grasping at straws is not going to help your kid..
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jan 31, 2009

    I find that as long as I stick to facts, the parents tend to be reamarkably supportive.

    If I were to say that Alexa "had an attitude" it would get me nowhere. But if I were to say that she "threw her books to the ground, stomped her feet, and refused to take notes" the parents will be all over her.

    The kids are encouraged to attend our conferences, so we can get a real discussion going. After "Why don't you tell your parents why you're here " I always go to "How many homeworks have you missed?"

    From there it tends to be easy.
     
  6. d_anne5

    d_anne5 Rookie

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    Jan 31, 2009

    Haha, yep!

    It's not that the mom wasn't supportive. She didn't go against anything we were saying. It was more of her lack of response, her just sitting there. Other than "Okay, let's work on this together" and "You tell me how I can help" there wasn't much feedback. The mom seemed hopeless like she didn't know what to do. Seems like student might cop an attitude and disrespect at home, too.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jan 31, 2009

    Very often the parents don't have a clue what to do. They didn't discipline the kids when they were 4 or 5 or 6-- at that time, the antics were thought to be "cute."

    Cute kind of runs its course by the time you hit high school.
     
  8. DaTeach

    DaTeach Comrade

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    Jan 31, 2009

    This year I have a room full of "baby of the family" or "only child" students. They can do no wrong, and I have one that complains about all of his teachers and anything they do or say to him. His father calls the school almost every day when we discipline his child. This child is in gifted classes, to my amazement. I don't see how. He does no work, no homework, laughs, clowns, doesn't get along with anyone except the boys who act like him, whines, complains, blah, blah, blah. I had a very loud discussion with this child in the hall.....because of his behavior and he told his father about it. As soon as our 'discussion" was over, I wrote it all down, made a copy, and gave it to my principal because I knew the father was going to call, and I refuse to have a conference with parents who always blame the teacher and don't make their children accept responsibility for their behavior. Sure enough, as soon as the child had time to get home, the father called the school. THIS IS WEEKLY, IF NOT DAILY. The father nor the mother has a job, so they have time to do this. My principal said after she read my notes to the father, he was fine. They never call to find out why this child has bad grades or anything of that nature. It is only when we HAVE DONE THE CHILD WRONG!!!! (for a lack of a better expression).

    Sometimes, I think parents get upset by what their kids tell them, and lots of time it is a lie. They call the school in the heat of the moment, but they are fine after they have time to calm down. Sometimes they just want to vent. It gets worse as the economy continues to weaken...I have had parents who call to make a conference in the heat of the moment, but never show up. They don't even call. That's annoying too!

    I'm just burned out with this....the teachers at our school work ourselves to death to reach our kids. I cannot deal with this type of child anymore. HMPHHHH!
     
  9. AMK

    AMK Aficionado

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    Feb 1, 2009

    I teach kindergarten and some of the parents find their children's behavior funny when I tell them. I have to be very honest with the parents. One family is finally seeing the problem at home because their children isn't listening to them.
    Some of my parents are so young and they just don't know what to do.
    My school used to offer parenting classes but the ones who always came weren't the ones who needed it.
    I am not a parent myself and I find myself giving a lot of parenting advice.
     
  10. d_anne5

    d_anne5 Rookie

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    Feb 1, 2009

    Yeah, that seems to be a huge problem nowadays. Some of these parents are ridiculous, but of course, as the teacher, you can't tell them how to parent.

    It's like many of these students are so defiant and have a sense of entitlement. When I knew I was in the wrong, I'd shut up and take it. But noooo, these kids have to cop and attitude and question everything! I feel like I'm a mom whenever I say, "Because I said so!":rolleyes::D
     

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