Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Different Day, Same Problem

PTCs are on Thursday night. For those not in the know, those are Parent/Teacher Conferences. These are lovely little meetings that usually go in only a few different ways:
1. The parent does not show (More often then not, this is the case).
2. The parent sees the high grade and praises the student.
3. The parent sees the low grade and blames the teacher.
4. The parent sees the grade and begins yelling at the student AND the teacher (happens more often than you think).
5. The parent feigns interest and then hits on the teacher.

I'm not going to lie to you. I do not like PTC time. I have over a hundred some-odd students in my classes. So, how many parents do you think are signed up to meet with me?
That's right, 8.
Now, here's the other part of it:
Inevitably, you will have to see the parents of students who DON'T need it.
In my case, 7 out of the 8 students whose parents have signed up have between an A and a B. That means that 1 parent of a student not getting a high grade is coming (that student is getting a C).
Will parents not signed up come? Some might, but I can tell you this already:
I will be sitting at my little table for over an hour with not a single student or parent coming by to see me.
Why is it that the kids who REALLY need to have their parents there never get it? Why is it when you call a parent about it, they freak out?
I don't think I have ever partaken in PTCs without some sort of drama.
While I was student teaching, my supervising teacher sat next to me. He was teaching one of the classes (I couldn't yet as it was an advanced IB class), but the parent never looked at him once. They kept their eyes and asked their questions to me.
Another time I had a parent ask me if I was available to "get a drink." I just said, "I'm sorry, when this is over, I need to get home to my WIFE." Good times.
It's no wonder that the average teacher's lifespan is ten years shorter than the national average.
8 students signed up, and only one really needing to have parents there.
It almost makes me feel useless.


retroavocado said...

So... Did Greta manage to "do her thing"?

cat said...

Leab, you are not useless. Teachers, good ones at least, are SO important to our future! And I know you are a good teacher because,1)you are a good person and 2)you care that kids who parents should be at conferences are not there. A good teacher cares! Good luck tonight, and have some good wine ready for afterwards! (To have with your wife, or alone of course, not the parent who hit on you!)

Jason said...

I was one of those kids with parents who went to PTC and totally didn't need to be there. I was a straight A student. But my parents went for my brother too... who did need it. It's interesting how parents blame the teachers. I remember getting in trouble in 1st grade for throwing a piece of bread at a kid in the cafeteria. (Of course, I missed my intended target, and hit someone else. Bread isn't the best thing to throw.) Anyway, I got a "pink slip." My mom had to sign it. She said if I ever got in trouble again, she'd take me to school, and spank my bare butt in front of all my teachers.

I never got in trouble again.