Monthly Archives: November 2013

Parent-Teacher Interviews that Explain a Lot about Troubled Children

We had parent-teacher interviews at our school last week. Here is a little gem a successteacher colleague of mine shared with me when she confronted a parent about her son’s continual misbehaviour and lack of social skills. “I hear [another student] is poorly behaved in this classroom,” a smug look on her face. “We aren’t discussing so-and-so,” the teacher replied. “We’re discussing your child.” Defeated, the mother blushed red. Seriously this was her reaction. Does she really think that someone else’s negative behaviour negates that of her own child? Does she really think that sidestepping the issue of her son’s behavioural problems at school is going to help him to succeed?

Here’s another gem. Another teacher colleague informed me that he spoke to a child’s young mother about the necessity of the boy completing his homework each evening. “I just enrolled in college and my homework has to come first,” she snapped. Good to have parental support at home. Her son is doing just fine….not.

Stivers-1-19-04-Piano-lessoHere’s another one. I interviewed with two parents a number of years ago when I was a new teacher. I explained their son’s behaviour left a little to be desired. I listed his positives too. No one wants to sit there and deride a child as if these are his or her only traits. Here was their response, “we really feel it is the other kids who cause the problem. He doesn’t behave that way at home. Obviously. He doesn’t have to tow the line at home and behave respectfully towards other kids his own age. These aren’t stupid people. They are parents in denial about their child. They believe it is an attack on their parenting when it is not. We aren’t the enemy. We are trying to enlist your help in educating your child.

teacherWord to the wise: when you work against us we can’t help your child to succeed academically or socially. Your child fails to befriend his or her peers, or at least those who are a good influence. When you don’t support us you aren’t supporting your child. If that works for you, then so be it. Keep in mind it doesn’t work for us or your child but if ignoring your parental responsibilities makes your life easier, who are we to dissent? When your child is unable to pass the EQAO and grade 10 literacy test in Ontario that are a mandatory requirement to graduate with a high school diploma, don’t blame us. We tried to get you on board while there was still time. You were forewarned.