The Truth About Teachers

(note: this blog post is all erica's fault. it does not represent the thoughts of any other teacher, including christy and sometimes including erica. okay, carry on.)

It's time for parent-teacher conferences. You know, those meetings where you go into a classroom and sit in child-sized chairs and stare at a teacher you don't know very well, but who you are a little afraid might know your kid better than you do - and OMG did she just say my kid was disrespectful/talkative/etcetcetc.?? NOOOO!!!!!!

Okay, that might just be me. As a parent. Now let me share with you a little bit about sitting in that teacher chair.

I've been recording your child's (um, not YOUR child's, but you know, a collective "your child's") progress every day since the first day of school. Yes, if your kid cried when they got dropped off (reminder: I teach preschool), it was written down. And then typed in. And reflected on.

With each and every skill. Oh, so many notes...

And still, while we sit there in that child-sized chair that we sit in every single day, but this time faced with a parent, we wonder if it was enough. Were all the nights staying at school until supper time, all the weekends spent entering grades/progress, all times we made sure to record two positives for every negative note enough to sit down and talk to these parents? Will this be the one who complains to administration that school is too hard? Or too easy? Or that teachers are too overworked? Or too underworked? Is this the parent who distrusted school their whole lives and I just now have the ability to convince them it's a good thing? Or is this the one who has such wonderful memories of their school experience, I can't possibly live up to them?

So, that's it. It's parent-teacher conference week. Which is probably different for me than for the upper grades. I teach 3-year-olds from low-income and disadvantaged families. I'm sitting across from parents who love and adore their preschoolers like none other. I hope I can do them justice. (but first, I have about 12 hours of note entering to finish today, which is why I'm writing this on Sunday morning. note-writing happens at school. note-typing happens at home.)

What do you have going on this week? Any parent-teacher conference stories to share (from either side of the table)?

Okay, fine, never mind all that. Here's a very scary story my 5-year-old told today:

There was a dark, dark house. And inside it was a dark, dark room with a dark, dark doorknob. If you turn it, you find a dark, dark closet. Inside the closet is a dark, dark box. Inside that is a ...


I mean, really, who can compete with that sense of plot and suspense??


  1. Okay, that was the cutest short story! Loved it.

  2. Your five-year-old has an amazing gift for developing suspense.

    I've learned never to admit to the teacher that your child doens't like school. You'd have thought at the way she was staring at me, I just told her a vampire wants to makeout with her . . . and I'm not talking Edward Cullen.

    Turns out, she couldn't imagine a child disliking school. She had a rude awakening by several kids last year. ;)

  3. LOL! I love their short story, that is so cute! And ugh, parent teacher conferences sound kind of like torture. My heart goes out to you!

  4. Ooh, what a dark, dark story. ;)

    I liked hearing the teacher's POV when it comes to conference time. I don't think many parents take the time to consider that it's just as scary for you as it is for us. Actually, I've always thought the conferences were rather fun - except the one year with a brand new third grade teacher who said about one sentence and then looked at me like I was supposed to take it from there. That was...weird.

  5. oh, Erica! Thanks for this. You guys ARE overworked, and I know you care for your kids. I'm always nervous at conference time, but it always seems to go well. Here's hoping the best for you~ :o) <3

  6. When I was in 10th grade, I had a social studies teacher who I described to my mom as weird. My mom said, "You don't get to judge him because he has accomplished something that you have not yet." I always remembered that. Now as a parent, I trust my kids' teachers to know my child better than I do and to tell me whatever I need to know.

    I had that same social studies teacher again in 11th grade, and that year my mom finally met him. She said, "Okay, you were right. He's weird. But he has still accomplished something you have not yet."

  7. I teach 7th/8th graders in the inner city in California. Often I wonder if a parent will come in and question my methods. I often hope they will. I would kill for this--weird, I know. I get maybe 5 parents (when I offer incentives for parents to COME) to the conference. I just wish they would show up.

    I grew up poor and the minority in our neighborhood, and my mom STILL showed up (that meant no good food for a week because of gas prices). I only wish this for my kids, my students. I wish that kind of sacrifice. It's a sacrifice for parents to show up because that means a loss of income, time. But they care.

    Every kid deserves someone caring about them no matter their circumstances. So glad to hear you care. Kids need that more than anything.

    Loved this post. Really. Loved. This. Post.

  8. Okay - ADORABLE story, first of all! And thanks for sharing your perspective of conferences as a teacher. I really feel for teachers - having to deal with so many parents who have (I'm assuming) such a wide range of expectations from their children. I just start from the belief that teachers are there for the love of the kids, and that has (fortunately) been borne out by my experience so far.

  9. I like pumpkin, but I was hoping for dark, dark chocolate.

    Good luck on the conferences!


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