Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Parent's Guide to Conferences

Last night my wife and I attended our boys' highschool mid-term conferences.

I took notes. I figured why keep all of this valuable knowledge to myself when you might be able to benefit from our experience.

You're welcome!

So, if you haven't had the pleasure of attending a highschool conference, here's is one possible outcome:

1. Wait in line outside the teacher's room for 30-45 minutes while making witty but transparently painful remarks about your son's grades with the other parents who are suffering a similar fate.

2. Apologize to the teacher at the beginning of the meeting in advance of the pending conversation and explain that your child was conceived too close to a nuclear power plant so whatever you're going to tell us about him isn't our fault.

3. Hide your face in your hands as the teacher describes how your son is missing 12 math assignments and is currently at an F-, but would be receiving a healthy D- if he had only shown his work on the homework he did turn in.

4. Resist pulling out your checkbook to write the teacher a bribe "donation to the lab" with *wink* "no strings attached."

5. Repeat steps 1-4 with the next 3 teachers.

6. Repeat steps 1-5 with the next son.

7. Tell your boys a grim story about a guy you know in prison who claims he wouldn't be there today if he had only shown his work in math.

8. Listen as your boys explain how they're NOT missing ANY assignments in ANY class and that their teachers must be losing their homework. Listen some more as your boys explain that they can easily pull their grades up to an A+++ by the time report cards come out because they plan on doing an extra credit worksheet.

9. Take the boys home and drop them off at the house, but immediately back out of the driveway, head to the martini bar, and reminisce about the days when the biggest problem you had with them in school was the fact they wouldn't eat hot lunch on "Yankee Stew" day.

10. Slowly melt into a warm apple-cinnamon martini buzz and laugh selfishly as you realize that you only have 7½ more years until your youngest turns 18.

15 comments:

deborah said...

bummer! funny, but bummer. you could resort to redneck TV, and let them know that THAT is what they are about to come to. Minus any humor. Better yet, put on Chevy Chase Christmas, introduce them to cousin Eddy and kindly remind them, that they are NOT Eddy! Good luck with that. Is it too late for donations?

Mom Thumb said...

Oh, man. Not a big fan of my kids growing up too fast, but conferences are one good thing about it. Never again.

Mom said...

The only conference I can really remember about you is the one at Piedmont during your first year there, and your teacher told me you were so shy you didn't play with any of the kids during recess--you just stood off, by yourself. You overcame that very nicely, I'd say!!!!!

Jennine said...

Oh do I feel your pain. In fact, my ovaries shrunk just reading this post.

If only Text Messaging was a required course. Kait would win a scholarship to Harvard.

You could try what I did with my kids. We took a tour of local fast food drive-thrus and I asked them which chain they'd like to flip burgers for...for the rest of their lives.

Dad said...

If I know both you and Charlie, there will be a lot better conference next time. Governor Pawlenty wants to pay for the first two years of college for every child who maintains a B average in High School.

wayabetty said...

Thanks for the head's up. I'm surprised they didn't use the line "my dog ate my homework, promise!" Only 7.5 years for the youngest to turn 18?! You lucky dog!! We have about 18+ years, since the 4th is not born yet.

Emma Sometimes said...

I think I'd go for the vasectomy instead.

Carla said...

Firstly, I find that ANY flavor of martini will ease the pain of a teenage situation. Secondly our lovely daughter will be 18yrs in a mere 18 months...whoo-hoo, love here dearly, don't get me wrong.

Mooselet said...

Can so totally relate, except here we get appointment times. The auditorium is converted into a giant 'speed conferencing' with tables at which each teacher sits. They ring a large bell - not making that up - and your time begins. Lasts about 20 minutes when you get to hear all the "achievements" of your offspring. Then the bell rings again and you're done. I did have one moment when I truly wanted to keel over in embarrassment, but I had my revenge by refusing to bail my excuse-making teen out and letting her deal with her story the next day in class after I told the teacher it was BS.

Have your kids been talking to mine, because I get that 'it's all the teachers fault' rationale all the time!

A bottle of white wine - all to yourself - eases the pain quite nicely as well.

Sandy said...

As a former teacher, this was HIGHLY entertaining to read. I thought we were the only ones who dreaded HS conferences.

Heather said...

Argh. And my kids haven't even made it to Kindergarten yet.

Keltybug said...

Jeff that was painful. My oldest is 14 nd I do not want to go through any of that. I am so glad I am her teacher this year. If she dosent do her work I know before it is to late and ban her to her room for the rest of her life!

wendy boucher said...

I'm not having high school conferences yet but I promise you that mine will not go much better. AT least I got a really good laugh from your post. And a good cry too. Girlie is smart but considers proving it to be irrelevant.

but Momma said...

I'm printing out your helpful hints and putting them in my pocket as Friday is "Three Week Progress Report" Day. I may go get a Mojito Bucket for my freezer too.

Anonymous said...

Guess Brandon won't be driving anytime soon...Already told Zack--No Drivers Ed. this spring due to our teachers conferences...Must run in the Gene pool...

Little Brother Mike