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Getting Prepared to the Parent Teacher Conferences

Some states already started the new year but others are still waiting for the back to school day, next week. When you are an experienced teacher meetings may sound as routine, but for new teachers and those who had moved for any other reasons, the PTC may result frustrating. Personally, I still remember when I had to stand up in front of about 20 curious parents, really looking forward to meet their sons' teachers. They kept asking me more question that I could really answer. It was at the beginning of the year 2003. I could barely remember their son's names or identify the by their name. Imagine.

So we thought it will of the interest of many of our readers (mostly teachers and educators)to read what was the experience alike ours, of They Call Me a Teacher's author, who "recently moved to NYC from out-of-state, where he learned how to be a teacher and taught for a year before deciding to head to New York City:"

  • Had a few conferences with parents who don't speak English (that happens in some places in the Midwest, just not something I had experienced). The language barrier makes communication so difficult for us. So often I find myself wishing I would have acquired Spanish through college.

  • Parents asking two young children-less women for parenting advice. I came prepared this time. Told a few parents to take away privileges (those things the kids are using as excuses for not doing homework... TV in particular). I was very adamant. I would have never taken that stance with parents of last year's students. They would have thought I'd crossed the line. This year, I feel like some of these parents have let their kids do what they please to the point of no control. One parent was proud of herself for following through with a 4 day punishment. She usually lets her student off within the day.

  • A while back, we were even offered money from a student in trade for a good report. Laughable. The parent laughed about it. We also confirmed that the student had been forging the parent's signature. These kids....

  • Some of the parents told the same stories as we heard last set of conferences... I guess some things never change. Interesting when they go on and on about how bad their student is at home, when they aren't a problem at school. Not really sure how to respond to that information, other than try to encourage the student to behave at home...

  • A few parents showed their violent sides. Threatening to beat their children, cursing them right in front of us (the F-bomb took me by surprise a few times!). We'll be keeping our eyes on those kids for any scratches and bruises. I was a bit scared of this violence. Sadly, it seems to be a norm with this community.

  • Got in trouble for asking for supplies... Got them anyway. What's a teacher to do when students seem to eat pencils daily? (Wish I knew the hidden hole these pencils get hidden in, because I'd love to discover the mounds that must be collecting somewhere. That or they literally eat them.) Students have to write, right? Then again, this is me asking a question that seems to make sense, when I work in a place that does the opposite of anything that makes sense!

And there is more here.
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