We had 3-way conferences at my school this week. That's a fancy-pants way of saying Parent Teacher Conferences. It's supposed to imply that the students attend with their parents, but really. What teenager willingly goes to hang out with his mom and his teacher? I did have a few students show up, but they were most definitely not there by choice. I always promise to say something nice about each kid. I tell the students that I will find a positive, and open with it. I neglect to say that I will follow that cheery thought with the realities of their grades.
I wish that somehow I could be permitted to say what I think at these sorts of meetings. I hate speaking "teacherese". You know. Where the teacher says stuff like "Little Johnny is not working up to his potential. I'm sure we will see an improvement now that we have made our expectations clear." Here's a list of things I would love to say to parents. Note: Not all comments apply to all parents. Some people have done a fine job raising delightful kids. They know who they are, because I say to them "You have done a fine job raising a delightful child."
"Little Johnny has never written a thing in my class. Not even his name. I suspect that he might not know his own name."
"I get stoned just walking by your child. How is it you do not notice the pot fumes?"
"Remember the things you shrieked at each other last night over the bills? Mmm hmmm. So does Susie. And now, we ALL know how much you spent on booze this month."
"Your bedroom wall is thin. Your kid can mimic your orgasm sounds like you would not believe."
"Next time you feel like buying Rocky a gift, get him a binder full of looseleaf, and forget the mp3 player."
"Don't be shocked when I seem to dislike your child. He did, after all, tell me to go f@#k myself."
I have plenty more, but for now, that will do. The good news? I have enough brilliant, happy, polite students to make up for the stupid, cranky, rude parents I deal with.