Ick. Icky. Ick – Conferences

Hi all,

Gosh it has been quite the week here for me.  Lots of things going on.  We had a lovely snow storm on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday.  I was sure that on Monday morning I would get a call for a delayed day or even a cancellation, but no such luck.  None of the districts here closed or even delayed.  Thus all of my plans to get things done were squashed.  This week was also parent/teacher conferences.  Ick.  Icky.  Ick.  I’m not a fan of conferences.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love the conferences where I can tell parents that they are fabulous, their kid is fabulous, and everything in the world is fabulous…but…I work with at-risk, alternative middle school students.  So just take your average pre-teen/teen with their hormones and attitude and deluded visions of reality and then multiply that by anger management issues, psychological issues, an extreme averrance to accepting responsibility for their actions…I could go on and on.  Let’s just say that when you have to talk to a parent about how his/her son/daughter is failing because (insert myriad reasons).  They don’t like it at all. 

Now, it’s not like this is a surprise to these parents.  They can check grades any time day or night.  They can go online and look up the homework assignments their student has each night.  They can call and/or email a teacher at anytime and we are happy to get back to them.  They get biweekly reports on their student’s grades…and yet…they are utterly baffled and “shocked” that Timmy has a 45% because he has failed every vocabulary quiz for the past five weeks and has  not turned in one homework assignment, even after being hailed down in the hallway every morning to come to study hall to make up the missing work.  “Whatever” the kids say. 

So, obviously, it is the teacher’s fault.  Some parents cry and sob that they are at their wits end and don’t know what to do.  Some parents threaten to give up on their child completely and send them to a military school (and no threats don’t work with these kids).  Some parents yell at the teacher.  “You should have notified me!”  (um really?  you can check his/her grade anytime you want.  all you have to do is get on the computer and look it up, or call the teacher; we send home biweekly grade reports.) “How am I supposed to know that he/she is missing so much work?!” (refer to previous response).  “You should be letting us know what their assignments are.  We are busy people and we don’t have time to look up the homework calendar every night” (You don’t have time??? It takes five minutes.  Now I know why your child is sooooo lazy).  It goes on and on and on.  Every once in a while we get a parent who is on our side.  You can tell that the child is gonna get it when he/she gets home and the missing work will be in my basket first thing the next morning, but folks, let me tell you.  In my last 8 years of teaching (only two of those were at an alternative school), those parents have become few and far between.  It is sad.  That is all I can say.  I feel bad for some of these kids.  It becomes quite obvious why they don’t accept any responsibility for themselves.  (I actually had a student tell me today.  “You are my favorite teacher.  I think that I’m actually going to try on CSAP (Colorado standardized test) this year.  At my old school last year I just colored in random answers and drew pictures on my test.”)  All I can say is that I do hope she “tries”. 

So, friends, I have not crafted this week.  I am exhausted.  I did get the closet organizer installed and the guest room painted (except for the trim).  I am looking forward to the upcoming three day weekend.  I have a lot more projects to do.  I think that tonight I will sit in my comfy bed with a hot cup of tea and cross-stitch away as I watch my favorite night of TV.  (Vampire Diaries at 7:00 (yes my students got me hooked on this book series and now I can’t miss and episode of the show) then my ALL TIME FAVORITE TELEVISION SHOW EVER (after Sex and the City) PROJECT RUNWAY.  I am really enjoying this season’s designers.  Can’t wait to see what they come up with tonight. 

Hugs, E

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