Dear Ask a Teacher,
I just got an email asking if I can come to a conference with my daughter’s teacher to talk about how my daughter is doing in her class. I already know what she’s going to say because I’ve been to these before. My daughter is a good girl who is really smart, and I guess she just gets bored in class. Teachers just say she knows the material, but she doesn’t apply herself. I don’t see why I should have to attend because this isn’t really my problem. I don’t have these problems with my daughter, so I don’t see why I should be blamed for the fact that this teacher can’t control her classroom or the fact that the work is probably unreasonable anyway. I’ve ignored her emails, but now I’m getting calls, too. What can I say or do to get her to leave me alone? These conferences are a waste of my time and accomplish nothing.
Hassled in Hampton
Speaking frankly, most teachers would prefer not to meet with parents like you anyway; they’d rather go home after school. She’s probably getting heat from the administration to fix the problem, which is your daughter, and this way no one can say they didn’t warn you when she fails the class. So, mom, it sounds to me like you’re sending your daughter into the game with no warmup, no strategy and no idea of defense, and then blaming the ref when she keeps fouling out. What your kid needs is DISCIPLINE, and she’s not getting it at home. But if you don’t care, neither do I.
Look, I coach basketball, so I’m not really that interested in her problems. My school won’t let me coach full-time, so I have to teach two sections of World History and then take my shift answering questions at this advice column. My job is to get my team to the district finals, and we finally have a solid team of ballers that can do it. I hope your kid is a benchwarmer, not one of my point guards, so it won’t make a difference in our starting lineup. So anyway, maybe have your kid do some reading, like the blogs at the A-Z Challenge. I've got a practice to run.
Coach Taylor, of the soon to be going to state Wildcats