20 Teachers Recall Their Most Memorable Encounter With A Student’s Parents
For some of us, having our parents summoned to school was a nerve-wracking moment. Perhaps, you were wondering what you did wrong, or what was the matter that merited your parent’s attention. That experience was still memorable.
However, it’s memorable not just for you. Teachers would feel the same towards their encounter with their student’s parents. And that fact is truly shown in this Reddit thread where they were prompted to share their most memorable parent encounters. Below, you’ll read 20 of the most interesting stories teachers shared with some parents that will surely make you feel good, bad, or surprised!
More info: Reddit
My mom runs the Chromebook program at her school — she’s in charge of handing them out, keeping track of which students have which one, etc…Well, one of the kids at the school has an anger problem, and one day he got angry, grabbed the Chromebook of the kid sitting next to him, AND BENT IT WITH HIS HANDS! The kid next to him got upset and punched him…”
“My mom had to sit in on the conference between the principal and the parents of the kid who destroyed the Chromebook. And when the principal tried to address them getting counseling for their kid’s anger problem, they said he didn’t have a problem. They only wanted to know what the punishment would be for the kid who punched him!
I once had a parent-teacher conference in which the student’s mother brought her pet monkey. I thought the kid was winding me up saying that they had one. But sure enough, along came mom with a capuchin in a blue jumper.
My students know I’m obsessed with hedgehogs because I always use them in my lessons. Well, on the last night of conferences, one of my favorite students came in with her mom and a fuzzy bag. After I went over all of her child’s assessments, she PULLED A FREAKIN’ HEDGEHOG OUT OF THAT FUZZY BAG, and I shrieked like a child! I got to hold him for about 30 minutes, and was so giddy. My student’s mom informed me that her child talks about me all the time, and wanted to do something cool for me!
I’ve had a couple of interesting interactions with parents during my brief time as a classroom teacher, but for some reason, one sticks out in my head. We hadn’t even scheduled a parent-teacher conference, but mom was late to pick up her girl and I decided to stay with her homeroom teacher to keep an eye on her while we waited. Now, this girl was in my reading class, and she was quickly developing a reputation of just not reading. She’d keep waiting for me to turn my attention to another kid, then she’d close her book and just do whatever she wanted. It didn’t seem any kind of teacher punishment would stop her.
So when mom swept in, looking slightly frazzled, I took the opportunity to mention this problem to her. This woman turned to her child and launched into a fierce diatribe in a language I’d never heard before (but really loved the sound of), and her child immediately started screaming and crying like the fear of god had been put in her. Mom turned to me then and said with narrowed eyes, “If you ever catch her doing it again, text me and tell her Mama’s not letting her play with the tablet that night.”
The kid shaped up in class, needless to say.
I had a busy, well -known doctor bring in the nanny to the parent/teacher conference. Whenever I spoke directly to the mother she would say to the nanny, “ Are you getting all this because you are the one that needs to be paying attention. By the time I get home I don’t want to have to deal with any of this. “
My coworker had a meeting with a student’s mom and was telling her great things, when the mom suddenly had a stroke and passed out. She died the next day. The teacher made sure to tell the student that the last thing his mom heard was how great he was.
The one in which the mom brought her lawyer — who sat behind her rolling his eyes the whole time.
This was the same mom who — when I addressed her first grader’s homework being written in cursive and ink — said, ‘Nowhere in the student handbook does it say a parent can’t do the child’s homework for them.
“I was meeting with a parent that spoke mostly Spanish, and my Spanish is weak. Turns out, her English was about as bad as my Spanish, so when we couldn’t get across an idea, we reverted to charades or grabbed paper and drew things out. By the end, we were laughing so hard! That was, by far, my favorite parent-teacher conference ever!
The parents of one of my kindergarteners came for a conference, and I showed them a video of their daughter dancing in class. Well, in response, her dad pulled out his phone to show me videos of her dancing at home, before putting on dancehall music and dancing with her mom right there in the classroom — and it was definitely not rated PG. So I just sat there watching while they danced and began to make out — with tongue!
I had a memorable meeting with a mother who had recently gotten pregnant. Her husband showed up late to the conference and she’d just had her 12-week scan that day, so he asked how it went. The mother was clearly salty that he didn’t make the appointment, so she just said, ‘Fine.’ But he decided to press the issue, and that’s when she told him that they were expecting triplets. I excused myself to get some water, and when I got back, she was showing him the scans and they were both just bawling.
When a student in class pulled back their eyelids so that they were slanted. And the parent responded back with I’m being overly sensitive and it’s no big deal. Parent was extremely candid but also made it a point to show that they were extremely religious (Christian). I was holding my tongue from saying “And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them” and doing a racist gesture back.
I’m Asian and I teach middle school by the way.
I had a student who was a bit of a trouble maker. He liked to mess around a lot and it got to the point it was interfering with lessons. We have a meeting with his parents and all his teachers (normal at my school) just to see what was up and if there were any strategies the parents were using at home that could help us out.
The entire time the dad just keeps asking us to confirm that there’s something ‘wrong’ with his child. No sir, he’s just acting like a regular 12 year old boy. Turns out the parents were in a messy divorce after dad was having an affair with a much younger lady. Cue all the acting out and positive attention seeking* from the kid.
We signed him up for a bunch of sports and clubs to keep him at school longer, and make some productive friends.
I had a parent meeting with the father of one of my students who was a well-known gang leader and drug dealer in the area. He came in looking very intimidating in head-to-toe gang tattoos, and I was nervous, but I treated him as I would any other parent. We had a great meeting in which he asked how to keep his kids on the right track so that they don’t end up like him (his words). And he even ended up being one of my most helpful parents, attending every school event and parent meeting and even helping me change my tire one day! That day I learned not to judge a book by its cover.
One of my favorite parent-teacher conferences was when I had to explain to a parent that school was Monday through Friday, not Tuesday through Thursday. The parent was legitimately surprised! But I was more shocked that she hadn’t noticed all of the students on campus every Monday and Friday at her child’s school…which was located DIRECTLY ACROSS THE STREET from her home!
I’ve been an elementary teacher for 14 years. A few years back during a regular parent/teacher conference, a student’s father listened intently to everything I had so say about his child. Then, he kindly and respectfully asked how his son was developing as a person. Was he kind to others? How could his son grow as a leader? Was he empathetic and attentive to others’ needs? Was he respectful to all adults? At the time it just blew me away.
One of my students had failed all of his subjects and misbehaved the entire school year, so he wasn’t going to graduate. Well, his parents came marching down to my office demanding that I change his grade in front of the principal. They called me names and even threatened my life! And then, in the middle of the chaos, a really bad smell emerged. Turns out, the student LITERALLY SHIT HIS PANTS right there in front of us! We had to stop the meeting because the odor was suffocating us!
And believe it or not, his parents actually threatened to sue us for ‘making’ their son shit his pants!
The one where mom came to conferences and used “what a good fundraiser!” to market her MLM business to me. Needless to say she was also the psychotic “why is my kid not the star” parent later in the year.
Image source: 2friedchknsAndaCoke, LinkedIn Sales Solutions
Our conferences were set up as sort of ‘speed dating’ sessions in which the teachers gave packets of catch-up work for any kids that were failing. Well, at the end of the evening, a mom and dad plopped down into the chairs in front of my table, defeated, their arms full of fail packets from other teachers. The mom looked at me with tears in her eyes and asked, ‘What does my son do wrong in your class?’ I was surprised by her question because I adored her son — he was one of my favorite students! So I took great joy in telling them how their son was an absolute bright spot in my day. And the next day, the student came in, gave me a big hug, and said, ‘Thank you.’
I told him that I hope he will treat all his teachers the way he treated me, and he said he would work on it. Well, by the end of the year he passed nearly all of his classes.
A parent threw a chair at me once. She believed her son shouldn’t have to do homework. She believed that he was a genius. He wasn’t.
We expelled a kid who destroyed a classroom and office totaling about 4 grand worth of damage. He assaulted 4 staff members who were trying to contain him without touching him (no one wants to lose their job over this kid), one of them required medical attention, and he threatened to accuse his teacher of sexual and physical abuse.
During the meeting with his parents we were told that all he needed from us was “love”.
Got wisdom to pour?