You either dread them or you love them, but you can’t escape them…parent conferences. The positives are easy – telling a parent about their kind, focused child is no problem. The areas of improvement are not so easy to convey, especially when it comes to behavior. Teachers spend hours contemplating how to break the news to parents that their child may not be the perfect example for how to behave in school. If you wonder what a teacher really means when they meet with you for parent conferences, never fear! Here is the translation from teacher speak to the nitty-gritty.

“Ben is extremely social!”

 Ben will not stop talking during class. He talks to other students, himself and his pencil.

“Jorge is extremely concerned about his peers.”

Jorge tattles on everyone… every day… about everything.

“I would like to foster more independence in Samantha.”

Please stop doing Samantha’s homework for her. I know your handwriting and there were wine stains on her math worksheet.”

“Frank talks about his brother all the time. I love hearing stories of the things they do together.”

If Frank’s brother is in my class next year, I will quit on the spot.

“Rachel is a true multi-tasker!”

Rachel can talk to her classmates, fall out of her chair for no apparent reason and pass gas in my room simultaneously.

“Jack is a natural-born leader.”

Jack can cause chaos in my classroom by channeling Robert Redford in ‘The Sting’.  He is able to use a subtle nod of his head and a finger placed alongside of his nose to get his classmates to do whatever he wants them to do.

“My family feels like they know Sarah because I talk about her all the time at home.”

I call out Sarah’s name in my sleep because I am having nightmares about her behavior.

“I take Miguel home with me every night in my heart.”

Miguel is the reason I drink wine with dinner every single night with the exception of Sundays, when I drink something stronger in anticipation of the week to come.

“I am envious of Peter’s energy!”

Peter is the human equivalent of a Tasmanian Devil. Do you feed that child a 2-liter bottle of coke and powdered sugar donuts every morning for breakfast?

“I think Jacob is going to be a teacher when he grows up.”

Jacob tells me how to do my job every chance he gets.

“Mandy talks about you all the time.”

I will believe half of what Mandy says about you if you believe half of what she says about me.

Regardless of the delivery, sometimes teachers actually say what they mean at conferences. 

When we say,

“I love having your child in my class!”

We truly mean,

“I love having your child in my class!”

If teachers said what they really mean at parent conferences: translating the teacher speak to plain English