Teachers Share Their Worst Parent Teacher Conference Experiences

Teachers Share Their Worst Parent Teacher Conference Experiences

No matter what kind of student you were, you no doubt remember the dreaded parent-teacher conference that loomed on the horizon of every school semester. Good grades or bad, it was inevitable that your parents (or probably just your mom) would come home with a grim look and a list of grievances. But did you ever think about how those meetings were for your teachers? Helicopter parents, drama queen moms, delinquent dads... We asked teachers from around the world to share the worst parent teacher conference they ever had.

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30. Not ambitious enough... for kindergarten.

I'm the student, but this had to be awkward.

In kindergarten, my teacher asked the class what they wanted to be when they grew up. I said a garbage man. Concerned, my teacher met with my parents only to find out that my dad was a garbage man.


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29. Who knew the pageant had such high stakes?

The worst was a mother who threatened to pull her daughter out of the school system if she wasn't given the lead soprano role in the high school's Christmas concert.

Her daughter had auditioned, like everyone else, but didn't have either the voice or skills required for the part. The student understood this and agreed with the decision; it was her mother that turned it into a confrontation, believing her daughter to be an "opera-star-in-the-making".


28. Only teachers can teach.

Wasn't at a parent-teacher conference, but I tutored the child of a very aggressive parent who was so sure that their child was going to get into the number one high school in the state and would not let anyone tell them otherwise. The mother confronted me because I was taking about two lessons to go through past papers. That was because he was getting everything wrong so I needed to explain almost every question. His ability level wasn't nearly close, and the poor child was under so much pressure from his overbearing parents. I never heard from them again.

It's amazing how many parents think they can teach teachers how to teach.

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27. Only parents can teach.

I met with a mother who told me the reason I was a bad teacher was because I wasn't a mom. I don't have any fertility issues (what if I had, sheesh), but I had just gone through a terrible breakup of a relationship heading toward marriage and family. Not really what a 35 year old woman wants to hear from the mother of an emotionally disturbed child.

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26. A diamond in the rough.

I had a 5th grader with a ton of potential and an awesome personality. He was one of my favorite students, but chronically unprepared and always behind on homework. Mom comes in for conference, and makes excuses for him, blames me for giving confusing assignments (not accurate), and tells me how she can't help manage his homework because she has 2 other kids to worry about. For example, grandma picks up kids and drops them at brother's baseball practice, my student leaves backpack in grandma's car, mom picks up kids after practice - her conclusion was "why should brother miss out on baseball because he has siblings?" After about 5 min of this, I stopped her and turned to the kid. I asked him if he thought he could be doing more, even if it's on his own, and he said that he could. I told him I thought so, too and thanked them for coming in. Next day at school, I told him that I thought he was a great person who had a ton of potential and that he was going to have to make things happen for himself. He totally understood what I meant. It broke my heart.


25. It's catching.

My wife is a kindergarten teacher and suspected that one of her students may be autistic. The kid couldn't communicate well at all, had issues with using the bathroom, and showed other classic signs of autism. My wife had a conference with the mother and explained that she would like him to be evaluated, but the mother refused and said that if her son did have autism, my wife was the one who caused it.

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24. Bring in the experts.

One of the parents in my daughter's class had their conference right before mine. I was sitting in the hall and could hear them trying to rebut every thing the teacher said. THEN they had the audacity to bring in the mom's sister, who is a teacher and she got in on it with her "expert opinion".

Their kid was a jerk by the way...he stabbed my kid with a scissors and was known as the class bully.

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23. It's all applesauce.

Not one kid in particular, but every year there are one or two aggressive of disrespectful students. 90% of the time, the parents try to make excuses about how this is "normal" how "all kids are like this at that age" and how I should "show them more compassion" instead of owning up that there is a discipline problem. Those same 90% of parents are also usually disrespectful and verbally aggressive to teachers and everyone dreads talking to them. That saying about the apple not falling far from the tree rings so true.
Alternatively, the parents who are the most apologetic and a delight to talk to are the ones with fantastic children. "Sorry if my kid was not focused..." is a line I get too often. Are you kidding Ma'am? I would adopt this child if I could!

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22. Just... ouch.

I was working at a boarding school on their summer school course. We had 2 boys (8 and 11) arrive with their uncle who they were staying with (the boys were from the UAE). He'd come to drop them off for 5 weeks but neglected to tell the children; they thought they'd come for a nice castle tour. Uncle books it and leaves it to us to explain that they were staying for 5 weeks, rather than having an awesome holiday (they'd been doing some really cool things for the week prior to being dropped off). During the kids stay the uncle would take the boys off campus to go to the mosque and bring them back on Saturday afternoon. One week they came back with games consoles which they weren't allowed. Uncle tried to bribe me to let then keep them by offering me a white chihuahua puppy and when I declined he shouted at me for being common and poor. During the boys last week several trunks full of clothes and belongings arrived because surprise! The kids were going to be staying at the school until they were 18. Best parents ever.

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21. Mother invents an alibi.

I am a female teacher who taught in a self-contained behavior unit to a class of all boys. The student was mad that I asked him to complete his journal. When I documented his refusal on his behavior chart he became upset and threw a pair of scissors at me.

His mom tried to tell me that he did it because he heard another boy insult me and he gets really upset when men disrespect women. Meanwhile, he told me he could have really done damage if he wanted to.

His mom came up with this excuse during his expulsion meeting to keep him in school. There were only three other students in the room, not one was sitting near him or talking to him. The overheard insult never happened, she made it up to justify it.

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20. Teaching's a risky business.

I was an art teacher at a conservative Christian highschool and once had a parent tell me I should act and dress less 'young' because she suspected her son had a 'indecent' thoughts about me.

Being 21 and in my first year of full-time teaching after university, I was really taken aback by her critique and asked her if she could explain herself a bit better. She then suggested I try cutting my hair in a 'more modest' model and dye it darker (I'm a natural blonde). There was a (pretty conservative) dress code in place for teachers but, according to her, 'someone like me' should exaggerate that a bit more to hide my 'shame'. She then looked me up and down and sighed: 'To be honest, I don't think they should hire females under 30 anyway. It's just too much of a risk.'

By the way, her kid was 15. He probably had 'indecent' thoughts about water kettles too.


19. Entitled to nothing.

I had a meeting with a student who was failing 10th grade English and her dad. He marches into my classroom and says "I don't like my daughter's grade. What can you do to make this right?"

Dude. This isn't a restaurant. I'm not going to comp your grade because you threw a fit. If your kid hasn't done her work or come to a single tutoring session, that's not my fault.


18. Kids aren't the only little critters at school.

I was teaching Grade 7 during my internship, and was speaking to the parent of a high needs student. Without going into too much detail, the girl we were speaking of had little to no long term or working memory, and limited ability to communicate needs and wants.

Anyways, her mother was complaining to us about the bus driver and told us "Anne had scabies last month and I don't think he even bothered cleaning her seat on the bus..."

My partner teacher and I just stared at each other for a second. The mother hadn't informed the school about the kid having scabies... we hadn't cleaned her desk, the couches, or anything else. And I let this kid hug me every day.

I took like 6 showers that night.


17. Color isn't the issue.

When I was student teaching, my mentor teacher was accused of failing a girl because she was black. The girl herself never said anything about it, but her parents sure did. When it came time for a conference, everyone was there: the girl, her parents, the principal, a counselor, my mentor, and me.

My mentor let the parents have their say, explain their reasoning (there wasn't much), and continue to accuse her of being racist. Once it was her turn to reply, my mentor reached into her bag and pulled out a family portrait. It was of herself, her black husband, and their biracial daughter. She just set it on the table and the girl's parents immediately stood up and left.

I haven't seen anything like it, or as hilarious, since.

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16. Who needs the meds?

Had a conference with a parent about their child's performance. Mom kept asking me if I thought there was something wrong with her daughter (first grade). I explained that she was capable but needed to do the homework that was sent home and could use some extra practice in a few areas. She continued to ask if I thought something was wrong with her. I continued to say no. At the end of the conference she asked one more time, and added "because if you think there is, the Dr. is ready to give her meds....you just need to fill out this form."


15. When the teacher becomes the student.

I was a first year teacher and I have a very young face. When I go out with my sister (5 years younger), I get carded and she doesn't. When you look like your students, you have to do whatever you can to maintain your position of authority in the class until you get well established in the school, so I try to dress in a very formal way to set myself apart from the students. When I went into my first parent-teacher conference, I was wearing a sweater that had a kind of fastener on the sleeves, and I had accidentally twisted it before I buttoned it. Not all that noticeable, but the mom I was conferencing with saw it. Before I could stop her, there was a rush of mothering and a "Oh here honey, let me fix that..." She had my sleeve unbuttoned and rebuttoned correctly before I could even back up. Her kid was behind her with his head in his hands (he was super embarrassed), and I looked like a little kid whose mom had to help her get dressed. Not my finest hour, but actually a pretty funny one looking back on it!

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14. So dramatic.

In my second year of teaching theatre for a middle school, I had a parent demand a conference with myself and our principal. She expressed that her son could no longer be in my theatre class because "all that stuff makes you gay." Which, for her, would be the absolute worse thing that could happen.

It was my first slap in the face that no matter what work you put in, that in the end of the day the parents will push and pull their kids in life for better or worse. Our principal was outraged by the parents comments but held the parents decision with respect because really there's nothing we could do. Since this experience, I've planted the idea that the only obstacle that will prevent you from greatness is yourself, not your friends, family, teachers, etc.

Ironically, the student joined the class because of the ratio of female to male students, that set roughly 10:1. Thus, parents if you have any concerns with your children about anything, talk to them before making assumptions. Perspective matters.

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13. Stirring up trouble.

I had a parent get mad at me because I failed her student on a project. She called a meeting with me and an assistant principal. We both tried in vain to explain that the project wasn't even due yet, that her child was right on track in terms of being prepared to turn everything in on time, and that her daughter was doing just fine.

She then tried to complain that I was failing her daughter because her daughter thought I was mean and wouldn't come to morning tutorials because she was afraid of me. I told her it was impossible for me to fail her daughter for not coming to tutorials since they are in no way tied to grades, and furthermore, her daughter was not failing my class. (She was making a low B, which is perfectly acceptable in a more rigorous pre-AP class.)

Most irrational person I ever met. She insisted on having her daughter transferred from my class.

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12. Gone to the 'gators.

My mom is a teacher and told me about her worst parent teacher conference. There was a kid who had developed major behavior problems, so she called the parents in for a conference. Only the mother showed up to the conference, which isn't all that uncommon. The mother apparently reeked of drinks and cigarettes, and came in dressed in ratty old jeans and a top exposing her midriff. My mom sits the mother down and asks her if she was aware that the child hadn't been doing his homework, and had been to the principal's office about 4 times in the past month for harassing other students. The mother of the student goes "Yeah, I'm not too surprised by that. His dad walked out on us a while ago and they just found him in Florida." My mom, being an understanding lady, says she's sorry the father did that, and offers a list of resources: attorneys so she can sue for child support, women's shelter's, food banks, and so on. The other mother laughed and said "Oh no, we won't need any of that. They only found his arm, the rest was fed to the gators." My mom sat there in horror as the mother elaborated: Apparently the father owed a few people some money, and had no intention of paying them back. So the people found him, and fed him to the gators. The only reason they knew the arm was his, is because his fingerprints were in the system for several domestic violence charges. She instructed my mother not to tell the student how the father died: as far as he knew, his dad died in an accident. Not a homicide.

The kid ended up alright in the end, he went on to graduate and get a job. To my mother's knowledge, he never found out the truth about his dad. But I really can't judge him for acting out in grade school.


11. Working hard, just not at school.

My first year as a high school World History (10th grade) and American History (11th grade) teacher was a doozy. It also pretty much drove me out of teaching.

I had the mother of one of my American History students come in for a parent teacher conference to complain about her son failing my class. He was a senior and repeating American History in order to have enough credits to graduate, and according to this mother I should be nice and just give her son a passing grade.

The problem was that the kid never turned in homework, slept in class, refused to do quizzes, and ignored tests. I think he had a 1%, and only because he turned in a single assignment. Mom said it was because he had a full-time job and worked from 4pm until midnight as a vet's assistant in order to help support the family (mom, dad, 5 kids). Mom was a stay-at-home, but all the kids were in school.

Now, I took pity on the kid - I understand in a rural community that family is the most important thing impressed upon them from an early age. But, as a teacher it was my job to teach, not give students a pass because things were tough. It also wasn't as if my requirements were incredibly high or tough. There were generally 20 homework assignments per quarter (about 2-3 a week), maybe 8 quizzes, and 2-3 tests. I generally reviewed everything on the tests, and the quizzes covered the reading material from the night before. Mr Scholastic would walk in the door, sit in his chair, and then immediately go to sleep. I tried for weeks to keep him awake, but the moment I turned my head he was in slumberland. I had 30 other students that needed my attention, so I just wrote him off.

So as mom is making all these excuses as to why I had to give her son a passing grade I'm quiet. When she finally stops for air I decided on a course of action. "Here's what I'll do - I can give your son a passing grade, but that diminishes the work of my other students. As the teacher, how I grade students is left to my discretion. Clearly your son isn't meeting the academic requirements for a passing grade in my class, but again, my discretion. Considering that your son works as a vet tech to support the family, and that bringing money home is more important than his schooling, I just have one question to ask: when you fill out your son's taxes, what do you put down as his occupation?"

"Student," mom answers without missing a beat. I smile. "And that's why your son will not be getting a passing grade. Best of luck next year." Had she answered vet tech or vet assistant I would have gone ahead and given the son a D.

Needless to say the mom had nothing good to say about me to the administration.

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10. There can only be one.

I'm a high school history teacher. One of my courses was Comparative Religions and Philosophies. I essentially taught every major world religion and political ideology.

I'm an open atheist but I teach the course with objectivity and I teach with respect because I have students across all religious backgrounds. I never insult, condemn, or offend, and I encourage my students to keep an open mind as well.

I had a parent contact me for a conference about three weeks into the first term. Her son was a freshman. His freshmen U.S. I class immediately followed my senior level religions course. One day when he was coming into class, he overheard me discussing the three Abrahamic prophets (Moses, Jesus, Abraham) with a senior.

Apparently he went home and told his mother I called Abraham a prophet. They're evangelical Christians. This apparently infuriated her enough that she had to call me to arrange a meeting asap.

She came into the meeting and immediately started insulting me, questioning my intelligence/training/qualifications (I have multiple degrees, so naw girl), and (hilariously) calling me a heretic for suggesting Abraham and Moses were in the same category as Jesus. I called the principal into the conference as a witness to both the lesson itself (I was being observed) and as a witness to the meeting.

She railed into him, too, asking how he could possibly think it was alright to allow me to teach such anti-Jesus heresy in his school.

His response?

"Well, I'm Jewish, so there's that."

I never had a problem with her again.


9. Delusional thinking.

Not formal conferences, but meetings. A few come to mind:

  1. I was working in a kindergarten classroom, and a father had approached me and asked me if I let his son play in the kitchen center. I replied with something along the lines of, "yes, we allow each of the children to freely explore what interests them" and explained why, but dad was unhappy about it. He immediately asked me to stop this, as allowing his boy to pretend like he's cooking will make him gay.

  2. Was teaching at a preschool, and a mother had approached me and a few other teachers as she was concerned about her 3 year old son's behaviour. She was asking all these questions about who he plays with, what he likes to play with, and so on. She then expressed concern that he had an undescended testicle, which will turn him into a homosexual. She wanted us to keep our eyes on his behaviour and stop him from "acting gay".

  3. Recently I had a conference with a family regarding one of my current students who will be attending kindergarten next year. I expressed all of my concerns (and this child has many concerns... Cognitive delays, speech concerns, a few minor behaviour concerns)... And asked mom her thoughts and concerns. She had none. Absolutely none. In fact, her child is perfectly equipped to handle kindergarten next year and will not struggle one bit! Nevermind the fact that he can't count higher than 3 and doesn't understand the difference between letters and numbers, despite having daily exposure for 2 years now.

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8. Soon there'll be an app for that.

When I was a student teacher in a 4th grade classroom, we had 2 moms (scheduled for back-to-back conferences) get into a fight just outside the classroom. My 7-months pregnant supervisor had to restrain one of the girls to prevent her from joining the fight while I frantically called the office. The other girl pulled her toddler sister around the corner, at least. Eventually some other staff heard the commotion and broke it up, and a police officer (who was at the school for unrelated reasons) got involved.

The two moms were separated, and I ended up waiting in the classroom with the instigator mom and her daughter for the officer to finish interviewing her. Daughter was freaking out sobbing that her mom was going to get arrested. Mom scolds daughter for crying, then turns to me and asks "So, how's [daughter] doing in English?" Fortunately we got interrupted before the mom tried to have the whole conference!

The best/worst part of the whole situation? The fight was started because one of these 9-year-olds had been nasty to the other over facebook.

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7. Don't sweat the small stuff.

I was teaching psychology at a private high school in Shanghai. One of my students had the reputation of being a partier. Always came into class with bloodshot eyes, and clothes from the night before. She's pulling straight F's due to missing classes. She has intelligence, but she just isn't there half the time. Then I hear rumors that this girl (16 going on 17) was practically living with a 30 year old with a bad reputation, I figured I should make a few calls.

I wanted a conference with her parents. The mother was living with the pool boy, and the father was dodging my emails. After a month of sending emails and notes home to her dad, I get a sit down during the parent teacher conferences. The first words out of his mouth were, "Normally I don't bother with small stuff like this, but you just wouldn't leave me alone."

That explained everything.

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6. Slipped through their fingers.

I had a student this year who clearly had a learning disability. But he's a wonderful student and the class and I adored him and celebrated the successes he had. This child, despite clearly needing accommodations, did not have an IEP--or basically special education services for those not in the field. So... conferences roll around and I bring up his academic struggles (second grader capable of barely kindergarten level work), expecting them to fight me when I suggest that he needs special education testing. I mean, why else would this child who is clearly struggling not have an IEP if his parents are aware/not in denial.

Nope; they totally agree and want him to get help. Okay, great. Let's talk background a bit.

Oh. He was retained in first grade. And... he only went to half of the second year of first grade? Well, what was he doing the first half? (Some story about bio mom not allowing him to go to school) Hmmmmm okay... what about kinder? Oh, he only went to half of that, too? Okay... well with absences like that I dunno if they will test him, but I'll go to bat if you guys make a serious effort to have him here everyday.

They agree. Yay! We are on the same team! We are gonna get this kid who totally deserves it some help and he will not fall through the cracks on my watch! I call and email everyone I can until someone agrees to test him despite his lack of educational time. Really go above and beyond because I love this 8 year old.

Things go really well. He makes progress. He's there almost every day.

Then absences start happening. Parents show up 2-3 hours late to pick him up. Then he's gone for multiple days at a time. Vague excuses when I call. Then he's gone for ten solid days. I call, "Well we just haven't felt like taking him to school. But I'll bring him Monday. Promise."

He hasn't been back to class so he's withdrawn from my class and they haven't enrolled him anywhere else. Of course we've sent truancy officers but this is Las Vegas and we are last in education for a reason. So yeah. That's my worst conference. They told me they would do their best for a kid I loved, and they lied to my face.


5. Helicopter parent goes haywire.

I'm a seventh and eighth grade teacher in Philadelphia. This young man's mom had gotten him identified as "gifted," but when I taught him, he was failing multiple classes, refused to do any work, slept through classes, and took no responsibility. She came in to conference (all the teachers are in the same room and parents circulate), ignored everyone except for two of us, interrupted an ongoing conference the math teacher was having to berate him for being a race-traitor and bringing down her son out of ignorance, came over to me (I'm the English teacher) and when I stood up and extended my hand, she just looked at it. She then looked me in the eye and told me "No. You're not even worth it." She turned around and started out of the room, cursing the staff to no one in particular. The Spanish teacher tried to talk to her and got cursed out, so the Spanish teacher called security to have her escorted out of the building. The mom then tried to use evasive maneuvers to avoid security, but was eventually caught and escoted out, told she was no longer welcome on our premises. She tried to sneak in to the next conference, but was caught.

Follow-up story: This was her middle child, her oldest had already graduated from the school (K-8), and her youngest was in 3rd grade. When the youngest was in 5th grade, they went on a trip to Canada, and she followed - against direct instruction from administration - in her own car, showed up at the place they were having dinner (where there wasn't a seat for her, so she sat at her own table and ordered something for herself). She then tried to stay at the hotel where the kids were staying, and when there wasn't an extra room, tried to go in where her kid was. When that (obviously) didn't work out to her expectations, she took her kid and drove back home that night.

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4. Too good to be true.

I had a mother come in on parent/teacher night with her daughter in tow (this isn't allowed but a lot of parents do it). The girl is on an IEP, but I'd never had to offer her any accommodations or modifications. She was a terrific student with a 99 average. I told her mother as such, and said I would also like to see the girl speak up more and not be afraid of her voice. She was always volunteering in class but when she spoke, she did so in a whisper. She was confident in her knowledge but not confident in letting people hear her.

The mother said "What can she improve?" I laughed but the mom looked very serious so I just said, "Honestly, nothing really. She has a 99 average. There's not much to improve on."

The mother said "I understand that, but what about everything else? How is her organization?" I replied that I didn't know of any problems with organization, seeing as she turned in all her homework on time and was obviously prepared for every test and quiz. Mom pressed me further to tell her something her daughter was doing poorly at, so I apologized for not having anything to add other than that her daughter was a model student. I gave the poor girl a wink as they left and hoped she'd find the humor in the situation.

This doesn't sound like an awful conference experience. But the following week, the girl's performance tanked. She couldn't find her homework, she was suddenly scrambling to study in the moments before the bell rang, and she started second guessing herself whenever she volunteered an answer to a question. It was like hearing her mom's assumptions that something was going poorly completely psyched her out. She would never be good enough. It sucked.


3. Passing down the jerk gene.

I had a preschool-aged student who would fixate on his female classmates. He would single one out and follow her around, then hug her and try to give her kisses. These were 4-year-olds, and they would hate that. So inevitably the girl would try to squirm away, and he'd get angry and start hitting and scratching her face. He'd get in trouble of course, but the following week he'd have a new target. His mom was horrified, and would try to keep him corralled, but he really didn't respect her at all. The only people he'd actually listen to were the dads that attended the program with their kids. They were pretty sympathetic, since they could see the kid had issues and knew we were trying to get him into our agency's free counseling program. Well, his attitude toward females became obvious once his dad came back from deployment.

When my supervisor and I met with him, he was proud of what his boy was doing. He said it showed that he knew what he wanted and his determination to get it, and he's not taking any guff from the girls. Really ugly stuff. He literally said that the girls should just let him give them a kiss, since he'd get mad if he couldn't. The mom just kept her head down. Right then I understood why she wanted counseling from us, rather than using his military benefits. He was by far the most misogynistic jerk I have ever met, and his son was picking it up from him.

Not a week later, the kid tried to go after the daughter of another Marine. Said marine was present. Said marine shouted at the dad for a while, and said he'd be speaking to his CO. I ended up leaving the program a few days later, but I've always hoped the mom and little boy got away from him, and that the boy got some therapy. Otherwise, I have no doubt I'll be seeing him on the news in a few years.

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2. Practicing for her reality TV career.

A decade ago, I had an 8th grade student who was in all remedial classes. Her life's ambition at the time was to be like the girls on Jersey Shore and to have a part on a reality show. I didn't have her for any academic classes, only a 30 minute homeroom. One day I called her mother to try to get a form signed and returned, and I let her mother know that she had been in trouble in homeroom for some very loud, very explicit talk that she wouldn't stop after being repeatedly warned.

The mother went berserk. She demanded to know exactly what her daughter had said, and I was ready with some quotes. That morning the kid had been going on and on about all sorts of inappropriate stuff. The mother demanded a conference immediately, so I let the team leader know, and he scheduled one.

The teachers who had the kid for academic classes were astounded. They had been trying to get the parent to come in or at least respond to anything all year, to no avail. The parent, before the conference, attempted to call me multiple times daily, leaving furious, accusatory messages about all the terrible "lies" I was telling, and that I was a sick person.

The day of the conference arrives and the parent shows up red-faced and fairly vibrating with anger. The academic teachers start to speak to her about her child disrupting their classes, never completing assignments, etc, and she cuts them off. She announces that her child has some shocking news to disclose about me.

I was about 6 or 7 months pregnant at this time. The child lifts her head and, with tears in her eyes, says that I had traumatized her, because I said that I hated my baby and wished I could just get rid of it, and that she couldn't even look at me without wanting to cry, because of how awful I was. It was like a crazy scripted reveal moment from one of the reality shows the girl was obsessed with. It was utterly surreal.

I cut her off. I told her that it was laughably transparent that she was trying to take the heat off of herself by making outrageous and irrelevant accusations, and that I was disgusted that her mother would fall for something so ridiculous. Then I told the parent to pipe down and listen to the academic teachers because her kid wouldn't make it out of 8th grade if something didn't change. I had the girl put into another homeroom on the spot, got my enormous self upright, and waddled the heck out of there.

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1. An embarrassing confession.

There was a Mom who insisted that I was being biased towards her kid. She brought up a recent essay as an example and complained about the grade her kid received on it. I had given the essay a C- and the Mom was saying that it was obviously an A essay. I assured her that I was not biased and pointed out numerous issues with the essay that prevented it from scoring higher (it had content-related issues as well as numerous basic grammatical errors).

The mom then revealed that she had written the essay, not her kid. She said, "So it looks like you've got some explaining to do!" and then sat back with a smug grin on her face.

Yeah, it's me who's got the explaining to do...