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Monday, November 25, 2013

Why I Hate Parent-Teacher Conferences & The First Report Card Day of the School Year

You know it is that time of the year when our motherly & fatherly friends are posting about the upcoming parent-teacher conferences at their child's school. Every year, it is nearly the same thing..."Oh, I'm so nervous."


As soon as the nail-biting, nerve-wracking event is over, these same parents clog my Facebook feed with these splendid status updates about how great their conferences were, how wonderful their children are, and lets not forget all of the straight A's that their borderline Einstein child got.

I'm not a hater, really, I am not. But why does this bother me so much then? Why is it that I need to devote an entire blog post to this topic? Well, it's really simple. It's because chances are, I will never be able to post anything of the sort.

My daughter, she is 9 years old. We have had issues since she was little. She has Asperger's, bipolar disorder, ADHD, ODD, and when it comes to school, she just doesn't get it. She honestly does not understand the difference between addition and multiplication, her writing is illegible, she cannot spell no matter how many times you make her write her spelling words over and over or how many times to quiz her. I can give her all of the mnemonic devices in the world, and it still won't help her.

As you sit there, celebrating your child's successes, rewarding them for their straight As, I am looking at a report card that is full of F's and D's.

Do you know what it is like to sit outside of that classroom, where all of the children's artwork or projects are on display, but your child's is hidden, placed where no parent can see them. Only the nicest projects are placed where a parent may walk by and can see them. I still never found my daughter's on the board outside of the classroom during parent-teacher conferences.

I long for the day that I can sit in front of a teacher and hear how wonderful my child is. I mean, I get the standard "start off with a good thing about the child, then start with the negatives, but end with another positive", but my "negatives" are a lot more forthcoming and free-flowing than those positives.

I get shown her work, I hear about how she could do better. I get told that she is not on par with her peers, how her work is messy & sloppy. I hear about her behavior, which truly is no surprise to me as I often get emails or phone calls when the day was a total bust for her anyway.

I've debated posting a status to Facebook along the lines of, "Parent-teacher conferences went as expected. She still doesn't turn in her work and if she does, it is sloppy. It's no surprise that she got all F's & D's."

But then I wonder how many people would think I am some heartless mom, mean and ruthless? If I have to read about how wonderful everyone's children are, why can't I post about my child, who isn't perfect and may never be that straight A student?

I have to deal with the fact that every year is going to be challenge, that every year is going to bring up the same issues, over and over. Every year there will be some "plan" for success, and more than likely, every year she will struggle, have her projects hidden away from the "public" view, and every year I will hope that this will be the year, and things will be different.

Like I said, I really am not upset that you want to share your child's successes on Facebook. But just remember, there are parents out there, like myself, who would love to be able to do the same thing, but cannot, for whatever the reason. 


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