Cracking the Teacher Conference Code

I wrote this handy guide about parent-teacher conferences last fall, trying to translate nicety-nice teacher-speak into the STRAIGHT DOPE for parents. So if it’s your turn at the conference table, good luck, my friend, godspeed, and…I hate to break it to ya, but here’s what those nice teachers are REALLY trying to tell you. (Someone needed to say it, so I guess it’ll have to be me…).

Tales from the Crib

schoolFP

It’s parent-teacher conference season — that hap-hap-happy time when we get slapped in the face with all our finest parental failings.

I’m a big fan of all my kids’ teachers. They seem to be smart, lovely people who aren’t paid enough for their troubles.

But I will say this about teachers. Whether they’re trying to spare our feelings or avoid coming off like a total jerk: they talk in code.

So I’m going to be your sassy, straight-talking friend here (picture Jackée) and translate “nice teacher” into “plain English” for you. Here’s my go-to glossary of Teacher Conference Code Words and exactly what I think they mean.

Teacher Code Word #1: “Energetic” – Will’s homeroom teacher laid this one on me last week, stammering, “Ohhhh, Will’s my ENERGETIC little one in the mornings!” Come on, people. I am not deceived. We all know this is doublespeak for “spastic,” “bouncing off the walls,” or maybe even, “Please, I beg of you, ask your doctor…

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