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Conference with daughter's teacher tomorrow



I am getting a substitute tomorrow for the end of the day so I can go to my daughter's high school for a parent/teacher conference. I am so not looking forward to it.
Not only will I be talking with my daughter's English teacher, but the assistnat principal will be there as well. A little background- My daughter is in the 10th grade. She struggles a lot with reading. Many times she will read and not understand what she just read. In my daughter's English class they were assigned to read The Good Earth by Pearl Buck. I saw my daughter reading the book, and she even told me about what she was reading. She even got cliff notes as well as reading the book so she could better understand it. After reading the book the class was assigned to write an essay summarizing the book. I'll admit, I have not read my daughter's essay.
Last week my daughter came home in tears telling me her teacher announced to the entire class that she was getting an F on the essay because she had not read the book. My daughter had read the book, but I don't think the teacher thought my daughter put enough details in her essay. My daughter told me that she wrote the plot of the story, but the teacher accused her of not reading the entire book. Whether or not my daughter read the book or not, you do not humiliate a student like that.
So I called her teacher up, and she was extremely rude to me. Told me how she has no problem calling a student out like that when they don't do the assignment, and maybe now my daughter will be motivated to do the assignment so she won't be embarrassed in class. My daughter did do the assignment, but clearly the teacher was looking for more details than my daughter put in her essay.
I'll read my daughter's essay tomorrow at the parent/teacher conference. My daughter was able to verbally tell me about the plot of the story. I don't really know what more details the teacher wanted. The assistant principal will be there as well. But I do believe this teacher owes my daughter an apology for humiliating her. My daughter is now scared of her English teacher. The teacher also told me that my daughter is "too emotional" because of her crying in class. What does she expect when she humiliates my daughter like that.
I don't mean to bash teachers, as I am one myself. My daughter has had a lot of wonderful teachers in high school. However this one is just awful. I can't believe a teacher could even justify humiliating a student so that the student is more "motivated". I'm hoping the assistant principal is understanding. I haven't spoken to him yet, and I wonder what the teacher has told him.
I'll listen to the teacher's side. However I'm thinking of requesting that my daughter have a different English teacher for the spring semester. I don't want my daughter scared of a teacher and scared of going to school like she is right now.


Senior Member
My DD's english teacher must have moved to your DD's school! I had a conference with her when she wadded up DD's assignment and threw it in the trash in front of her. Some people should not be allowed to work with children. Good luch with your conference. My best bet is that you won't be the first parent concerned by this teachers behavior.


Senior Member
Public humiliation demands....

a public apology. And the AP should be in the room when she does it. If she's not willing, or retaliates in any way have her moved.

NJ Teacher

Senior Member
How awful!

Is there any way your daughter could be transferred to a more compassionate and caring teacher, one who can accomplish differentiated instruction? If so, I wouldn't hesitate to do it. She deserves to go to school excited about learning, not fearful that an adult bully will injure her self-esteem. Your post brought back memories for me of an experience in high school with the same book. We had a homework assignment, and the teacher told us it would be graded. I spent a lot of time on it. When they were returned to us, mine had no grade, it simply said, "See me after class". The teacher accused me of using the cliff notes to write my answers (I didn't). When I told her I hadn't, she gave me the great grade I deserved. I was so upset I left the class in tears. My parents went in to speak to her and she apologized. However, it tainted my feelings for her and the material she taught, and I have never forgotten the incident, all these years later. It taught me to be very careful when "accusing" my students of things. As for your daughter, good luck in your conference. I can't imagine what this teacher thinks is all right about belittling students publicly, and how that is supposed to motivate them to do better.


Senior Member
If I were in your shoes, the ONLY acceptable solution would be:
1. The teacher apologizes to your daughter in front of the entire class, as well as the AP and the guidance counselor.
2. The IEP process is started for your daughter's reading comprehension difficulties (if one is not already in place). If one is in place, was this teacher non cocmpliant with the IEP?
3. Daughter is moved to another teacher for the remainder of the year.
4. Teacher is "on probation" (If the district has this).


Full Member
Good Luck!

I agree that this teacher needs to apologize. I had a teacher in sixth grade make fun of my spelling - an honest mistake - in front of the whole class. It still upsets me that a teacher would do this to a child. I cannot imagine doing that to one of my students. Good luck! Be strong and stick to your guns.


Senior Member
write notes

I had a conference with my daughter's teacher/principal and someone gave me wonderful advice.


In the conference you tend to forget what you want to say and how you want to say it. IF you have your notes with you it can keep you on track and focused.

It helped me and I was able to convey what I wanted to say in a calm even manner. I know if I had not written it down I would have gotten off or muddled.

Good Luck! <!--leaves_fall-->


Senior Member
Totally agree with . . .

Javamama. Having it written down will help you make the points you want to make, AND it will also help you refrain from repeating yourself. I hope things go really well with the conference.

Teach 5

Senior Member
so sorry

You've gotten some great advice. You have every right to demand an apology and a transfer.
Please let us know what happened.


Just got back from my conference with my daughter's teacher and the AP. I read my daughter's essay and she wrote a pretty good essay. She stated main points and the plot. Teacher said that she didn't think my daughter "elaborated on enough details". AP even agreed that she made good points, although my daughter needs help in writing.

What blew my mind was the teacher lied right to the AP's face and told him that she never told the whole class that my daughter was getting a F. I explained the whole situation and how my daughter was in tears over this. AP believed me although the teacher was almost screaming at me "You're lying" and "You're trying to ruin my career". I couldn't believe her. My guess is that the teacher thought she could get away with saying she never did what she did, and the AP would back her up. But that was not the case. AP told me that if I was uncomfortable with the teacher my daughter could move to a different English teacher's classroom right after Thanksgiving.

I'm amazed a teacher would act this way. While I would like to go higher up and try to get her fired, I've gotten my daughter moved to another class so I'm just going to let it go. I did ask what teacher she'd be moving to, and I've heard some good things about her new English teacher from other parents.


Senior Member
If the AP was that acquiescent (sp?)

Chances are good he's had other complaints. Good for you-


Senior Member
although my daughter needs help in writing.

Was anything put in place to address this concern?
Maybe you should request a meeting with the new teacher to share your concerns and dispel any rumours that may be accompanying your daughter's transfer.

I am so sorry this happened to your daughter.


Senior Member
That is terrible! Good for you for going in and sticking up for your daughter. Being a teacher myself, I support all teachers, but there are times when teachers are out of line. This being one of those times.

She had absolutely no right to humiliate your daughter in front of the class whether she read the book or not. I would have been embarrassed too. How awful that she would use humiliation to motivate a student. What is wrong with her?

She definitely owes your daughter an apology, and I hope you demand one from her. I would too request she get another English teacher for the spring. A fresh start.

Good luck.



Okay I'm going to tell you something you might not want to hear. I'm an outsider not caught up in the emotions you have with your daughter.
She is in high school and you need to let her stand on her own two feet. Don't go in and demand an apology. The teacher has the right to run her room how she sees fit.
Cliff notes show that she really may not have read the story. Your daughter doesn't need you getting into an arguement with her teacher. You aren't the one who needed to know how much more details the teacher wanted-your daughter did. You did not even read her essay and you're believing everything your daughter is telling you. I would think that being a teacher esp., that you know some kids try to play the teacher against the parent to get the focus off themselves. Blaming the teacher for something doesn't help with your daughter's lack of reading ability. You should focus more on how you can help her if you want to get more involved. Don't blame the teacher for your daughter's problems. Requesting another teacher won't help her. She'll just know if she has another problem her mom will run in and "save" her from the "mean" teacher. You are jumping to conclusions without all the facts and are going in with a negative attitude. I don't think you would want a conference with a parent who is acting like you. 10th graders need to learn to be responsible for their own behavior. I can't believe most of you are so easliy ready to jump all over this teacher. Pleeeze!!


Senior Member

I can't believe how easily you're jumping on her, 3inc...

Good for you in getting her moved. Now she can focus on improving her skills in a GOOD environment.


Senior Member
3inc normally i would agree with you but on occasion a high school student does need to be backed up by a parent. It is the teacher's classroom but...the teacher even told the parent that she felt the way she handled the episode in front of the class was correct. My daughter had a teacher that was so verbally abusive my daughter broke out in hives. The doctor wrote a note explaining that my daughter needed to be removed from the class. I don't think teachers are all knowing gods and should be allowed to verbally abuse and embarrass students!


Senior Member
teacher's like this

motivated me to be a teacher myself. Teachers are to encourage and guide... she sounds like an unprofessional nut-job!

My daughter has a very mean ballet teacher and has forbidden me to ever complain about how she treats her. Did your daughter want you to get involved? That's the deciding factor on visiting the school.

The teacher sounds like she is either on a power trip or headed for a nervous breakdown. I feel sorry for everyone. Everyone needs to apologize, get the the truth, and calm down.



Kids have a way of leaving out how they behave in class. When it sounds a little far out, remember there are two sides to the story. Changing classes is not a good idea. It teaches her how to run from a problem instead of working through things together. A teacher is someone who you should insist your daughter learns to get along with. She doesn't have to like her or even agree with how she does things. Haven't you ever corrected your daughter, caught her in a lie, or found out later that she was holding back information from you? I think by 10th grade you would know better. Cliff notes are a way of getting out of assignments. My college forbid us from using them. It would be interesting to take the cliff notes with you to the meeting and compare her essay to it. The teacher probably knows what the ones for this book are like and asked her questions which would require her to read the whole book to know. When teachers are so eager to jump on each other is it such a surprise that parents feel they can too? Maybe she's scared the teacher is smart and has figured out what she did and that you will no longer believe her story. You say you'll listen, but then going in with such a negative attitude before you know all the facts won't really be listening with an open mind. I think I agree with the other poster, let her deal with the issue herself. Make her accountable for her actions. Sometimes its tough being a parent. But they already have friends, its your job to raise her and her teacher's to teach her.


Full Member
I don't really know all the details about this particular case (other than the one side), but as a high school teacher it never ceases to amaze how many "helicopter parents" there are in today's society.

It really is best for the teenager to work it out like a young adult with the teacher.

As a high school teacher I have a lot of respect for those students who can talk to me on an adult level about a problem. I have almost no respect for the students who have mommy emailing me every other day and "helicoptering" over me.

I bet most other high school teachers agree....



I hadn't read the responses after I posted about my meeting with the AP.

3 inc, you are way out of line to say those things. You don't know the situation. I agree that its the teachers classroom and they can run it how they want. But that doesn't give a teacher a right to humiliate or name class or try to lower a child's self-esteem. Teachers like that do not belong in the classroom. While I want the right also to handle my classroom and not be told by parents how to do it, I always treat students with respect and expect the same out of my daughter's teachers. This teacher actually told me that humiliating students will motivate them. That is inexcusable to me. A student whether elementary or high school should not be brought to tears by a teacher. If a teacher does need to correct a student, there is a way to do without humiliating them.

I also don't feel I rush in and "save" my daughter. Hardly ever do I get involved unless its serious like this. She shouldn't have to stay with that teacher just so she can learn to work out the situation. She's afraid of the teacher, and I've heard other students are as well. No child should be afraid to go to school because of a teacher. While I don't e-mail teachers often, I do believe that parents of high schoolers do need to communicate with teachers. High school is known for little parental involvement. But then when a parent of a high schooler does get involved they are labeled as a "helicopter parent".

I do not believe I'm a "helicopter parent" as someone suggested. I'm not one of those parents e-mailing a teacher every day, or even every week. I contact teachers for instance if my daughter brings home a bad grade on a report card AFTER speaking to my daughter about why. What is so wrong with that? That is parental involvement and its a good thing. I think sometimes, some teachers would like no parental involvement. My daughter is able to speak to teachers without my assistance, but sometimes adults can be intimidating even to teenagers in certain circumstances. Just because someone is a teacher doesn't mean you should always believe them. I also hate how people jump on kids and assume they aren't telling the whole truth. Sometimes they aren't telling the truth, but there are also kids who do tell the truth. When you automatically assume a kid is lying, you are teaching them that you don't trust them.


good teachers and bad teachers

I've had both good and bad teachers. I still remember my 4th grade teacher(at a private school of all places) who used to call students who didn't understand something right away "stupid" and "slow" and would announce that in front of the class. I began to believe I was stupid since my 4th grade teacher told me I was. I don't think she had any business being a teacher, and I was quite miserable that whole year. Nothing my parents could really do because that was the only 4th grade class at that school. However many parents complained about that teacher, and the next year they didn't have enough enrollment for 4th grade as parents put their kids in other schools so their kids would not have that teacher. That teacher eventually went to another private school since she didn't have a class to teach at my private school anymore. That says a lot about the teacher's poor quality. We also had a principal that supported teachers no matter what, whether or not a teacher was doing things legally or ethically right.

I've also had teachers I wasn't too fond of but got through their class. I haven't liked every teacher I've had. But there are some teachers like my 4th grade teacher that leave scars on kids forever. It took me a long time to believe that I wasn't stupid. I became a teacher so I could be a good influence on kids.


Senior Member
WOW!! Good for you UPSET for going to a conference about your daughter.

I was "one of those teachers" who did not want to hear my daughter's complaints about any of her teachers. I believed that the teacher was right. Well, my daughter complained an ENTIRE year about her "creepy" teacher. I blew her off. Finally, when I met him at graduation, he was STALKING my daughter. He gave ME the creeps! I sat down with my daughter THAT night and made her tell me everything that I would not listen to before. We went to the school, talked to the AP, an investigation was done, and guess what!!?! He was actually fired from 3 previous schools.

This happened 2 years ago. We just found out that he has been arrested for sexual abuse to a 12 year old. LISTEN TO YOUR CHILDREN!! TEACHERS ARE NOT ALWAYS THE GREAT PEOPLE WE THINK THEY ARE!!!!!

You are your child's advocate. I don't care how old they are. You are the only one who will stick up for them!!


I also believe that we need to listen to our kids. We should back teachers up when we believe they are right, but our kids deserve to be heard as well. If we never listen to kids and always believe the teacher is right, then that when things like teachers sexually abusing students can happen. I know thats rare, however I've heard many cases on my local news where they've found out that the teacher was indeed sexually abusing a student and it was proven with evidence. In cases like that, an investigation should happen. Of course you have to be careful not to ruin a teacher's career in case of a false accusation which does happen, but those types of allegations should not be taken lightly. With something so serious like abuse you should never assume a teacher is right just because they happen to be a teacher. Teachers are people like anyone else, and make mistakes. And sometimes there are teachers in the profession who are not in it because they like kids, and view it just as a job.


Full Member
wow, we went from talking about high school students' growing up and advocating for themselves like adults instead of having mommy running to adminstration over grades, to ..........sexually abusive teachers, wow......