Dear Snarky – My Parent Teacher Conference Got Hijacked

Dear Snarky,

I’m so mad at myself. Yesterday there were parent teacher conferences at my daughter’s elementary school and while I’m in the middle of a conference with my child’s third grade teacher this other mom barges in and apologizes for being late and missing her conference time.(Back story – This woman is always late. It’s her thing.) She then asks if she can have some of my conference time and says “because your daughter doesn’t’ matter.”

I look at her and say “excuse me?”

And then she backtracks and says, “Well I meant that you have one of those perfect girls and my son has some real issues that I need to talk about.”

 Then the teacher looks at me and asks, “Do you mind? I really need to talk to this parent.”

Because I’m an idiot, I agree and just leave. I’m now so angry I want to know if I have any recourse because I don’t think I should have been peer pressured out of my conference time.

 Signed, Furious

Dear Furious,

 First, stop beating yourself up. It sounds like you were bamboozled. Another mom interrupts your conference, tells you your child doesn’t matter and then before you can say WTH? the teacher pretty much herds you out of the room. Trust me, it’s not your fault.

 In fact, I checked in with some of my educator friends and they all said the blame for the situation should be placed 100 percent on the teacher. She should have asked the mom who interrupted the conference to leave the room and wait outside in the hall until your conference was over. In no way, should the late, ill-mannered mother had been accommodated at the expense of your child.

 A former school administrator told me that you should write an email to the teacher and co-copy the principal. In the email state, exactly what happened and how you feel your child was shortchanged. Do not mention your hurt feelings, instead focus on how the teacher comprised your daughter’s conference time.

 As for that rude mother. Sure, you might want to say something, but it would be a wasted effort. It’s not like she’s going to change. Instead just get some pleasure out of giving her the side eye every now and then.

*If you have a question for Dear Snarky – 21st Century Advice With an Attitude 😉 – email me at or PM on my Snarky FB page.


10 thoughts on “Dear Snarky – My Parent Teacher Conference Got Hijacked

  1. Teacher for 23 Years says:

    As a teacher I agree with you. The mom who barged in was, of course, also at fault. BUT the teacher is the one in control and she handled the situation incorrectly. I’m going to leave it at she needs to work on her classroom management skills.

  2. Jaclyn says:

    This was the teachers fault. As a former teacher in the NYC public schools, I can state that there are some kids who honestly need conferences much more than others. She should have sent the other parent out to wait, told you your daughter is doing great and asked you if you had any questions or concerns. if there was anything you wanted to discuss, you had every right to your time. If you were happy knowing your daughter is doing well, then you can choose to leave early and the teacher can take the extra time to meet with the other mom. Because unfortunately most principals won’t say to the rude parent, “oh I’m so sorry you missed your conference. I’m afraid you’ll need to wait until next spring.” It would likely turn into a mess for the teacher if she leaves on time because she needs to get home to relieve a babysitter and take care of her own kids – the principal would likely expect her to stay late. But that isn’t your fault or problem, and you were entitled to your full conference time.

  3. Jaclyn says:

    I forgot to add that it’s not even remotely surprising that the child of a spoiled, entitled mother is having a lot of problems at school. If you choose not to escalate this (and that’s your choice since the teacher was totally wrong here and you have every right to complain) just remember that your being a kind, respectful person is the reason your kid doesn’t need a conference as much as her kid.

  4. Bj says:

    Absolutely, I myself have sent many a email copying the principal. My child was in IEP classes, but that did not give the teacher any excuse to misspell the spelling words. That is just one example.

    You are your child’s advocate!

  5. justabitofpeace says:

    Yes, as a retired teacher, this one did not handle it well, but I would not assume there has been any training on how to handle parents like this. I never had any in over 25 years. It has not been my experience that principals are competent to help situations.

  6. Donnadon says:

    I have a friend like the late mom. I say I’m picking her up at 3:00 and she won’t be ready until 3:45. Her MO is to not start getting ready until I get there to pick her up. I started telling her I’d be there earlier just so she’ll be ready when I get there. Doesn’t work. People like the late mom and my friend don’t care about the people they’re inconveniencing with their lateness because they just don’t give a flying flip.

  7. Alexandra Cresci says:

    It is not wise to alienate your child’s teacher at the start of the school year. Simply send her an email stating that, while you understand that there was a pressing need for her to speak with the other parent, you have some items of your own to discuss. Request a short, private meeting. This was an annoying occurrence, but not worth stirring up trouble. (mom of 5 grown kids)

  8. Martie says:

    I would not torpedo the teacher. Yes, she should have asked the rude mother that missed her scheduled time, to step out of the room, and explained that she needed to call and set another time for a conference. Speak with the teacher and let her/him know you didn’t appreciate how they handled the situation. Don’t set a negative tone with the teacher by going straight to the administration. It’s a long school year. Your child will benefit from how you handle this.

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