Survived Another PTC
Parent Teacher Conference Joys:
1. Student plops down next to his beautiful mother and squeaks, "Can I take your picture?" I laugh, then realize it's not a joke, then get confused eyebrows while I question the purpose of the picture. I get a shrug from the student, with a mumbled, "Project." Then his mother mumbles, "Youtube." This is all very sketchy, so while I'm still in a confused pose, student pulls out a green camera and snaps away. Perfect, thanks. So watch for me on youtube. Look for a confused Ms. Bateman who's body is screaming for a break from being at the school for 26 of the last 48 hours.
2. "Hi, I'm Ms. Bateman. Thank you so much for coming."
"Oh, so you're the one who keeps bugging us."
Arrgh! So you have been getting my phone calls, e-mails, letters! Return my messages for crying out loud, and help me get your kid to turn in work and behave in class. (I'm not exaggerating, my last resort was to send a letter.)
3. "Hi, I'm Ms. Bateman. Thank you so much for coming," and if the parent reaches out a hand, then I shake the hand, but I never offer mine first. It's just a germaphobe thing at this point. Older gentleman reaches for my hand, and holds it firmly while he explains who he is. He then proceeds to absolutely crush the hell out of my hand. I was thinking, "Who are you? Superman back at the bar where the guy made fun of you? Let go of my hand!" He held it for way too long, and held it way too tight, to the point where I had to talk myself out of rubbing it tenderly once he let go. Then he pulled his chair closer, and to the side of me, then closer, then closer, until we were practically touching knees. Too close!
We talk and talk, I really do adore his student, and he tells me how his wife is also involved with helping and encouraging student at home, but then he starts to stammer, "You are just, I'm sorry, it's just that I'm, I'm sorry ... I think I'm old enough to be your dad."
I move the conversation right back in the direction of the student. Those kind of comments scare me because they can be completely innocent in a you-are-so-young-to-be-a-teacher way, but they also can be not so innocent. Blech
Talk talk talk, then the stammering bubbles up again, "I'm sorry," and he leans closer then he already was and stares intently at my face, "it's just that, I'm so, you're just ... You look exactly like one of my old girlfriends," and he kind of whispered the last part.
I jumped up out of my seat, and stood as I thanked him for coming, please tell student to keep it up. Thankfully, he got the cue to leave, but of course he had to crush my hand one more time before he left.
Aah! I was terrified, but then that turned into terrified laughter, and I couldn't stop. I took the two steps over to Ms. Anderson who was next to me, and thankfully, she didn't have any parents at the moment. I retold the story in a hilarious fashion, and she kept covering her face with a, "Oh no! Amy!" but I got her to laugh with me. While we're still laughing a bit, and discussing how awkward it's going to be in class because I'll associate my cute little student with dad, out of the corner of my eye I see waving. He's waving to me form across the gym, then he continues to wave as he crosses the gym, then he starts to walk backwards out of the gym, waving with two hands.