According to the researcher quoted at Newswise, parent-teacher conferences are much more about parents trying to prove “they’re a good parent” — even if that means throwing their kids under the bus:
“Parents and teachers behave in a way suggesting that they are each treating the conference as an occasion for their own performance review – using the student’s progress, or lack thereof, as a gauge of how the teacher is doing at his or her job of ‘being a teacher’ and how the parent is doing at his or her job of ‘being a parent,’” Pillet-Shore says.
So parent and teacher face a dilemma: How do they each display that they are “good” at their jobs given that they perform much of those jobs outside of direct observation by one another?
The parents’ solution may surprise many. Instead of defending their children, parents are consistently critical about their children when talking with teachers, often delivering unsolicited, negative information about them.
“In short, during parent-teacher conferences, parents manifest a pervasive concern to show teachers, ‘I’m a good parent,’ ” Pillet-Shore says.
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