Bearer of bad news

teacher giving bad news to parents

I hate notifying parents of deficiencies of my students. I hate scheduling parent-teacher conferences.

In antiquity, the bearer of bad news was often killed. Sometimes parents accuse you as a teacher, and you have to document everything — this is not teaching! It is gathering evidence, police work, deputy district attorney work! I loathe adversarial relations with parents.

Sometimes, the parents turn red in the face and fire on the child. I don’t like this any better. I feel for the kid. Rarely does a parent find the right balance.

I’d much rather give good news. I love to see positives in the kids, to see parents glow as I extoll their son/daughter. How do you deal with being the bearer of bad news?


2 thoughts on “Bearer of bad news

  1. Makes sense. I hatred it to. I used to make a quick list of 3:1 good to bad. I also tried not to mention those issues that were already out in the open on both sides. They already know. Try to hang onto that eloquent answe (written by your most frustrating students) to share with the parents. It will make a world of difference.


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