Any teacher will tell you that sometimes parent-teacher conferences can be, well, eventful.
Well, a viral Reddit thread asked teachers to share their most memorable parent-teacher conference, and their responses will make you laugh, cringe, and get really, really emotional.
1. "One of my students had failed all of his subjects and misbehaved the entire school year, so he wasn't going to graduate. Well, his parents came marching down to my office demanding that I change his grade in front of the principal. They called me names and even threatened my life! And then, in the middle of the chaos, a really bad smell emerged. Turns out, the student LITERALLY SHIT HIS PANTS right there in front of us! We had to stop the meeting because the odor was suffocating us!"
2. "A parent of one of my students who was a busy, well-known doctor brought their nanny to the parent/teacher conference. Whenever I spoke directly to her, she would say to the nanny, 'Are you getting all this? Because you're the one who needs to be paying attention. By the time I get home, I don't want to have to deal with any of this."
3. "I was meeting with a parent that spoke mostly Spanish, and my Spanish is weak. Turns out, her English was about as bad as my Spanish, so when we couldn't get across an idea, we reverted to charades or grabbed paper and drew things out. By the end, we were laughing so hard! That was, by far, my favorite parent-teacher conference ever!"
4. "My coworker had a meeting with a student's mom and was telling her great things, when the mom suddenly had a stroke and passed out. She died the next day. The teacher made sure to tell the student that the last thing his mom heard was how great he was."
5. "I was catching up on work in my classroom in between conferences when a mom came in wearing pink yoga pants and a parka, looking frazzled as hell. She immediately started bitching about how sorry she was for her daughter's behavior and how she doesn't do anything at home, and then about how the math curriculum is inadequate and all sorts of things that were on her mind. I couldn't even say a word the whole time. Well, the next conference showed up and the lady said, 'Sorry — thank you for taking the time,' and left. I have no idea who that lady was."
6. "The one in which the mom brought her lawyer — who sat behind her rolling his eyes the whole time."
"This was the same mom who — when I addressed her first grader's homework being written in cursive and ink — said, 'Nowhere in the student handbook does it say a parent can't do the child's homework for them.'"
7. "Our conferences were set up as sort of 'speed dating' sessions in which the teachers gave packets of catch-up work for any kids that were failing. Well, at the end of the evening, a mom and dad plopped down into the chairs in front of my table, defeated, their arms full of fail packets from other teachers. The mom looked at me with tears in her eyes and asked, 'What does my son do wrong in your class?' I was surprised by her question because I adored her son — he was one of my favorite students! So I took great joy in telling them how their son was an absolute bright spot in my day. And the next day, the student came in, gave me a big hug, and said, 'Thank you.'"
8. "When I had to tell a child's parents I caught him masturbating in my classroom."
9. "We had expelled a kid who assaulted four staff members, threatened to accuse his teacher of sexual and physical abuse, and destroyed the classroom and office totaling about $4,000 in damage. During the parent-teacher conference, his parents said that all he needed from us was 'love.'"
10. "The mom who came in only because her daughter had told her I was hot. She just said, 'Wow, she was right,' shook my hand, and left."
11. "I had a memorable meeting with a mother who had recently gotten pregnant. Her husband showed up late to the conference and she'd just had her 12-week scan that day, so he asked how it went. The mother was clearly salty that he didn't make the appointment, so she just said, 'Fine.' But he decided to press the issue, and that's when she told him that they were expecting triplets. I excused myself to get some water, and when I got back, she was showing him the scans and they were both just bawling."
12. "I once had a parent-teacher conference in which the student's mother brought her pet monkey. I thought the kid was winding me up saying that they had one. But sure enough, along came mom with a capuchin in a blue jumper."
13. "One of my mom's kindergarten students was having a hard time with counting and numbers. My mom asked the girl's mom if she watches Sesame Street or any similar shows, since those shows have helped a lot of kids with their numbers and letters. No bullshit, the girl's mom answered, 'Oh, I don't let me kids watch TV. The government uses subliminal messages in those shows to convert kids to Satanism.' My mom said the whole room went silent."
14. "A student wasn't getting her way in class, so her parents came in for a meeting with me and the principal. Her mom said, 'She's just so used to being the teacher's pet, so it's really not fair that she isn't yours.'"
15. "I had a parent meeting with the father of one of my students who was a well-known gang leader and drug dealer in the area. He came in looking very intimidating in head-to-toe gang tattoos, and I was nervous, but I treated him as I would any other parent. We had a great meeting in which he asked how to keep his kids on the right track so that they don't end up like him (his words). And he even ended up being one of my most helpful parents, attending every school event and parent meeting and even helping me change my tire one day! That day I learned not to judge a book by its cover."
"Two of his kids are now in high school, taking AP classes, and doing amazing!"
16. "My students know I'm obsessed with hedgehogs because I always use them in my lessons. Well, on the last night of conferences, one of my favorite students came in with her mom and a fuzzy bag. After I went over all of her child's assessments, she PULLED A FREAKIN' HEDGEHOG OUT OF THAT FUZZY BAG, and I shrieked like a child! I got to hold him for about 30 minutes, and was so giddy. My student's mom informed me that her child talks about me all the time, and wanted to do something cool for me!"
17. "The parents of one of my students asked me to call their son over spring break and encourage him to do better. I said that I didn't want his number and I didn't want him to have mine. They asked me why, and I had to explain to them that their son asks me out every other day. They laughed. A lot."
18. "The parents of one of my kindergarteners came for a conference, and I showed them a video of their daughter dancing in class. Well, in response, her dad pulled out his phone to show me videos of her dancing at home, before putting on dancehall music and dancing with her mom right there in the classroom — and it was definitely not rated PG. So I just sat there watching while they danced and began to make out — with tongue!"
19. "A parent threw a chair at me once. She believed her son shouldn't have to do homework. She believed that he was a genius. He wasn't."
Some responses have been edited for length and clarity.