The first problem with parent teacher conferences in my world is that I come from a family of teachers. This immediately has an upside and a downside. The upside is that I totally respect you and that what you do isn't easy. The downside is, I know you aren't a deity and are just as fallible as the next person.
This means I generally talk to you like you're any person I might meet, instead of like some figurehead of an institution like PUBLIC EDUCATION.
I went to the oldest boy's parent teacher conference, where the youngsters who are teaching him beamed at me with radiant faces and went on and on and on about how smart he is. Yeah I know he's smart. He makes me nuts. I also gave him good DNA. So you know, we're clear. They didn't have much constructive FEEDBACK though, I had to keep asking "So what do we need to work on?" and FINALLY they got around to the fact that the boy would rather read NONFICTION or "Star Wars" books than to read any other genre.
To remedy this, they are doing this little book club deal, where they assign a book and then the group has to read it and do discussions. To challenge them, they are making them read books outside their comfort zone. I GET this concept. We all had to read THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA, and THE RED BADGE OR COURAGE or whatever hell they put you through at your school. I think THE CRUCIBLE is standard in most American Schools (in my class, we did a great Tituba voice and liked to quote the Crucible in everyday conversation cuz that shit was HILARIOUS).
For my son's little reading group, all male, they are having them read, Sarah, Plain and Tall.
It's at this point that the information in my first paragraph comes in to play.
I burst out laughing, "But that book SUCKS."
Yeah. i'm THAT Mom.