When Parent-Teacher Conferences Go Wrong: 15 LOL Stories

Wendy Robinson | Oct 12, 2017 Big Kid
Image: DongseonKim/Shutterstock

empty classroom

I knew before I sat down in the tiny chair in my child's classroom that sitting was a mistake. The chair was clearly designed for a little 2-year-old's bottom. My own bottom was decidedly bigger, which became even more painfully obvious when I later attempted to stand back up and the chair, well, sort of came with me. I was stuck in a chair, in front of my child's teacher. Yeah, I'm not going to forget that parent/teacher conference moment any time soon.

Parent-teacher conferences are a surprisingly emotional event for me. Not only is there the crushing nostalgia of being back in a cheerful kids' classroom, but there are the emotions that come with seeing just how much my kid is growing and learning at school. Plus, given who my kid is, there is also the tiny bit of anxiety I feel about the inevitable moment when the teacher tells us he talks too much in class (every. single. conference).

More from CafeMom: 16 Hilariously Inappropriate Kid Homework Fails

Since nothing makes me feel better than hearing about other people's embarrassing parenting moments, I decided to ask some of my closest mom friends about their own ridiculous, embarrassing, and totally wild parent-teacher conference moments. Honestly, some of these make my chair-stuck-on-the-butt moment seem not so bad at all (sorry for how hard I laughed at #11's pain). 

  • A Good Divorce

    iStock.com/Steve Debenport

    "My husband and I were having a pretty normal conference with my son's fourth grade teacher when she stopped and said, 'You know, you guys are proof that you can have a good divorce. I'm so impressed with how well you get along!' So, yeah, we're NOT divorced. Apparently our kid has been telling everyone at school we got divorced and has been all year. That was an awkward rest of the conference." -- Kim W., San Jose, California 

  • Hold it In


    "I think my son's teacher was more embarrassed than we were, but she did feel like she had to bring up the fact that my son farts a lot in class and it distracts the other kids. She kindly asked if he could try to 'hold it in' a little more.

    He looked at her and said 'I can't hold it in. A fart needs to be free!' 

    Dying. He thinks farting is the funniest thing ever. I feel bad for the kids who sit next to him, to be honest." -- Lauren V., Providence, Rhode Island

  • Stuck


    "Thirty-five weeks pregnant and went to my daughter's conference. Like an idiot, I tried to sit in the little desk. Totally got myself stuck." -- Andrea P., Topeka, Kansas

    More from CafeMom: 20 Things Never to Say to Your Kid's Teacher

  • Put It Away


    "We had a parent-teacher conference during March Madness and my husband would not PUT DOWN THE DAMN PHONE. Like, it was SO obvious that he was watching a game. I was so embarrassed. Dude. At least pretend to care. I'm sure the teacher was judging us hard." -- Chloe T., Saint Paul, Minnesota

  • Not Again!


    "We missed our kid's conference. Just totally forgot we had it and didn't show. We rescheduled and then when we showed up, there was nobody there. We eventually figured out that we were there on the wrong night and the conference had been the night before. We'd missed it -- again. We looked like such flakes." -- Christine D., Romeoville, Illinois

  • Fan Boy


    "When my son was in fifth grade, I was thrilled he had a male teacher. Thought it would be a great role model for him. Mr. J. seemed really nice and vaguely familiar to me but then came the parent-teacher conferences. My husband came with me and basically turned into an embarrassing fan boy in the room. 

    It turns out Mr. J. used to be a pretty high-profile college basketball player at my husband's alma mater. My husband asked for a selfie and tried to hug him at the end of the conference. I think Mr. J. and I were both embarrassed." -- Name withheld by request

  • Abrupt End


    "My daughter's preschool does parent and teacher conferences and the kids are supposed to go and present their little portfolio of work. It's super cute and I was so excited to go that I kind of ignored that my daughter was saying she felt tired (red-alert words in our house). 

    Halfway through the conference she put her head in my lap and then barfed all over my legs and the teacher's shoes. Poor kiddo was so miserable and I am a sympathetic puker so I started gagging too. I made it to the trash can though before I tossed my cookies. Poor Miss Amy." -- Lisha T., Brooklyn Center, Minnesota

  • All the Tears


    "Oooh, yeah. I just totally embarrassed myself at Mina's teacher conference. It was her last one for her at this cozy, happy little preschool. Listening to the teachers talk about how ready she is for kindergarten made me so emotional. Like, I was barely holding it together and then they showed me some of her artwork and I just started to Kim Kardashian–style ugly cry. Snot running down my face, couldn't control myself crying. 

    I am going to be a HOT MESS on the first day of kindergarten, aren't I?" -- Janelle G., Saint Paul, Minnesota 

    More from CafeMom: 11 Craziest Things Teachers Have Ever Said to Kids

  • Flustered


    "My daughter's teacher went out on maternity leave and so they got a sub for her. She was doing the conferences that had already been scheduled and I guess never realized that our daughter has two moms and two dads. My wife and I used donor sperm from a friend who is gay and married. All four of us are parents to our kid, though she lives with only my wife and me. 

    When all four of us rolled into the conference, the poor sub was totally flustered and you could see her desperately trying to figure out how this whole thing worked but not wanting to ask. She eventually blurted out something like 'So, everyone is gay, then?' which was the real highlight. We laughed about it for the rest of the night." -- Chris T., Ann Arbor, Michigan

  • Wait Outside


    "I should have known something was up when the teacher asked my daughter to wait in the hallway. Usually the kids participate in the conference. We sat down and the teacher started blushing and told us that she had to talk about a 'delicate matter.' 

    A few weeks earlier, my daughter walked in on my husband and I having sex. She'd been sleeping and seemed sort of out of it, so I didn't think she remembered much about it. She must have remembered more than I expected because apparently she told several kids in her class that 'sometimes my dada kisses my mama -- ON THE BUTT.'

    Total mortification. We had a loooong talk that night about what kinds of things are okay to talk about at school. And that a vagina is not the same as a butt." -- Name withheld by request 

  • Just Curious


    "We found out at the parent-teacher conference that on the first day of the school's iPad-in-the-class program, our daughter taught a friend how to Google. Her search terms? Butt, booty, and big fart butt.

    So proud. I know she is just curious, but yikes! Don't Google big fart butt." -- Misty E., Scottsdale, Arizona

  • Really Late


    "After my divorce, we moved and changed schools. I was proud of the fact that my daughter and I were making life work, just the two of us. 

    I was totally deflated when I went to meet with the teacher after the first month and she brought up our 'tardy problem.' I wasn't aware we had a tardy problem and said, 'But, we're always here by 8:45 a.m. on the dot!'

    The teacher gave me a funny look and said, 'Yes. But school starts at 8:30 a.m.'

    Oops. My poor kid had been 15 minutes late, every day, for a month and I didn't even know. Total mom fail." -- Nina G., Oakland, California 

  • Coffee Time


    "Every morning, I swing through the drive-through at the local coffee shop. I get my latte and a chocolate milk for my son. I didn't think anything of it, until I found out that my kid had been telling all his friends that he gets a 'coffee' every morning before school. His teacher saw the cups and gently suggested that we shouldn't 'let a growing child have so much caffeine before school' because it makes him too excitable.

    No, lady, he isn't caffeinated. He's just 7." -- Sara F., Redwood, California

  • Lost in Translation


    "My embarrassing parent-teacher conference moment was when I was the teacher! I was teaching English is Seoul, South Korea, which was a super interesting cross-cultural experience. Now, as background, you have to know that I'm a redhead and I'm 6'1. So I tend to get a lot of attention and stand out in the crowd, especially in South Korea.

    I was giving conferences and one of the parents came in and was just staring at me so hard. I was trying to just keep going, relying on my partner teacher to translate for me. Finally the mom just blurted out 'why are you a giant? Redheaded giant is strange for a woman!' 

    I don't think that is exactly what she meant, but I really didn't know how to answer that one." -- Riley J., Edina, Minnesota 

  • Big Love


    "We were meeting with my daughter's preschool teacher, and my daughter wanted to bring her a picture. She colored a big heart and when she gave it to her teacher she said 'I made this heart for you because I love you more than I love my mom.'

    Ouch, kid." -- Carrie S., Albaqureuque, New Mexico

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