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Eric Baylin's
Songs to Brighten
A Teacher's Day


We are well enough into the year now that parent-teacher conferences are starting to crop up in schools. In many places, whole days are devoted to marathon parent meetings, one round after another. It's not enough that we have to learn how to work in the best possible ways with the kids. We also have to learn how to talk to parents -- an art in itself.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

(Sung to the tune of Yankee Doodle )

It's not that most parents aren't supportive of the work that we do. They are. But there is always that one meeting that throws you off kilter; the parents who are always right and have no intention of listening to anything you say. Perhaps you could break into song in the middle of the conference?

When the parents come to school to have a chat with teachers,
We really hope their kid will have a few redeeming features,
Parent-teacher conferences can be a little dicey,
Especially when a kid has not been acting very nicely.

About the Lyricist

Eric Baylin has been a teacher for 38 years, working with a variety of age levels in both public and private schools in New York and North Carolina. He currently works at Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn, New York, a K-12 independent school established in 1854. In addition to teaching art and photography to middle- and high-school students, Eric coordinates a program of collaborative faculty study groups in Packer's professional development program.

There's always one among the class who's really hard to cope with.
And when you meet the parents, it is reas'nable to hope with
Some cooperation, you might find a good solution.
Otherwise this child will soon destroy your constitution.

Some parents will defend their kids; in fact they're so emphatic,
It's awf'lly hard to sit and listen and be diplomatic.
Here is what you'd like to say: "Your child is really lazy;
And more than that, and to the point, he's driving me quite crazy."

Of course, you choose your words with care, and share them with discretion.
You've documented everything; it's not just your impression.
Missing homework, talking back on num-er-ous occasions,
Everything is factual, no unfounded allegations.

The parents have a lot to say; their child is so appealing.
And by the time the meeting's over, you might just be feeling
Everything is all your fault; you don't appreciate him.
In fact, the parents are quite certain that you really hate him.

It doesn't matter what you say; these parents just won't hear you.
And all that comes to mind is simply: you don't want them near you.
After they have left, you're feeling down and quite exhausted;
Maybe even worried when it's dark you'll be accosted.

And in the hall another pair of parents stands there waiting.
You hope it won't be yet another round of castigating.
Parent-teacher conferences can be a little trying.
Working with the kids is much more fun -- there's no denying.

Song lyrics Copyright© 2006 Eric Baylin