10 Types of Parents That Teachers Secretly Hate

Most parents are fantastic, but a few always make teachers dream of next summer before the year even begins.

My favorite back-to-school ritual as a first-grade teacher is to tenderly place name tags on each of my new student's desks. I think about each child, how I will impact their life, and how they will impact mine over the coming year. It is the time of year when I am almost giddy with anticipation. While I am thrilled to meet my new students, I am equally nervous about meeting their parents. I am not alone in this sentiment; teachers I know consistently list students as the best part of teaching and their parents as the worst part of teaching.

Don't get me wrong. The vast majority of the parents in my class are fantastic, but a few archetype parents always show up on my roster every year and secretly make me dream of summer before the year even begins. Allow me to introduce the top 10 parent types that every teacher secretly hates:

1. The Special Snowflake Parent

Yes, your child is special, but so is every other student in my class. No, your child is not special enough that they don't have to do their homework, be on time, or follow classroom procedures. I get it. I am a parent, too. My kids are my world, but parents must be grounded enough to accept that the rules apply to all children, even theirs. These are the same parents who are convinced that their little precious can do no wrong—ever.

2. The Magic Bullet Parent

All parents want their children to do better in school, but this parent wants higher grades and improved reading levels without needing to do any extra work. While I am explaining the need for reading together at night, they are still looking for a quick fix (or any other solution) where they don't have to be involved.

3. The Overhead Parent

It's a normal after-school day, but instead of grading papers, I have been summoned to the principal's office. I am racking my brain to think of why—I know I turned in my three-week reports—and then it hits me. I'm a victim of the Overhead Parent. This parent has a problem with something that has happened in my classroom, but they skip the step of talking to me and go straight to my boss. Not only am I sheepish at being sent to the principal's office, but I am frustrated that a conversation between the two of us wasn't the first course of action.

4. The Hovering Parent

Is this parent a clone, or have they just perfected the art of teleporting? This parent is everywhere, hanging at the back of the classroom long after the other parents have gone about their day. These parents never seem to be able to give their kids the space to tie their own shoes, manage their materials, or make a few mistakes.

5. The Ghost Parent

This parent's name is on the roster, but do they really exist? This parent has never actually been seen, and it makes me a little nervous because I know connected parents make successful students. Again, I understand what it is like to be a working parent, but I wish this parenting type would take an opportunity to touch base by phone or in person at parent's night.

6. The No-Boundaries Parent

If I get a text message at 11 p.m., I don't even have to check who it is. I know it's the No-Boundaries Parent "just checking" on something for the next day. Every time I check my email, I have a message—or six—from this parent. These aren't short notes; they are more like epics. If I am rushing off to the bathroom during my five-minute break or scarfing down my lunch during my 30-minute lunchtime, I can count on this parent to find me to talk to. It's not just the volume of their contact; it's the timing.

7. The Competing Custody Parents

This pair of parents is a dynamic duo of disaster, where they share custody but fight over everything else. They seem to be in a race to see how they can make themselves look the best while making the other look the worst. They're never on the same page, and it's obvious that communication about what is happening at school is falling flat. In this race, the child is always the loser.

8. The Boss Parent

This parent brings a business sense to the classroom and wants to make sure I know that my place in the hierarchy is somewhere below them. They have no problem letting me know that they are in charge and I am punching my card on the company clock. This parent sees me not as a partner but as an employee. It's just a matter of time before they say, "I pay taxes, so I am your boss."

9. The Teacher-Hater Parent

I'm not sure what happened in the past to make this parent hate teachers, but the hatred is real. This parent believes that this is a fall-back job or that I only took it because I get the summers off. Or worse, they think that I have it in for their child and that I spend my time creating ways to make them suffer. Whatever the reason, it's clear that the parent is convinced it is my fault and the fault of all the others like me.

10. The All Drama Parent

The MO of this parent is to take a minor school incident, blow it out of proportion, and repeat it as often as necessary until they get their way. For variety, sometimes there are tears, and sometimes there is yelling, but there is always drama. It's not over until the school board is involved and every single parent on the playground has heard about the injustice.

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