Do Now: Amidst the pressures of Parent-Teacher conferences, the awkward interaction with those students who now realize what a pattern of truancy really means, and the review of broad changes that can be adopted by the failing student, remember who truly has the power in the room. It’s not the AP, slinking from classroom to classroom with a clipboard and a semi-incredulous smile on his/her face. It’s not the parents, scrutinizing over the man or woman on the other side of the desk with their child’s academic fate in their hands. It’s you, the teacher, the key element of the whole parent-teacher conference in general. Without you, there is no classroom. Without you, there is no learning. Without you, there is no conference. So remember that you are the essential element of the equation. You are the one in control. So be honest. Tell those parents exactly what they need to hear. If the facts are stark, be stark, if they be somber, then be somber. But remember, always, always, always have a smile on your face, no matter what you say. We here at the ULOT recommend this because there are only really two situations that can arise from parent-teacher conferences: either you have a studious, overachieving student, in which case a smile is warranted for a beaming, proud parent, or you have a shithead loafer, consistently late and who is now beginning to realize the potential of a month of punishment and an even darker holiday season at the hands of now furious parents, which would still not warrant smiling. After all, said shithead probably won’t be late to class anymore, and that’s more than enough reason to smile.