1. They missed their scheduled parent-teacher conference time, but she persists in doing her job (teachers, you know) . . . either that, or she’s a Clint Eastwood fan and likes to talk to chairs, too.

  2. The exasperated teacher has tried many times to communicate with the parents that Micheal is struggling with school and he needs their intervention and support. Had they actually been there, the conversation would be about what to do. Since they aren’t, the conversation, with the emptiness, is that Micheal is doomed.

    Not really a laugh riot.

  3. What you seem to b saying, Andréa, is when a teachers talks to empty chairs she’s “doing her job”, but anybody else would be prescribed anti-psychotic medication?

  4. It’s a kind of soliloquy – after all, if she didn’t talk to herself out loud, we would just see a woman facing a couple of empty chairs. I’m sure we all have various “conversations” in our heads from time to time. And it is slightly more of a joke to have her verbalising these words regardless of their absence – having her sensibly write the same sentiment down in a letter to the parents that we can read over her shoulder would be simple grim reportage.

  5. As I was walking down the stairs I met a man who wasn’t there.

    She’s not addressing the chairs as Michael’s parents. She’s addressing Michael’s parents who are absent as Michael’s parents.

    She’s having a meeting with people who aren’t attending.

    ….. *crickets*….

    Yeah, it’s not very funny.

  6. I see it the same way narmitaj does. It’s kind of dark. A funnier caption would be something like “Well, Micheal’s parents, I can infer from the fact that you’ve missed yet another meeting that your son will continue to have attendence issues.”

    I think that would be funnier because there is then a parallel between the parents’ activity and Michael’s. Otherwise, it’s just that Michael’s parents don’t care about him. Maybe they’re at the casino or smoking meth while squatting beside a dumpster, or maybe his dad is pimping his mother so they can afford to buy some crack. So no wonder Michael is struggling, he has a Hellish home life and parents who offer him no love or support. Just grim.

  7. No, it’s just that his parents are not interested in his schooling. I think the line is fine as-is.

  8. Yeah. She’s already there at the appointed time. They aren’t. And it’s late enough that she’s venting by being sarcastic to the parents in absentia before either leaving, or checking to see if the next parents are waiting outside.

  9. Despite all the correct explanations above, the fundamental problem with this drawing(*) is that it simply is not funny, it’s just sad. Our kids are still in elementary school, and already we can see an extremely strong correlation between student performance and parent involvement. Admittedly, the problem isn’t always a disinterested “won’t”, or even an overworked “can’t”: there are some cases in which the parents really are unable to help their kids with homework (for a variety of reasons). I just can’t help but feel sorry for the poor kids.
    P.S. (*) – Sorry, I cannot call this a “comic”, because it isn’t.

  10. Kilby, that is why I suggested my alternative caption. It at least puts the joke on punctuality or absenteeism. Those are both real issues, but they seem much less sad then parents who just can’t be bothered to every attend meetings with teachers. You’re quite right, though, that parental involvement and the expectation that the child will apply themselves in school is a major factor in how the child does, based on what I’ve read.

  11. Let’s get back to her calling Michael’s parents “Michael’s Parents” rather than Mrs. and Mr. Jones. Who does that? A few times when my daughter was 3 or 4, one of her friends would address me as “Britt’s Daddy,” but this teacher seems to be older than that and probably understands the concept of surnames.

  12. She asked me to stay
    And she told me to sit anywhere
    So I looked around
    And I noticed there wasn’t a chair

  13. Maybe she and Michael’s parents hate each other and since they don’t show up, ever, she’s taking it out on the child.

  14. Saying “Michael’s parents” in the monologue is just some awkwardness needed to convey who the imaginary people in the chairs are. The “joke” is that Michael will keep struggling because his parents don’t care enough to support his education, to the point where they aren’t even showing up to meet with his teacher, and she’s frustrated enough to say this to a pair of empty chairs. At another level, not caring about education seems to run in the family. The whole thing seems more sad than funny.

  15. I will posit that the teacher might not even know the surnames, because she’s never met Michael’s parents and so they’ve never introduced themselves.

  16. I know this isn’t the right crew to correct humorative deficiencies :^) But –

    In today’s world we could fix this!
    One panel, just as it is above
    The other panel, same picture, with a new caption:

    “Well, Michael’s parents, thank you for respecting social distancing for this meeting. Shall we begin?”

  17. Powers, if the teacher doesn’t know the surnames, how did she ask them to come in?

    Maybe THAT’S why they didn’t show up.

  18. @CIDUBill: she could have given Michael a letter for him to give them: “Dear Michael’s parents”😉.

  19. At a parent teacher meeting when my kids were still in school a teacher told us that the parents who showed up were the parents who didn’t need to and the parents who didn’t show up should have.
    So I got it.

  20. True, Olivier, but would you trust a kid like Michael to deliver the note? He’s clearing not Michael’s Teacher’s most reliable student.

  21. @CIDUBill: let’s be optimistic: Michael is struggling, not failing. Delivering a note is kindergarten-level.

  22. Good to see you Andréa.

    Husband ran a mental health agency which also served as a school for the children who attended – program was preschool until children graduated high school or aged out of the program if they did not graduate. Parental interest and help was mostly lacking. If the parents were more interested in their children’s schooling (and mental care) he always figured that many of the children would not be there or would be doing much better than they were. Understand – the children needed the help, but if they were at his agency they were pretty far along in the intensity of the treatment needed – next stop would be a residential program. When a child has problems – educationally or health wise, the interest that parents take in the child, generally, has a great affect on the child’s well-being.

    Even something as simple as making sure the child goes to school every day unless ill is important. Going over homework with the child is important. Children need to know that their education and school is important to their lives now and in the future and that it is also important to their parents for the child to do as well as they can in school and life.

    There was an article in the local paper in reference to the problems that low income families are facing with home schooling due to Covid-19, about a family which due to financial limitations the children cannot not do their schoolwork at home until the father comes home. They do not have Internet service at home other than from the father’s smart phone. When he comes home they have to take turns using his phone to do their homework and he tries to come home from work as quickly as he can to let them use his phone. That is a family that is teaching their children to value their education no matter how hard it is to get it.

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