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to think that at Parents Evening there should be enough time slots

(57 Posts)

for all pupils. How can they justify giving a science teacher 25 time slots when they teach 90 pupils? This year is the first time I have managed to see my daughters science and english teachers in 3 years! I know that 90 pupils is a lot to teach, but there must be a way of getting round this.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 07-Feb-13 09:51:38

You're right 25 mins is far too long for an individual appointment and there should be enough slots for everyone who wants them. Can you contact form tutor and ask for appointments at a different time for those teachers who can't fit you in. They might find an extra few at parents' evening if you do that smile

SuffolkNWhat Thu 07-Feb-13 10:00:53

I am aware how annoying this can be but you do realise that teachers do not dictate the slots and often have to push in extras before the start of the evening and then see those parents who couldn't make it another time.

I teach over 300 pupils, I would never see my family if I had to accommodate all but those who definitely needed to come in and see me.

That said 25 minutes is a huge amount of time, ours are 10 minutes and even then we over run by a lot.

countrykitten Thu 07-Feb-13 10:02:03

Er - think you may have the wrong end of the stick there ghoul!

OP - just contact the school and ask to see them on a different occasion if you can't get an appt. I often see parents 'out of hours' as it were to discuss things.

DS1's school has a system where you just get to see his form teacher who reads of a sheet and generally talks shit that I have to correct them about. It's all a bit meaningless.

NB. Shit here means 'Actually Wrong In Factual Terms', rather than 'they criticised my PFB'.

Not 25 minute slots, 25 5 minute slots! grin sorry if I didn't make it clear. I do understand that it's difficult but it's very frustrating as the parent of a child who has been underperforming (apparently) and it's the first I've heard of it as I haven't been able to see the teacher for the past 2 years! The only reports we have are a whole page of numbers relating to effort, concentration etc and a row of = - and + signs! bah!

SuffolkNWhat Thu 07-Feb-13 10:08:26

Ah I see! blush

In that case YANBU and I would be making a separate appointment to dicuss in more detail with the teacher without them having a queue of other parents waiting at their door.

Sorry for the misunderstanding!

gazzalw Thu 07-Feb-13 10:10:52

Certainly it's frustrating but short of extending parents' evenings to two evenings, I can't see any way round it. I seem to recall at DS's first Year 7 parents' evening we only got four 'slots' with teachers despite the fact that he has at least ten subjects and we were supposed to get six....

It's certainly not good if your child has 'issues' which need discussion with relevant teacher(s)....

Maybe it's just the super-selectives which operate like this, but thus far I know how my DS is doing in relation to his peers (he's holding his own at the moment) but I have absolutely no idea how he has viewed as a person!!!

DisAstrophe Thu 07-Feb-13 10:16:04

That does seem like v few appointments for so many kids. But if you've had concerns for two years why haven't you arranged to see/phone the teacher on a different day?

countrykitten Thu 07-Feb-13 10:22:22

gazzalw - only having the option to see 6 subject teachers out of ten is poor and would not happen where I teach (super selective and independent). Be a bit pushy and ask to see staff of you need to - we don't mind!

DisAstrophe I didn't have any concerns, that was my point, they hadn't told me of any issues and I wasn't given a chance to ask because i couldn't get an appointment before. The teachers in our local comp don't take kindly to being asked for a chat outside of parents evenings, I've tried in the past. I don't see why they can't have more than evening set aside anyway. School finishes at 2.30 or 3, depending on the day of the week so why can't they have appointments then?

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Thu 07-Feb-13 11:08:03

Sorry justforlaughs - your post is perfectly clear, just me that can't read blush

Still think they should fit you in at another time if they can't get you all in on the night.

noblegiraffe Thu 07-Feb-13 11:12:20

I'm a maths teacher with a similar number of appointments available and it is very rare that all my appointments are booked. It would be a bit unfair to make my science colleagues do an extra parents evening (and impossible anyway because of directed time) simply because they teach more students.
Is it your DS's responsibility to make appointments? I wonder if he hasn't been as quick off the mark as he should have been because he knew he hasn't been doing as well as he might.
If you can't get an appointment then you should be able to speak to the teacher another time. A phonecall or via email would be better than trying to arrange a face to face meeting.

Myliferocks Thu 07-Feb-13 11:12:27

We've just had parents evening for 3 of our children who go to the same school. There was 6 nights to choose from and the times were either 4.30-7 or 5.30-8 depending which night you picked.

Myliferocks Thu 07-Feb-13 11:13:33

Posted too soon.

Appointments were in 5 minute slots.

Sugarice Thu 07-Feb-13 11:18:20

I don't get worked up about parents evening appointments anymore.

If DS3 can't get the important subjects a decent time I email the teacher and get a brief written report back. Problem solved and no faffing about in the hall waiting to dive onto a poor unsuspecting teacher nibbling on her biscuit!.grin

Budgiegirlbob Thu 07-Feb-13 11:19:38

Just be a bit pushy! My DS came home and told us that he wasn't able to get an appointment with his English teacher as all the slots were taken. I emailed his teacher and she offered to see us either before parents evening started, or she would phone us.
Some teachers also would not make an appointment for children who were doing ok, reserving the appointments for those who's parents it was important they see. In this case, they signed my DS appointment sheet to say they had no issues, but if we really we felt needed to see them, the teacher would be available early, or would phone.
There is a limit to how many parents a teacher can see, but we found most to flexible if needed.

noblegiraffe, I assume that both you and your science teaching collegue teach the same number of pupils overall, so if YOU teach more year 7's and HE teaches more year 10's, for example I would expect that you would be available for all your year 7 pupils while he would be available for all of his year 10's. Same amount of time, just at different times.
myliferocks are your children in primary school or the comp? We always had a choice of evenings in the primary, but not once they reach comp age (which is frustrating as I work evenings anyway - but that's not their fault).

Myliferocks Thu 07-Feb-13 11:22:38

They are at a middle school so years 5 to 8.

complexnumber Thu 07-Feb-13 11:28:10

I know it must be frustrating to not see those teachers you would like to, but please bear in mind that if the teacher was to set aside time to see each of his 90 pupils, that would amount to 4.5 hours.

Teachers of other subjects may well teach more than 90 (Suffolk mentioned 300, that would be 25 hours solid!)

I think hours spent addressing Parent's evenings are part of a teacher's contractual duty. To ask to see them at other times would be outside their obligation.

It also raises another issue, would you expect teachers of certain subjects to spend more time at parent's evenings than teachers of other subjects?

noblegiraffe Thu 07-Feb-13 11:30:03

justforlaughs no, we don't teach the same number of students overall. Maths is timetabled more often than other subjects so I see the same students for more lessons than other subjects who will see more students for fewer lessons. Subjects that aren't timetabled very often like RE or ICT see way more students than your typical maths teacher. I can teach at most two classes of Y7 and Y8 and only one class of Y9, 10 and 11 as they are all timetabled at the same time for setting purposes.

Mumsyblouse Thu 07-Feb-13 13:03:48

I think hours spent addressing Parent's evenings are part of a teacher's contractual duty. To ask to see them at other times would be outside their obligation.

Wow, if my university students (or even their parents) ask to see me, I am available, outside my designated office hours. Surely teaching isn't a work-to-rule job (or are you on a work-to-rule strike or something)?

seeker Thu 07-Feb-13 13:08:45

How do you know he's under performing?

I DID see her science teacher this year and was told that DD wasn't doing as well as she should be and isn;t doing her homework. As she went into the school an "exceptional" student in science, was achieving level 7's and 8's in year 7 and shows an interest in science topics at home, is still achieving well in every other subject but now is apparently only achieving level 5's in science (3 years of the same teacher), I am of the opinion that either the teacher is failing somewhere or that, as my DD says, she has got her confused with another pupil which apparently happens regularly! (The teacher thinks they look alike!) I'd be a lot less bothered if my DD didnt want to sit the triple science papers for GCSE (as she wanted to be a GP) and we have been told that that isn't an option now, but it's kind of getting off the thread.

seeker Thu 07-Feb-13 13:22:43

Bloodyhell, justfor laughs, I would be camping outside the head teacher's office I were you! That's outrageous!

Can you get your dd to bring her science book home, so you can check on the home work thing for a start? It does sound like a mistake- but you need to sort it quickly.

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