to think that teachers should wait to see all parents even if they are running late

(70 Posts)

I went to my 14 yo DS2's parents evening last week, we had to book appointments online but teachers were over-running by quite a bit. I went to my 6.05 appointment but she was busy, with people waiting, I returned to my 5.55 appointment (who was running late), waited a bit longer, returned to the 6.05 - still busy, back and forth, managed to see my 6.20 appointment but when I went back to 6.05 she had gone home. Now I know that parents evening is supposed to finish at 6.30 but she must have gone out of the door as if there was a rocket up her a***! and I still haven't managed to get hold of her to find out how DS2 is doing. I took an evening off work so I could find out how he is getting on in school and it wasn't MY fault that teachers weren't running to time. In fact it took 2 hours for me to see 6 teachers! AIBU to think she should have checked whether I had signed back out before leaving.

handcream Tue 23-Apr-13 18:04:19

Mum - there is another thread going on somewhere where teachers are claiming they work all the hours God sends.... Not in this case it would seem. Parents evenings arent that often are they for her to keep a least a hour afterwards.

Still, at least the parents turned up. At my DM's school that she still volunteers in less than 50% do...

popperdoodles Tue 23-Apr-13 18:08:00

Like the idea of the speed dating bell, might suggest that to ds1's school! We gave up waiting to see his RE teacher at the last parents evening as she continued to chat chat chat despite a queue waiting to see her and all the other teachers packed up and gone. Head milled about clearly trying to give her a hint but she carried on regardless. I hope he spoke to her afterwards.
YANBU if the current system doesn't work they need to think of a new one. Fair enough if she really had to leave but should have contacted you to apologise and arrange another way to catch up.

handcream Tue 23-Apr-13 18:11:10

Dont forget the 'helpers' who literally whisper in your ear to move and move the chair to enable you to get up. We used to have just the bell but some people just ignored it!

FreyaSnow Tue 23-Apr-13 18:12:48

YUO, yes I think there needs to be more parents' evenings. Every parent should be able to meet every teacher who teaches their child. It's the nature of holding a professional job (and indeed many non-professional jobs) that you have to work outside of your contracted hours. 14 parent evenings' a year is one week a term.

MammaTJ Tue 23-Apr-13 18:15:56

I missed an appointment for this very reason. Everyone was running late and by the time I got to the last but one teacher, he had left. I too had to sign in and had not signed out.

I asked DD if I needed to see this teacher and she said no, so I did not pursue it.

Iggi101 Tue 23-Apr-13 18:18:07

I have attended a parents evening to see one parent, who then did not show up.
I often have people with appointments, who I have seen walking around, not come to my desk. I have people insist they need a late appt, so have to wait an hour as have space between appts. If the first parents don't come on time, everything can be thrown out of whack.
This teacher may just be a skiver; but to suggest teachers just need to sit waiting till the last parent has left the building is daft. (Or do you think they actually sleep there?).

orangeandlemons Tue 23-Apr-13 18:19:46

But the amount of times, I have sat and waited until the end for someone who failed to turn up at the appointed time,, for whatever reason, and then they don't bother turning up at all. Is she supposed to wait for ever? You say she saw you, but she might not have recognised you. I don't know what any of my pupils' parents look like.

A bell goes for us at the end of parents evening. After 11 hours of talking, I think it is Ok for me to leave then.....we are told to by our Headteacher and not to hang around

Waferthinmint Tue 23-Apr-13 18:24:48

Take this up with SMT rather than teacher. She can't wait after time for you if she has childcare of her own to deal with. However, management can work to support its teaching staff and parents in developing a more efficient and reliable system. Teachers are often parents too and see it from both sides.

5madthings Tue 23-Apr-13 18:26:14

Yanbu.

Have to say at ds1,s parents evening I didn't get to see his English teacher, it was half term the next day so I just left a message saying I would like to speak to him at some point, he actually phoned up during the half term holiday and was very apologetic and happy to speak to me, we ended up a bit off the subject as we both had little children making noise in the background. But I was impressed he made the effort to contact me in the holiday rather than wait till after half term.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 23-Apr-13 18:35:29

If the evening finished at 6:30, what time did you get to her desk? She wouldn't have had an appointment slot at 6:30, 6:25 would have been the last one.

The system sounds crap though.

SuffolkNWhat Tue 23-Apr-13 20:03:16

The system sounds far from ideal.

Parents Evenings can be tricky for both sides as often we are left waiting for parents who then don't show up (or even bother to contact the school to say they're not coming)

Luckily I teach a low interest subject (for parents) so usually only have form tutor appointments and know my tutees parents by sight.

Our first appt tonight was 15 mins past time, all of that 15 mins had been taken up by one set of parents who were not looking at the clock.

Luckily, due to the online booking, we had a gap of 15 mins to the next appt, and by the end of the evening were only 10 mins after the time we should have finished. But this was only accomplished because the teacher we whould have seen last had a gap while we waited for the 6th teacher to become free, so we quickly jumped in (no-one else was waiting for her at that point).

IMO, if parents want to discuss problems that take more than 5 mins to go through, I don't think parents evening is the place to air them.

EndoplasmicReticulum Tue 23-Apr-13 20:13:33

She should not have gone. At parents' evenings I stay until I have seen all parents who want to see me. I make alternative childcare arrangements.

The only defence is if she thought you had gone, as your appointment with her was at 6.05. In which case it's the fault of the organisation of the event rather than the individual teacher.

clam Tue 23-Apr-13 20:31:18

I had something similar for dd last year. Our last appointment for history was at 6.55. We finished with the previous appointment (who was running late) at 6.57 and as we were just standing up to leave him, I saw the history teacher beetling out the door with her coat on! The whole evening was meant to end at 7pm so not only did she give up on us after 2 minutes, she also left before the end.

Mawgatron Tue 23-Apr-13 20:49:07

I feel like there is a bit of teacher bashing going on here. When I have parents evening, I do a 13 hour day. I get to work at 7-7.30 every morning, and our parents evenings don't finish until 8.30. I will generally wait for 1/2 an hour after my last appointment if there are people that haven't turned up, but I don't see that I should have to do any more than that. There are 6 year groups in my school, many of them having 2 parents evenings across the year. As well as this, we have open evenings for year 7, 9, 11, careers evening etc.

We do our best for your children, and we do care, but it really feels like everyone has it in for us at the moment...

BoneyBackJefferson Tue 23-Apr-13 21:01:03

I have been let down by more parents than I have seen parents let down by teachers.
I have known teachers who are ill or have emergencies spend the next couple of nights ringing parents.

On the other hand I have had parents not turn up for appointments/parents evening after making appointments.
I have had parents go home half way through the evening and not see half the teachers that are waiting for them.

And my all time favorite taking the last appointment of the evening and not showning up at all. (she used to do this deliberately and did this for four years)

orangeandlemons Tue 23-Apr-13 21:02:57

.....and not turning up, then blaming you when something goes wrongfor their child that they could have told you about at parents evening

clam Tue 23-Apr-13 21:45:58

mawgatron I'm certainly not a teacher-basher - I am a teacher myself. But I do think that leaving after 2 minutes was a bit prompt and not something I would ever do myself. I would not have dreamt of complaining about it though, not that I think the OP did.

Spikeytree Tue 23-Apr-13 22:00:55

At our parents evenings there are no appointments. Parents turn up and are allocated a desk and teachers move around them. We have 3 per year now as our year groups are 325 strong. Each is 3 hours. That means 63 hours of parents evening (years 7-13). What I hate is the parent who says they are coming and then doesn't, with no word. That can mean that I'm waiting from 6pm till 7.30pm as we aren't allowed to leave until all the parents who have indicated they are to attend arrive.

mumandboys123 Tue 23-Apr-13 22:07:59

it may have been previous of her to leave but there could be a thousand reasons - all of them good and reasonable in context - as to why she had to leave. I am a lone parent, I am also a teacher in training...sometimes I have to leave before I would like because childcare only lasts so long. I am not - and never will be - uncommitted but I have responsibilities outwith the classroom and there is no one there to take up the slack if I can't.

aftermay Tue 23-Apr-13 22:12:47

The teachers running late don't do so because they've been talking too much but because the parents have been too slow or with too many questions etc. I'm sure the teachers would love to work to time. Keep it brief, people.

bigbuttons Tue 23-Apr-13 22:15:21

My last parents' evening with ds2 (13) was infuriating;3 teachers didn't turn up for various reasons . I can NEVER get an appointment for English, they are always fully booked ffs. So they don't have enough slots for each child.

soverylucky Tue 23-Apr-13 22:17:33

bigbuttons that is the same problem at my school. Please contact the head and encourage other parents to do the same and then maybe a better/alternative system can be used. I have to double book all appointments giving each parent a very small amount of time with the promise of a follow up call or email if they need more info. It is the only way I can fit everyone in and it is not ideal at all.

Blissx Tue 23-Apr-13 22:26:06

Just what I was about to say, aftermay! I never voluntarily go over the appointment slot, if I do,it is because a parent(s) doesn't want to leave and keeps asking questions or wants to keep talking and I always apologise to the next parent. (just want to point out to the poster that thinks we need to know every pupil, could you know 245 pupils, see some of them 1 hour per week and know them by the time an autumn or spring parents eve comes round? I have their data, know most of them but it's bloody hard. Good grief!) sorry rant over and back to marking work....

mummytime Tue 23-Apr-13 22:30:19

After may - I had one teacher who said everything twice, she had the longest queue quite quickly. But it is usually parents who make things run late. However it can be that there are surprises at parents evening, which can want you to discuss further.

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