Teachers! I have an excellent parents' evening tip for you.(157 Posts)
1. If you have a 10 minute slot and you are still talking after 25 minutes to a parent there is quite obviously an issue that needs to be discussed further at a later date.
2. May I suggest you get a timer? Put it on your table. Set it for 9 minutes. If after the allotted time you are still talking, hand over a card with your email on it and suggest the parent book a further appointment to see you.
My first parents evening as an NQT, the last parents of the evening turned up with a photo album detailing the adoption process of their PFB, included photos of his extended birth family and their neighbours.
The Head had to come in and rescue me! It was nearly by force they were removed from the classroom.
At our parents evenings all the parents sit at a desk in the hall and we queue up to see them. No appointments, first come first served.
It's a bloody nightmare and my feet hurt by the end of it. Plus we have to have 2 per year group as there are too many kids in each year to see in 1 night. 14 sodding parents evenings.
Best one was the one where a parent asked me to write him a quick essay so that he could check I was clever enough to teach his son.
Having stayed at school til 7pm actually doing parents evening, this thread has put me in an even better mood. Thank you op. Bring on tommorrow's.
I keep my clock on my table. Then when time is up, I say thank you very much for coming, I know you're very busy, I won't keep you any longer.
As they are leaving, I always say, "Please feel welcome to come and see me any time if there is ever any problem, or just phone me after school."
Then I tell them what days I'm available to talk.
MOST of the time, I can keep to my appointments. Doesn't work if parents get held up at siblings' classes. Or if the parents are late!!! Or just don't turn up!!!
I really try to stick to my timings but often find that it only takes one colleague runnin late to mess everyone else up...
Plus it's so weird that the pupils who I have absolutely no issue with are the ones with the parents who take absolutely ages. Those who I either want to bollock or gush over in front of parents often just don't want to know! Grrr...
Sorry op, don't know why I was so snotty in response to you. It is a valid point but sometimes it's difficult when parents won't shut up... Anyway I ran to time last week <preens>
My last parents evening, I made a lot of hints. 'Oh, thanks so much, it was so useful....Oh, we've got our maths appointment in five minutes...' the teacher in question Did Not Take The Hint. It was so annoying. The maths appointment came and went. Talk, talk, talk. If it was useful, great, but it really wasn't, it was basically talking about events which had happened but she hasn't been involved in (in fact, which her yeargrop hadn't been involved in).
There's people like that in all walks of life. Some are teachers, some are parents (although, as there are more parents than teachers, presumably more parents will be like that on the day?). And however much you hint, some people will never get it.
Anyway, now you have told our profession so wonderfully and succinctly how to do our job, please tell us what your career is so we can offer our well trained expertise on how to do it........... Even better, see if you can answer a few emails and do a parents evening after a 5am start with no time for breaks or a lunch and see if you need the gin more or less than you do now ;) oh and if you don't run to time I'll have some marvellous tips waiting for you ;)
Our DD's primary school changed the system after lots of complaints about parent's evenings running late.
One day each month is parent's evenings from 3.15-6.30pm. You can book up to two fifteen minute slots per child per year. We get given the dates for each class in a newsletter at the start of each term.
It works brilliantly - enough time for everyone to say what they need to and the time allocations no longer over run.
Mind you DD is at a smallish primary school - we still have to endure the utter chaos that is secondary school parent's evenings for DS.
I don't get to go to see my son's teacher for his parents' evening tomorrow (he is year 2) because I have the parents of 30 year nines to see instead at my school. sad
Oh my smiley didn't work. Sod it.
What snargaliff said.
Parents: when you write an email to us please bear in mind we teach all day (I see 300 kids a week not just your one), run clubs every lunchtime and after school, have meeting and marking to do, endless emails from colleagues and admin tasks to do. I may take more than a day or so to get to your email.
Our teachers put a timer on the smart board thing so the time is there being counted down on a great big screen right behind the teacher, and right in front of the parents.
It amazes me that so many parents are so rude and selfish that this is necessary, and I'm usually the pushy parent elbowing others out of the way to get a good view at school shows and the like!
You need a trap door operated by a foot pedal. Or maybe an ejector seat if they don't take the hint.
Last parent's evening we basically had to escape our "strict 3 minute slot" with the SENCO by backing down the stairs as she followed us, talking about South African golfers. We are not South African and do not play golf. Neither does she. Most odd.
Last year my mate tapped an overtsaying parent on the shoulder and asked him to move along . The teacher thanked her .
Here's my tip for parents having got to the other side - don't bother to go. If there is anything that a teacher can tell you about your child in the 5 mins allocated that you don't already know, you're not doing your job properly and your time would be better spent with your DC.
IME teachers have little or no idea which child they are talking about and do not much more than read a list of results off a spreadsheet while having a random stab at the memory bank along the lines of "he's a redhead right?"
Oh and to the parent who deliberately books the last flipping slot at the end of a very long evening... Who then thinks its ok to ask every question possible about PFB's progress because there are no other parents waiting. We know your game.
OP, in all seriousness, do you really think the teacher actually wants to be there longer than need be. I have always found that it is the parents with the appointments between 4 and 5pm who cause the backlog. They are usually late because they have taken PFB home first, or they couldn't get out of work as early as planned. All it takes is one or two to be running late and it's bedlam.
Our primary school has a brilliant system. We wait in the library till it's our allocated time. A minute before that a year 6 helper enters the hall and tells the teacher that their time is nearly up. They then send us in regardless of whether the last parent has gone or not and we're told to hover because the other parent will be leaving 'any minute now'
It doesn't always work and I've had to hover a couple of times which can be a bit awkward but at least the parent knows that they are taking up someone else's time. It did annoy me once though when I got in nearly 10 mins late to see the teacher and 2 mins later the year 6 child gave us our warning that our time was nearly up
... what's the point???
I'd be hopeless <as a teacher> ... I'd be there gabbing all night, to the first set of (nice) parents
A timer would not be appropriate. Fellow teachers have a 'please knock when it's your appointment time' on the door in order to keep to time. If I do keep to time it's just by coincidence!
Geography actually looked like he was enjoying his 25 minute chat. smiling and everything.
English was not happy to be kept waiting.
And I was so mbarrased to be so late for Biology that it was a quick 'any problems, no. ok then. bye.'
As we have no appointments, nobody knows if parents are going to come or not, so as the night slows down you get packs of tired teachers stalking the hall, pouncing on parents as they arrive, in the hopes of getting out of there a bit quicker. There was almost a fight once as someone tried to push in front of a colleague. Then at 9pm the caretaker starts removing the desks as you try to extricate yourself from the parent who is still talking. One walked me to my car once, still talking. It is like some kind of psychology experiment.
I have this ready to go on my PC for talkative parents, I press play when they overstay their welcome
I get so stressed about going over time that I only talk to the teachers for about 2 mins
- all fine... Thanks
I'd love to spend half an hour with each one, but they are busy people and there are other parents with more pressing needs.
All the teachers (except science) can condense really great info, particularly leading up to option choices, into a few sentences. (ie geography ... She's perfectly capable, but if she's not interested, don't bother)
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