Teachers! I have an excellent parents' evening tip for you.

(157 Posts)
OoozingCervix Wed 23-Oct-13 19:45:10

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.

IANBU.

SummerRain Wed 23-Oct-13 20:32:22

I got one slot with a teacher who has two of my kids yesterday. Thankfully she's not one to be held to a schedule and didn't cut off after our 'allocated time'. It didn't affect anyone anyway as I'd gone in early as the previous parent had wandered off so she brought me in early... Technically it was the other parent who held up everyone after me wink

I think the problem is that 10-15 minutes just isn't long enough in the first place

ilovesooty Wed 23-Oct-13 20:34:01

IME teachers have little or no idea which child they are talking about

In 23 years of teaching I never failed to know who I was talking about. I would imagine your experience is unusual.

Teachers! THANK YOU. You do an amazing job. My children are thriving thanks to you. I appreciate all the work you put into their learning. You're ace. Thank you again.

Apologies for the hijack. As you were.

chocoluvva Wed 23-Oct-13 20:38:59

I sometimes wonder why so many parents go to see all the subject teachers when there's clearly no problem.

Ragwort Wed 23-Oct-13 20:39:41

One of the teachers at my son's parent evening had to have a file of photographs to look at so you could point out your own child grin - he then gave me and all my friends exactly the same comments about our children grin.

VikingVagine Wed 23-Oct-13 20:41:17

Our music teacher for example has every single pupil in the school (600 kids), I can understand her not remembering every single one of them (not my case; I only have 100, by October I know them all pretty well).

parkin2010 Wed 23-Oct-13 20:42:02

Outrageous THANK YOU

stillenacht Wed 23-Oct-13 20:45:19

Yup Vikingvagine that's like me!

Ragwort I have pictures too and would prob say the same thing to many parents if (a) your child wasn't overly musical, or, (b) your child wasn't overly disruptive.

viewwitharoom Wed 23-Oct-13 20:45:27

Here's a tip for you lovely parents. Please do not turn up pissed or stoned to parents evening then talk about your marriage breakdown with me, in front of your child. That usually takes longer than 5 minutes. Thank you

I agree choco-no need to go and see every single teacher. Some parents insist on doing it. confused

At First School the teachers would just stand up when they had finished even if you were mid sentence. One said about 5 minutes into a ten minute slot 'Well moving on.....' I thought we would talk about Numeracy next but no-we were moving on out. That was the teacher that said DS2 was trying too hard to be her friend. sad

stillenacht Wed 23-Oct-13 20:48:37

Oh yes viewwitharoom I know that scenarioshock

In previous school I had two male colleagues shielding me either side because a parent had been overheard saying something threatening about me. I was 7 months pg at the time- parent was pissed off I was having DS and going on mat leave during his DC's gcses.

Hulababy Wed 23-Oct-13 20:48:42

If I am honest...secondary school teaching

GCSE/A level students - knew well
Form - knew well
When I taught jut one class of the year group - knew reasonably ok and enough to talk about individual progress
When I taught every single Y7 and parent's evening was before Christmas - knew very little! Unless the were extreme ends of ability spectrum or poor behaviour I had to keep it quite vague. I used to make notes about individuals in the run up to parents evening to get it right.

I always used photographs as a visual aid to match name and photo. When you teach 300 children a week sometimes a jog for the memory is handy. I wrote notes next to each too, though not on display for all parents to read.

I'm on the other end now for DD, just started Y7. Had a parents evening last night but was only with form teacher. Was shortest meeting ever known!

Secondary School Parents' Evenings are really stressful. For everyone I think.

Primary parents evenings tend to go without too many major problems, but once you hit the comp... oh, boy! It took 3 years (!!) before we managed to get an appointment with DDs science teacher. We assumed (reasonable assumption?) that if there was an issue she would contact us? Wrong! angry after teaching my DD for 3 years! she commented that DD was NOT suitable for the triple science GCSE course, despite DD being flagged as an exceptional science student in yr 7 and being a "high flyer" in EVERY other subject. I was not impressed. (anyway, that's another thread)
Time keeping when you are trying to fit in as many core subjects as possible is a nightmare, even with leaving a 10 minute gap between appointments and having 2 parents present so you can separate when necessary doesn't serve the purpose!

Hassled Wed 23-Oct-13 20:57:44

I don't blame the teachers - must be really quite awkward to say "well it's been lovely chatting about Little Jimmy but I must get on".

I blame the parents who think it's completely acceptable to use what they know to be a 10 minute slot as an opportunity to have a half-hour rant-fest. I've been ready to kill them before now.

First parent evening last year for yr 7 DS was interesting. Meet the tutor, no other teachers. Phone call from school,
Form tutor -"dear Mrs Just, I notice that you haven't made an appointment for our parents evening tomorrow, I have a slot if you can make it"
Me - "Oh, right, ok we'll be there"

Next evening, after a 1/2 wait because they were running late
Tutor - "Little Just seems quite happy, we have no concerns, do you have any?"
Me "I don't think so, he seems happy"
Tutor "Bye then"
Now, why, oh why couldn't they have said that on the phone???

3bunnies Wed 23-Oct-13 20:59:12

NipNaps don't you think that maybe the ones which you don't want to bollock or gush over are the ones who's children might be slightly overlooked? Dd2 is almost never picked for rewards etc - she's not good enough to gush over but not bad enough to bollock. We don't get loads of positive feedback winning house points for every smile, but we're never called up to school to deal with fighting or being nasty. The only feedback we get other than from dd is two parents evenings and a report. Those who you gush over know their child is doing well because their child gets loads of praise/rewards/good marks, those who you want to bollock know their child is getting into trouble. Parents evening is for everyone in between too.

KingscoteStaff Wed 23-Oct-13 21:04:00

I tried 'Well, it's been great to talk to you!'
I tried 'Why don't you take Little Johnny's books outside and have a really good look at them.'
I tried standing up.
I tried walking to the door and opening it.
I tried ushering the next set of parents in...

Oh and YES about the parents who sign up for the final slot and go on for hours - I was rescued by the caretaker on Tuesday...

ThePuffyShirt Wed 23-Oct-13 21:08:13

God I hate parents' evening and the poor teachers! They always look knackered by the end.

We get one hour to see them all (they allocate hours to alphabetical groups). In reality, this is impossible. I stay for as long as I need to to see every teacher. I don't do more than a few minutes each though.

EastofEast Wed 23-Oct-13 21:13:38

I spend Parents evening circling the school every 15min, making myself visible at glass doors behind parents. Slightly widened eyes mean 'come in' and I pretend to offer tea/ coffee enter, assess and assist! I have interrupted threats, asking teachers on dates, impromptu marriage guidance, custody disputes and the legalities of sharing information, careers advice and all manner of inanae and unrelated chit chat. The ones who talk about the kids are mostly brief...

englishteacher78 Wed 23-Oct-13 21:15:31

I usually run to schedule. For the first 10 appointments and then the art effect kicks in. We are meant to have 5 minute appointments - they often speak to students for about 1/2 hour.

marriedinwhiteisback Wed 23-Oct-13 21:18:21

What really used to get on my nerves was the newsletter "we really need some parents to volunteer to make tea for the teachers on parents' evening because they have been working all day". Umm, what do the PTA and many of the staff think many of the parents have been doing all day?

We get one opportunity to talk to teachers about the progress of our children every year. We donate, we make, we bake and many of us do full time jobs as well. Every week there is a request for something else to be donated and it gets donated even though we might stay up until 1am making it.

The beauty of indy schools is that at least they give you a cup of tea when you get there to wait in line for the allocated appointments and they are still only five minutes. Wouldn't it be an idea if a couple of TAs or dinner ladies were paid a couple of hours overtime to make tea for everyone and charge parents a £1. I'm sure it would pay their overtime, raise money and extend a little understanding to very hard pressed parents too.

Coldlightofday Wed 23-Oct-13 21:18:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

innoparticularorder Wed 23-Oct-13 21:22:00

We had the stop watch projected on the big screen with the bell going off every 5 mins. It worked a treat but we had to tell DD not to book all appointments in consecutive slots as trying to get from one end of the hall to the other at the same time as another 100 parents & students wasn't a pretty sight.

Goldenbear Wed 23-Oct-13 21:25:54

Well I agree about it not being enough time to really get much out of it. We have a 10 minute slot tomorrow for DS but my DP is going to it as she is an awful teacher and I can't see the point in me arranging a babysitter to listen to her insincere observations! She is so unprofessional that she told one parent to 'stop moaning' in her parent consultation.

Incidentally, we have chosen the last slot at 7.10 but not because we want to discuss anything in depth with her or that we are sneeky, it's just the earliest DP can return for, taking into account his commute. 7.10 is actually pushing it as he is often still working every night at that time and often later, returning at 9. It is therefore sometimes not sneeky just that people work!

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