How to get the most out of parent teacher consultations

(10 Posts)
Narnia72 Thu 15-Oct-15 10:10:04

Last year I was really frustrated with the first set of parent teacher consultations. Both teachers basically said "she's doing fine" for both daughters. i felt fobbed off, and that it was a generic chat that could have applied to most of the kids in both classes.

I have things that I want to discuss specifically this time, but how do you get the most out of your 10 mins without alienating the teacher? What gets them to open up and share? I want a positive meeting, but I feel both girls are fairly invisible in their classes. They are academically able but not outstanding, and well behaved. I really feel that the teachers think "oh they're fine" and move onto the more challenging children in the class. Any tips?

knickernicker Thu 15-Oct-15 10:19:41

Ask to see some of their work.
Ask what levels they're working at for literacy and Maths.
Ask if there are areas they can improve in

catkind Thu 15-Oct-15 11:46:40

Take a list of questions you want to ask. I'm rubbish at remembering in the heat of the moment.
What are you working on with ... reading/writing/maths?
What can we do to help her with ... ?
What are her targets for ... ?
I often go with the child's point of view (though that's partly because I can be darn sure DS won't have communicated it himself!). She seems to be finding writing hard, how's she getting on? What can we do to help her? She says the reading books are very easy, how is her reading in school?

ScentedJasmine Thu 15-Oct-15 12:08:22

Can be frustrating.
Came out of 2 x consultations recently actually feeling none the wiser!

SheHasAWildHeart Thu 15-Oct-15 12:34:39

I find you have to ask very specific questions to get anything useful.

At the end of Year 2 DD report card said she was 'on target' or 'above target' for every subject. Yesterday I was told DD was lovely, polite, great to teach and falling short of her targets :/ So I asked very specific questions about spelling, reading, maths to try and get some sense of what is going on. What extra support she was getting to get her on target, what I could do to support her at home.

G1veMeStrength Thu 15-Oct-15 12:40:33

TBH I think it is down to the teacher a lot of the time.

DS' teacher last year: just like you describe. Utterly vague.

DS' teacher this year: Nice to meet you. I've noticed DS is very good at x and he did well discussing y, had to have a word with him about z. I raised the point about him being a bit invisible in past years, but not wanting to be a 'show off' and the teacher said they make sure they 'prod' him if needed and will be conscious about him being recognised. etc

I think at this stage of the year you can flag up 'previous issues' without it looking like you are criticising their current teacher which is helpful. Gets harder later in the year!

Good luck.

Narnia72 Thu 15-Oct-15 14:08:07

Thanks all. Some really useful ideas there. I'm going to draw up a list of questions and ask them both if there's anything I want them to ask. Do you think there is any worth in asking how they are relating to the national average? They don't stream in he older years, but allow them to pick their level from 3 for each task. Tbh I can see that eldest will go for the easy life and not challenge herself. She has always, historically, been in top sets, but I felt she was slipping towards the end of last year and want to ensure she doesn't slip further.

I will report back and let you know how I got on!

mrz Thu 15-Oct-15 20:51:05

If you have specific points to discuss ask to make a separate appointment at a different time when the teacher will have time to talk.

PrincessHairyMclary Fri 16-Oct-15 00:50:32

I'd be happy with the generic answers opposed to the ones I've gotten this year.

Last year in Reception I got, bright but not an independent learner just floats around the classroom, sampling things and not getting stuck in.

This year I got: excellent reader but poor attitude to learning! Apparently she doesn't mess about or distract anyone she just doesn't do the work until prompted that she'll lose her break, and then she does it with no problems. I'm not entirely sure what They want me to do with a day dreaming 6 year old.

LittleFishBigOcean Fri 16-Oct-15 07:07:26

For lots of teachers, this first parents' evening is about chatting with parents about how the children have settled into the new school year. Are there any issues that parents haven't had time to bring up? Are they coping with the work/routines/new children in class/expectations.

Most teachers won't have done formal assessments of children by this time, that will happen closer to Christmas, although obviously teachers are assessing day to day what your child can do and following up on this.

By the next meeting, which usually takes place around February time, I always have detailed assessments and targets.

Autumn term meetings can seem a bit vague if your child is no issues and has settled fine, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

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