Do teachers always want parents to take up Parents Evening slots?

(20 Posts)
sleeponeday Sat 16-Jan-16 13:34:33

DS is autistic, and we have regular meetings to discuss his arrangements and progress. He's very bright academically and masks well, so school don't see a lot if problems (home is another story, tbh). Because the school already give him a lot of extra time, and I already know how he's doing, I actively refuse parents' evenings, as it seems a way I can try to lessen the staff's workload. But someone has told me that this is rude; the staff will see it as my not being bothered to make the effort, when they make an extra effort for my child all the time. I should stress that I come to class assemblies and class parties, which is when we see their work - parents' evenings are solely about talking through the child's progress with teachers, and the way I see it, my being there would just add yet another 15 minutes to their already very long evening.

As a teacher, would you appreciate that, or would you think I was ungrateful in only taking up specific meetings about the My Plan arrangements, and not bothering with the more mundane parent feedback stuff?

ThenLaterWhenItGotDark Sat 16-Jan-16 13:38:23

I disagree with what others say in your case.

I do expect parents to come to the meetings if they haven't already been and spoken to me at other times (I am not in the UK and at my school each teacher has 2 hours a month during lesson time when any parent can come in, often those parents who can get in the morning then don't come and queue at the parents' evening for the reasons you said.

stargirl1701 Sat 16-Jan-16 13:42:38

In your case, it's fine. We meet with parents whose children have additional needs frequently.

It's the parents whose children are struggling that never engage with school that are the problem.

mrz Sat 16-Jan-16 13:42:50

As a teacher i would appreciate a parent who recognises that I haven't got much/anything to add since we only talked the previous week as it gives me more time to focus on those parents I rarely see. Thank you!

cariadlet Sat 16-Jan-16 13:49:20

I do want to meet parents that I don't talk to regularly, but it's pointless seeing a parent at Parents Evening if we already have regular talks about their child's progress.

I find it hard to stick to 10 minutes as often both the parents and myself have a lot to say. This means I can overrun. If a few parents don't make appointments it gives me a chance to catch up and - if I'm really lucky - grab a quick toilet break!

BelindaBagwash Sat 16-Jan-16 13:54:48

I wouldn't mind, as long as you'd let me know you weren't coming. Our school has a ridiculous policy of sending out appointments to parents -
a) whether they want one or not
b) after school or evening - regardless of whether they can manage or not.

They then spend the following week moaning about the amount of appointments they've had to change to accommodate awkward parents.

TheTroubleWithAngels Sat 16-Jan-16 14:34:15

In your case, I would use Parent's Night as ten minutes to be really positive and go through all of your child's work and (fingers crossed!) show progress. We don't invite parents in to assembly or class parties though.

So, yes, I'd like you to come. You sound a very considerate parent though.

AnotherCider Sat 16-Jan-16 14:47:30

I don't know, but as a parent who met with teachers frequently about various issues i still found the parent teacher evenings quite helpful. When meeting during the week the discussions were frequently single issue focussed, and soley about DS in areas of concern. Whereas the assessments put together for the parent teacher evening seemed to give me a better idea of where he was placed within the whole of he academic sphere, in subjects or areas where he didn't particularly have any issues, etc. Seeing the result of a tick box exercise can be quite enlightening sometimes, it throws out interesting information.

WhoKn0wsWhereTheMistletoes Sat 16-Jan-16 15:43:59

I used to make a point of always going for DS (now at secondary school, was on SEN register throughout primary and statemented in year 6). Partly because as Cider said, other meetings were normally about specific issues, SALT, OT, social skills interventions etc. It was good to just have a general overview of the academic stuff at parents evening. Plus there was the fear of the HT marking me down as a parent who didn't fully support her child's education (despite me being on PTA, helping in class, attending every assembly etc and never, ever taking my child out of school for anything except illness/SN appointments).

MrsKCastle Sun 17-Jan-16 11:27:52

As a teacher, I don't particularly expect to see parents at parents evening that I'm in regular contact with anyway. It's not really useful if you already know exactly how your child is doing. (Although of course I am always happy to see a parent who wants to meet).

As a parent, I missed my DD's last parents evening for exactly the reason you describe - I had seen the teachers recently and didn't feel I had anything else to discuss. But I did write a note saying I'd be happy to come in if he wanted to see me. He didn't send me an appointment slip, so I think he was more than happy to have one less parent to fit in!

cece Sun 17-Jan-16 11:32:15

My DS2 has SEN and I attend quite a lot of meetings about this at school. However, I also go to parents evening as we talk about different things eg. not his SEN, but the good stuff.

catkind Sun 17-Jan-16 13:05:03

Our school has a particular attainments/goals sheet that gets filled in and signed at parents' evening, so I guess they'd want to try to see us about that at some other point if not the actual parents' evening for box-ticking purposes. Why don't you just ask the teacher next time you have a regular update if there's any need to take up a slot?

Lolo88 Sun 17-Jan-16 17:45:22

If I see a parent regularly anyway, I don't see the need for them to come to parents evening. Of course, if they want to, then they are welcome to. I find that it's usually parents that I really need to see that don't make an appointment.
The one thing I will say to any parent is - please, please, please if you realise that you cant make an appointment after all, just let the teacher know, especially if yours is a later appointment. There is nothing worse than reaching 6.45 and your last 3 appointments don't bother showing up.

Sirzy Sun 17-Jan-16 17:47:23

Ds is autistic so we have lots of meetings in school, I like parents evening though as its a different tone and a chance to look through his work and things which I don't normally get at the meetings unless its work being used as some sort of evidence.

sleeponeday Sun 17-Jan-16 20:12:07

I never make an appointment, and I always collar the teacher at pickup the week before PE to say I am not making one as I have seen them recently anyway. But tbh, the comments about focusing on the academic side have rather hit home. I don't worry about that side at all as he does fine there, and we focus on the emotional support instead. So actually at least sometimes I think they may be of use.

Thank you very much for all your comments - they've been really helpful.

MidniteScribbler Mon 18-Jan-16 02:00:06

Our parents evening are student led, so it's important for the parents to attend as the students use it to show their parents their work, set goals, and discuss various items and acts as an open night. Anything that is important enough to be discussed away from the student should have well and truly been dealt with before getting to parent/teacher interview stage.

BackforGood Mon 18-Jan-16 19:28:11

Another who would be appreciative of your not coming, as you've recently met with me.... might give me chance to go for a wee smile

orangepudding Mon 18-Jan-16 22:20:37

I didn't go to my 7 year old sons last parents evening as I had an EHCP review the same week which the class teacher also attended. It really depends what I have spoken to the teacher about as generally our conversations are about his emotional state rather than how he is progressing academically.

Pocketrocket31 Mon 18-Jan-16 22:39:28

sleeponeday
Just wondering what extra help you child gets, sorry if u think I'm being nosey but my son is 9, autistic & bright. But also masking and home life is unreal at the mo. His school are refusing any extra as they say he's average academicly. Again sorry if it's a bit personal but rarely get a chance to chat to some1 in a similar situation

sleeponeday Tue 19-Jan-16 01:54:15

No, not at all. Have PM'd you. x

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