Parents would you feel if..

(131 Posts)
seeker Thu 25-Apr-13 08:59:54 of your child's key teachers said they couldn't attend parent's evening at all because it clashed with their own child's parents evening at another school?

isitsnowingyet Thu 25-Apr-13 09:03:14

I'd feel 'that's bad luck - hey ho'

lovelilies Thu 25-Apr-13 09:04:52

You could arrange to meet with them another time surely? I understand why they want to go to their own child's one....

tiggytape Thu 25-Apr-13 09:07:56

As long as they made arrangements to phone / email any parents who wanted to speak with them, then I wouldn't mind. If they refused any sort of consultation at all (I am sure they wouldn't) then I would not be happy.

iseenodust Thu 25-Apr-13 09:14:02

I'd be fine about it. If I really needed to speak with that teacher I'd book a phone call or ask for a 10 min appt before/after school one day otherwise I'd just go by what the other teachers tell me on the night.

I'd suggest to the school (rather than the individual teacher) that maybe they could plan the evenings alongside other local schools to not clash.

I wouldn't be cross with the teacher though, they've had to make a choice and might have very good reasons for wanting to attend their own child's parents evening.

jennybeadle Thu 25-Apr-13 09:19:22

Exactly as tiggytape says.

Actually DD1's school is moving away from formal parents nights towards more ad hoc contact. It's a massive change for us parents, but makes a lot of sense, because anything which needs attention can theoretically be attended to much more quickly. We're also supposed to get more regular "tracking" reports though to fit with that, and that's not working properly yet, so I suppose it's still not perfect.

lainiekazan Thu 25-Apr-13 09:19:40

If it were year 7 or 8, I'd let it go. Later years the teacher should attend the parents' evening and sacrifice that of their own dc. In year 9 parents want to discuss GCSE options and of course in years 10 and 11 it's grey hair time.

As it is, I'm sure they would meet you/have a telephone conversation at another time if you wish. If they try to sidestep that, I'd e-mail the HoD.

Ragwort Thu 25-Apr-13 09:25:03

I would expect the Teacher to make separate arrangements with her/his own child's school - surely that would be the professional thing to do? Otherwise 30 sets of parents are inconvenienced rather than one? (or have I misunderstood this? confused).

My DH occasionally has to miss parents' evenings becuase of his work - he can't say to his boss 'I refuse to do X becuase I've got a parents' evening I want to attend' - surely that's the same argument?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 25-Apr-13 09:25:05

Definitely the year of the child makes a difference, as lainiekazan says - to be honest, I probably would think it a bit rum that at the same time, a parents' evening was being implied to be so important as to be unmissable in the case of the teacher's child, but so unimportant as to be easily caught up through alternative methods when it comes to everyone else's child, I think. I'd like to say I'd be cool with it and be understanding, but I probably would raise eyebrows a bit.

It's unfortunate that the exact same function is the reason for the teacher to miss this function, I suppose. Although I'm quite surprised they have given a reason: it might have been more sensible to say 'unfortunately Ms M will not be available but....'.

seeker Thu 25-Apr-13 09:37:49

It's year 7. According to DS, on the day they were all supposed to make appointments, Miss X came in and said "please could you tell your parents that I can't be at parents evening, I will be at my daughter's parent's evening"

Just thought it was a bit strange. Apart from anything else, there are only two year 7 teachers in her subject, so she must teach about 80 of them. Even if only 15 of the parents want to see her, won't it be much more of a pain in the neck arranging that than arranging to see her child's teachers another day?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 25-Apr-13 09:39:45

It does seem strange - perhaps there's a reason she particularly needs to be at dd's parents' evening this time or something?

seeker Thu 25-Apr-13 09:41:41

Oh well. At least it means I getnoutnof the cattle market 10 minutes earlier!

<hate parents' evenings!>

Hullygully Thu 25-Apr-13 09:43:20

I do my parents' evenings by email, so much more peaceful.

crazymum53 Thu 25-Apr-13 09:46:19

At dds school if key teachers are unable to attend, the parents are given the school email addresses and asked to contact the teachers for feedback.
Have just had Parents evening this week (Y8) and am aware that most teachers do make an effort to attend. Some teachers at secondary are part-time and the parents evening may be on a day they don't usually work - could this be the case with this teacher?

seeker Thu 25-Apr-13 09:46:25

I've tried that. The bloody teachers then ring me - parents' evening over the phone is even worse than the cattle market. And no chance for any upside down reading while you chat......

Yellowtip Thu 25-Apr-13 09:49:03

I'd be completely relaxed about it. It's only Y7!

Hullygully Thu 25-Apr-13 09:50:04

seeker, you want too much

seeker Thu 25-Apr-13 09:54:03

It's only twice a year I get to use my stealth upside down reading skills- honed to perfection in the Civll Service in the old days when politicians actually paid attention to their civil servants....

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 25-Apr-13 09:55:45

Host a sleepover on Friday straight from school and extract all the planners from school bags instead. Or better yet, wait for report day.... wink

Yellowtip Thu 25-Apr-13 09:56:04

What are you trying to read: other kids' marks?

seeker Thu 25-Apr-13 09:58:22

" Or better yet, wait for report day"

What, and steam them open? That's a good idea.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 25-Apr-13 09:59:29

(I was only joking there by the way! --haven't looked in another child's planner since 2001--)

When the list is there, all tantalizing on the other side of the table at parents' evening, it's difficult not to let your eyes drift a bit though!

Hullygully Thu 25-Apr-13 10:00:33

They all say the same thing, they are computer generated, they just change the kids' names (when they remember) and they aren't allowed to say negative stuff unless the child has killed a few people with an axe when they might get called "over excited"

Hullygully Thu 25-Apr-13 10:00:52

What list?

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 25-Apr-13 10:03:04

Lists of most recent exam performances/NC levels!

Agree some reports can be generic (X has been studying The WOrld Around Us in geography and has improved her knowledge of key terms and definitions: she will need to revise these thoroughly for the exams), though not all IME.

Hullygully Thu 25-Apr-13 10:04:11

Re list, do you mean your dc compared to peers? Don't the teachers tell you?

orangeandlemons Thu 25-Apr-13 10:07:24

We're not allowed to go to our child's parents evening if it clashes with one that we have to do. It's part of directed time, am surprised that the teacher in the op is allowed to do this tbh

seeker Thu 25-Apr-13 10:09:40

Of course not, hully. These are state schools we're talking about. Nobody is allowed to be better than anyone else in state schools-it's a one size fits all education, after all.

landofsoapandglory Thu 25-Apr-13 10:09:42

I wouldn't be bothered about the teacher not being able to be there of mY DC was in YR7, TBH. I probably wouldn't even follow it up!

Hully she's reading the list to see the other DC's marks/grades!hmm Our school cover them up to prevent nosy parkers doing that.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 25-Apr-13 10:11:08

I should say a bit more clearly that I'm not really advocating sneaking around, and nor am I consumed by the desire to know how every other child is doing, honest blush

I will 'fess up to looking in a planner when an anxious parent of PFB in reception year, when I was desperate for dd to be given the books with actual words in them - but I've grown up (a bit) since then.

Yes, IME teachers will sometimes say 'that's a great mark and I don't think anyone else got it' or 'she's definitely in the top/middle/lower third of the set' or something.

But a huge list with lots of names and numbers on a few inches away from you can be a bit tempting to allow your eyes casually to sweep across blush

seeker Thu 25-Apr-13 10:13:54

It's all right, TOSN- I don't think anyone is taking this seriously (I hope).

seeker Thu 25-Apr-13 10:14:52

But if I'm wrong, I am sure we will find out on some thread in the future....

Hullygully Thu 25-Apr-13 10:19:21

mine are at a state school and they tell us where they are in the class...

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 25-Apr-13 10:23:15

Ah, we get it more through tactful hints and inference at ours - though of course the pupils always know pretty much where they are anyway, just as they know darn well at primary whether the yellow or the blue table is 'top table'!

Hullygully Thu 25-Apr-13 10:23:43


JenaiMorris Thu 25-Apr-13 10:34:06

My upside down reading skills just confirmed that everyone in Y7 ds's year is working at L7 in everything. All of them. In everything.

I've learnt my lesson.

I don't think I'd be too bothered seeker - just email them. You'll probably get more out of them that way (although I did enjoy having ds sat between dp and I whilst teachers spilled the beans - was fun watching him squir grin )

JenaiMorris Thu 25-Apr-13 10:34:41

squirm that is.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 25-Apr-13 10:51:19

Well my y7 isn't level 7 in anything, if that helps! grin

seeker Thu 25-Apr-13 10:56:22

Neither is mine. But I can tell you how many of his peers are after next Wednesday, if you like! grin

(Except in Spanish, obviously- because the teacher won't be there.......)

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 25-Apr-13 10:57:23

Our parents' evening isn't until June, so I remain on tenterhooks!

JenaiMorris Thu 25-Apr-13 11:11:52

This is what the lists look like, only you'll have to stand on your head to get the full effect:

Cuthbert Smith 7c
Cassandra Albright 7b
Desdemona Potemkin 5c
Jenai Junior 4b
Darius Poulet 3a
Didier Constantinople 4a
Persephone Corbid 7c
Carolina Pumpernickel 4a
Gallactica Horseradish-Smith 7b

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 25-Apr-13 11:13:31

Imagining the baby names thread now: what do you wise MNers think of Gallactica, nn Ticky? Would be a sister for Elastica, nn Tacky?

sandyballs Thu 25-Apr-13 11:21:50

Level 7 in everything in Year 7!! Bloody hell, what sort of school is that?

Surely Year 7 parents evening is quite important as it's the first one and a chance to meet teachers and iron out any problems. Or am I being naive? It's my first one tonight, apparently you get a 5 min slot and then a bell ring and even if you're mid conversation about something really important you have to move on.

I haven't got appointments with all mine as some teachers were over booked.

I'm just curious to know why DD's written report was glowing about "a child who has settled in really well and is an asset to the school", yet she has accumulated 24 detentions since start of Sept. Do you think they've muddled it up with someone else?

Hullygully Thu 25-Apr-13 11:33:30

It'll be that computer sandy

I am just so pleased I don't know anything about stupid levels.

JenaiMorris Thu 25-Apr-13 12:01:24

It is possible that I overstated the number of L7s.

They just kind of leap off of the page.

I probably should have changed the names in that list though. I'll report my post to MN and ask them to delete it.

Iamnotminterested Thu 25-Apr-13 12:14:03

Seeker - you and I share a lot of views (and worries and niggles too) but had to come on to say that my DH is a HT in a different secondary school in a different area to DD's and we had her first parents evening this week; it happened to clash with a year 7 parents evening at his school but he came to DD's, it wasn't an issue and if a parent had wanted to talk to him he can be contacted by phone or e-mail. Plus I would have broken his legs if he hadn't come to his own daughter's first one.

Iamnotminterested Thu 25-Apr-13 12:15:16

L7's by the way!! Jeez, I thought dd was doing well with her couple of 6's and lots of 5's!

JenaiMorris Thu 25-Apr-13 12:17:42

Also they might have been target grades.

Upsidedown reading of class lists is dangerous.

There are a few L7s in maths though, I do know that. And a couple of teachers mentioned that this was a particulalry bright class (they're still taught in their tutor groups - don't get set until Y8).

Iamnotminterested Thu 25-Apr-13 12:23:12

L7 in maths isn't that daft, is it? What about other subjects?

seeker Thu 25-Apr-13 12:30:48

Ismnotinterested- I'm not bothered, just a bit surprised. I've had to do a lot of parents' evenings alone because do just couldn't get away from work. And, actually more importantly, I just cannot imagine what it must be like to try to make arrangements to speak to a lot of parents not on an organised evening!

Yellowtip Thu 25-Apr-13 13:13:53

seeker you said this was a key teacher! How is the Y7 Spanish teacher in a Kent school in any way a 'key teacher?

seeker Thu 25-Apr-13 13:22:30

Isn't it? I think MFL are very important. Don't you?

seeker Thu 25-Apr-13 13:23:16

Why would it be different for Kent? hmm

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 25-Apr-13 13:26:50

Dh is a teacher. If events clash he has to miss our children's ones. However his school were good enough to allow him a morning off to go to a meeting to discuss difficulties/possible SEN ds was/is having.

Yellowtip Thu 25-Apr-13 14:20:30

It's a real stretch to call a Spanish teacher in Y7 'key'. Maths, English, Science and Form tutor are probably key (even though I've never booked in with the form tutors I have to say - I assume they'll let me know if there's a problem).

seeker Thu 25-Apr-13 14:45:12


Depends on how much importance you attach to MFL.

Frankly I think the whole parents' evening thing is a charade- but if I am going to do it, in year 7 I particularly want to speak to the people teaching my child subjects they haven't done before.

What was the Kent reference about by the way?

JenaiMorris Thu 25-Apr-13 15:42:42

confused I think MFL is pretty key.

Actually I think they're all important.

If a child is doing well and enjoying a subject, even if it isn't one of the "important" ones, then hopefully it can spur them on to do better in the rest.

bella65 Thu 25-Apr-13 16:02:48

seeker- you are over-reacting.

As a teacher, I can tell you that most parents' evenings are a waste of time- the ones you need to see don't turn up and the rest well- there is little to say usually.

I work on the basis that if there is a problem with a child then a caring parent would have a handle on it anyway- surely you look at your child's exercise book and see the grades and quality of their work?

Assuming the answer to that is a 'yes' then you should be proactive and contact the school if you are worried. You don't have to wait for a parents' night to discuss progress- and you can usually assume that no news is good news.

Spanish is not a key subject- these are English, maths and science. MFL are not compulsory and many pupils drop them as soon as they can.

seeker Thu 25-Apr-13 16:17:59

Over reacting? in what way and where? I don't think I've actually "reacted" at all. Unless asking a question is "over reacting"!

And I find a teacher saying that MFL is not key because it's not compulsory and many kids drop is as soon as possible deeply depressing, to be honest. I spend a lot of time and effort both onhere and in real life defending state schools and state school teachers- that attitude does not help!

JenaiMorris Thu 25-Apr-13 16:20:36

MFL and ICT are the only subjects ds is doing well in right now.

I'm really glad we saw both teachers as otherwise we wouldn't have known and ds wouldn't have got the ringing endorsment (all the rest were less than great - other than art where although he's not talented or anything, he's made very, very good progress).

Isn't year 7 the one where they don't actually know which child is which unless, as Hully says, they have killed someone? That's why you have to drag the child along with you.

The reason parents turn up at parents evenings is because of the bland computer generated rubbish that teachers put on reports. If they put one sentence which could show that they had any clue which child they were writing about it would be worth pages of generic flannel. Even if only to say that little Johnny was a pain in the neck.

JenaiMorris I love those names

bella65 Thu 25-Apr-13 16:25:49

sorry seeker but I can't quite see where your comment about defending state schools and state teachers fits into the posts?

The facts are that beyond a certain age MFL can be dropped. If that depresses you so be it. I didn't make the policy.

You ARE over reacting because you feel strongly enough to post on a forum about something which is a teeny teeny event in your child's education- one meeting with his teacher of Spanish, which if you wished you could reschedule at a mutually convenient time.

I dread to think how you may react if anything really important happens!

seeker Thu 25-Apr-13 16:29:32

Did you read any of my other posts on the thread? The ones about parents' evenings generally being a charade? And why I asked the question? Presumably not.

I do find it depressing that children can drop MFL in some schools. But actually, what I find more depressing is a teacher thinking the subject doesn't matter because it's not compulsory.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 25-Apr-13 16:33:47

Well I feel strongly enough to post on a forum about all sorts of teeny teeny events in my children's education, my shopping, my food and my house, among others: I sort of thought that's what mumsnet was!

I think the consensus here was that none of us would sweat this one much, isn't it?

JenaiMorris Thu 25-Apr-13 16:43:42

Indeed Nit. Which isn't to undermine the importance of the <ahem> lesser subjects like MFL.

I agree with seeker that it's pretty depressing for a teacher to only be bothered about "serious" subjects.

secret they are all genuine classmates of ds. Honest.

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 25-Apr-13 16:47:15

And I'm happy to say that none of my children's teachers have ever given the impression they think parents' evenings are 'a waste of time', or that as a 'caring parent' I ought to just know everything anyway! That is quite depressing.

bella65 Thu 25-Apr-13 17:00:22

what funny posts smile Of course teachers don't give the impression to you that parents' evenings are a waste of time. What on earth do you expect? But what they write anon on a forum is another matter entirely.

And seeker- you keep coming on here and posting things I haven't said. I never said that Spanish- or any other subject - didn't matter because it could be dropped. You make incorrect assumptions.

I did say that IMHO you are overreacting which is what several other posters have said upthread- they said they'd simply arrange the meeting at some other time.

Life's really too short to get your knickers in a twist over this- and I think you ought to have posted in the AIBU forum as that appears to be your drift.

seeker Thu 25-Apr-13 17:05:25

This is what you said "Spanish is not a key subject- these are English, maths and science. MFL are not compulsory and many pupils drop them as soon as they can"

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 25-Apr-13 17:08:56

No, Bella, I think that if you wanted to make posts telling people not to get their knickers in a twist etc, then you should go to AIBU, and find someone who is BU! This thread hasn't been ranty or anything approaching it, so don't try to make it something it isn't!

And I really do hope that my childrens' teachers - whatever they do or don't write on forums - don't work on the basis you do, that 'caring parents will have a handle' on everything!

Yellowtip Thu 25-Apr-13 17:29:04

The MFL thing was obviously my fault but in technical terms, Spanish is just not a 'key' subject. I'm all in favour of MFLs (but it would be nice if they could spark up the GCSE syllabus instead of this dreadful thing they've got now) but the fact that I am and others are still doesn't make it 'key'. So the OP was a bit dramatic.

At DS4's Y9 parent's evening three teachers weren't there, including Maths, but I've no doubt she had a good reason. Given the number of parents evenings through the year across all year groups it's hardly surprising that some staff can't make the occasional one. All parents were given the appropriate e-mail addresses and were encouraged to e-mail if they had any concerns. Seemed fine to me.

JenaiMorris Thu 25-Apr-13 17:48:26

One of the things with MFL in Y7 is that for most children, this will be the first time they've studied one in anger.

So as a parent, it's interesting to know how they're doing in comparison with all the others by upsidedown reading.

DS's French teacher was ace btw. He knew ds astonsihingly well, referred to lots of things that had happened in class and gave him the nicest kick up the arse I've ever seen. I luffs him.

lljkk Thu 25-Apr-13 18:04:42

In 3 weeks I'll be having first parent evening for DS in 3 yrs. Will be such a novelty I wouldn't grumble if some teachers aren't there.

bella65 Thu 25-Apr-13 21:05:02

There will always be reasons why teachers can't make it to the parents' evening. Illness, school trips, clashing meetings etc to name a few. It's not the end of the world. As a parent of 2 DCs I've gone to numerous parent nights and there is usually always one teacher who hasn't been able to make it as planned for some reason. It's really not a big deal because if you want to find out how your child is doing then you simply make an appt or email the teacher.

TOSN- I can't understand why you are being so cross really, when I am writing what is in fact the Truth! Most children are doing fine and most parents who look at their child's homework, school work, and talk to them know this and are quite happy. Some children need to have their parents made aware of any problems they are having, but I favour communicating with parents as and when this happens, not waiting for some date on the calendar when they have 5 minutes with a teacher. Equally any parent who is worried should contact the school and talk about their worries and not wait until parents' night.

ShipwreckedAndComatose Thu 25-Apr-13 21:22:54

I thought patent's evenings were part of the directed time set out by the Head.

This reason for missing it would certainly not hold in my school

TheOriginalSteamingNit Thu 25-Apr-13 21:54:15

Well, as long as we are dealing with objective Truth, ok!

seeker Thu 25-Apr-13 22:22:02

Well, if anyone had suggested it was anything approaching the "end of the world" you might have had a point..........grin

Numberlock Thu 25-Apr-13 22:31:17

My DH occasionally has to miss parents' evenings becuase of his work - he can't say to his boss 'I refuse to do X becuase I've got a parents' evening I want to attend' - surely that's the same argument?

Can I ask why he can't politely explain why parents evening comes first once a year? This is what most working mums (have to) do?

BooksandaCuppa Thu 25-Apr-13 22:33:20

I wouldn't have called Spanish a 'key' subject/teacher but only because I would reserve that adjective for English, maths and science.

However, I agree that as MFL are some of the newer subjects a yr7 is encountering, you might actually be more, not less, interested in what the teacher has to say about your child in these subjects.

FWIW, we couldn't see ds's Spanish, history or drama teachers at PCE because they each teach the whole of yr7 but we do get half-termly progress reports and teachers invited us to email them at other times.

(I also do the reading upside down thing so I know the Cats results for those children who share a part of the alphabet with ds...grin - should read more quickly next time...)

JenaiMorris Thu 25-Apr-13 22:34:56

seeker can I utterly hijack your thread a mo?

DS has come home from Scouts with dozens of bruises (some of which are punctured) which he got from younger ones ("otherwise I'd have punched them back").

He sobbed in the bath sad

He got a (tempered) bollocking for leaving his patrol (he isn't patrol leader btw).

JenaiMorris Thu 25-Apr-13 22:35:45

I really ought to start my own thread, sorry blush

seeker Thu 25-Apr-13 22:37:22

Oh, Jenai- how awful. Yes, of course hijack with something important like that! Did he tell you any more about what happened?

JenaiMorris Thu 25-Apr-13 22:51:34

Only that they kicked him again and again, but he couldn't do anything because they're younger.

Poor sod.

I will start my own thread once I've come up with a catchy thread title smile

teacherwith2kids Thu 25-Apr-13 22:53:24


DS left Scouts - after many happy years in Beavers and Cubs - for very similar reasons. Scouts took advantage of weak leadership to thump anyone who wasn't 'one of their gang'. Complained, was told that 'Scouts wasn't like school, they don't want discipline'. Left.

If a primary teacher in any of the schools I have any experience of tried that excuse, they'd be laughed at. If my children's parents' evenings clash with my class ones, tough, either DH goes or we have to miss them.

(I did miss one when I lost my voice to the extent that I could neither whisper or hum, as sign language was deemed a poor way to communicate to parents. Who were very understanding, though several made clear - rightly - that not being able to co-ordinate meetings for their several children in the school was an issue, especially for e.g. night-working parents)

seeker Thu 25-Apr-13 22:55:07

There are crap Scout troops- can he move to a different one? Or do something else?

Well done him for not retaliating - but oh, the little sods!

beachyhead Thu 25-Apr-13 23:01:11

I wish we hadn't seen the Y7 Spanish teacher on Monday....she was very shreiky and witchy....

Preferred the German teacher...

JenaiMorris Fri 26-Apr-13 09:44:55

Thank you, and sorry again for highjacking - I was in a right old mess last night (worse than ds!) smile

I'm writing a sternly worded email to the leader. Ds loves Scouts but now he doesn't want to go.

Do they do two MFLs in Y7 at your dc's school, beachy ?

seeker Fri 26-Apr-13 09:56:43

Jenai- could you ring instead? It does sound like a lack of supervision- our lot have lots of freedom, but I'm pretty sure that sort of behaviour would be noticed........

yellowtip, if you're around, I'd love to know why you said that Spanish wouldn't be a key subject in a Kent school. Why particularly Kent?

JenaiMorris Fri 26-Apr-13 10:54:23

They'd gone off around the village in groups - so weren't being supervised as such (not that they should need much supervision). I've sent an email - I don't think there's much point calling at the mo as they'll all be at work.

I have never seen dp so angry on ds's behalf - he is absolutely steaming. We'll see what reponse they give before allowing him back. I know they've had bullying problems before but the culprits were kicked out.

And yes, I'm intrigued as to the Kent reference!

seeker Fri 26-Apr-13 11:31:42

I would still ring, and leave a message. My dp would certainly want to know as soon as possible if this had happened in his troop. And it would give him time to do a bit of investigating before next week.

glaurung Fri 26-Apr-13 17:53:14

maybe kent as opposed to say catalonia. We do have quite a few internationals on here.

BoneyBackJefferson Fri 26-Apr-13 18:29:53


Does your child come second to your job?

seeker Fri 26-Apr-13 18:40:02

Spanish wouldn't be key in Catalonia either. Ever so frowned on in state schools, Spanish is!

Roseformeplease Fri 26-Apr-13 18:43:53

I would say, as a teacher, it really depends on the age of the teacher's child. If a vital parents' evening, day A Level choices or one linked with some change, then I could see the need to attend for one's own child. However, if the child is in Primary, and so the Spanish teacher Mum is just seeing one teacher, then she should see her child's teacher at a different time: inconveniencing 80 sets of parents for one child does not seem right.

However, I would imagine she would not have been allowed to simply go. She would have had to have permission and a really good excuse. Also, surely there would be an HOD there who could answer generic questions about the course, future plans with the chance to phone / email for further information. Missing a parents' evening as a teacher is a pain in the arse as you then have to spend far more time on contact.

glaurung Fri 26-Apr-13 18:56:00

Is it seeker? I rather thought it would be as compulsory as English in Welsh medium schools and pretty much a key subject. I guess the locals despise everything spanish, but there you go. Perhaps spanish in spain (or any other spanish speaking country) would be a better example then.

seeker Fri 26-Apr-13 19:38:45

It may have changed- certainly 10 years ago, Spanish was taught as a reluctant afterthought, and my niece and nephew, as native Spanish speakers were very second class citizens until their Catalan caught up!

Yellowtip Fri 26-Apr-13 21:41:50

It was vaguely along those lines glaurung, so thanks smile

Yellowtip Fri 26-Apr-13 21:43:02

On any interpretation though, Spanish still isn't 'key'.

seeker has any teacher ever told you to relax?

TheFallenMadonna Fri 26-Apr-13 21:51:40

Teachers should be at parents' evenings. It's the job. You make other arrangements for yourself if there is a clash.

TheFallenMadonna Fri 26-Apr-13 21:53:14

I was very keen to see my DS's French teacher at his first parent's evening. Bickering over whether it's a "key" subject is a bit daft.

teacherwith2kids Fri 26-Apr-13 21:59:49

I'm with Fallen Madonna here. Being at parents' evenings is the job. There isn't an option to miss it except through significant illness, whether you are the Maths teacher, the D&T teacher, the Music teacher or the PE teacher. You should be there, because parents have a reasonable expectation that they should be able to get feedback about the performance of their child from you.

'Key' subject or not is not relevant. DS's first priority for me is to see his Music teacher (because that's the only 'Good' rather that 'Excellent'grade he got, and he wants to know how to improve it). If she wasn't there, I would be grumpy.

Loshad Fri 26-Apr-13 22:03:50

I am amazed his teacher was allowed to skip the evening, very unprofessional of her imo. I have had to miss my own children's parents evenings on the odd occasion, however it is much easier for me to contact those staff, than miss appointments for 40 students (apart from the really poor impression it gives the parents if you don't tip up), and it is my job, I am paid (obliged) to be there.
I don't find parents evening useless, i find them useful, and a good way of starting to get to know parents, so if you ever have to phone over a problem you have a little bit of an idea as to whether they are supportive of school or not.

seeker Fri 26-Apr-13 22:07:20

Are there any signs that I am not relaxed? Oh, apart from people telling me I'm not?

Yellowtip Fri 26-Apr-13 22:14:13

I'm not bickering Fallen I'm saying that in technical speak Spanish in Y7 isn't 'key'. Claiming that it is is hyperbolic. That's really just saying why be dramatic.

seeker apart from appearing to hugely obsess about every last detail of your DCs' education and appeal for the grammar school even after you're told 'no', then no, nothing unrelaxed whatsoever.

TheFallenMadonna Fri 26-Apr-13 22:17:50

"Key subject" isn't a technical term. "Core" is...

I teach a core subject, yet I certainly see MFL as "key" for my year 7 DS.

seeker Fri 26-Apr-13 22:18:52

Yellowtip- do you think that was fair? Or was it unkind, mean spirited and rather nasty?

<tries to remember the last thread she started about her ds's education. Fails>

EvilTwins Fri 26-Apr-13 22:20:24

As a teacher and a parent, I can categorically say that MY child is more important to me than YOUR child. Sorry, that's just the way it is.

If there was no alternative, then yes, I would go to my own DC's parents evening.

And those of you claiming that this would disadvantage "80 sets of parents", please- how long are parents' evenings at these schools? We get 30 appointment slots, so inevitably have to call parents who couldn't be seen.

TheFallenMadonna Fri 26-Apr-13 22:24:34

My child may be more important to me than students, but I have a professional responsibility, and if I wanted the flexibility to prioritise my children's school activities, I would be in a different job. Where I would probably have to use holiday childcare. As it is, DH has the flexibility, and I have the holidays.

teacherwith2kids Fri 26-Apr-13 22:25:38

In seeker's defence, her DS is in a school where his ability (as measured e.g. by his SAT results and general performance rather than a 1 off 11+ exam) is rare, and is therefore having to be very involved in order to ensure that he gets all the opportunities he needs to progress.

Other parents of 'gifted in their specific context' children post for support and information about e.g. challenges for able children, access to specific facilities for extra-curricular art / music / dance on Mumsnet, and are not generally flamed [except where ability seems purely in the imagination of the parent, and in seeker's case, SATs result etc seem to back her view up].

Seeker is, it seems to me, having to engineer an education suitable for a bright child out of a school that specialises in the lower portion of the ability range plus other opportunties that she identifies. That's hard work. My parents did something very similar for my brothers - and for me during primary - and it was hard work then, too (I remember belonging to every library in a 30 mile radius of our small rural town, pulling an piano teacher out of retirement because she was the only one who took pupils after Grade 5, travelling monthly to regional NAGC meetings to try to meet up with some peers). A certain amount of obsessiveness comes with the territory!

EvilTwins Fri 26-Apr-13 22:31:59

Professional responsibility to engage in conversation with parents about their DCs. Not professional responsibility to only do it on that one evening.

teacherwith2kids Fri 26-Apr-13 22:38:10

That's an interesting perspecyive, Evil. Because I would never ring up DS's school and say 'can I just have a chat to the music teacher about DS' - the 'has to be quite important for that to happen' barrier is v high. Whereas at a parents' evening, I feel it's OK to discuss much more minor issues - and it is that 'being practively available' rather than 'willing to react to an issue' that is important to me as a parent (as well as a teacher - but primary is perhaps different).

TheFallenMadonna Fri 26-Apr-13 22:39:08

It's directed time for me, so a contractual as well as (I think) professional responsibility. If schools have an alternative system, then that's five. But parents expect to see me when they come to parents' evening.

teacherwith2kids Fri 26-Apr-13 22:42:24

Directed time for me, too.

If I needed to see my child's teachers and the parents' evenings fell on the same night, I would make alternative arrangements - or send DH.

EvilTwins Fri 26-Apr-13 22:42:34

I am always happy to talk to parents about their DCs, and do call them just to say how well their child is doing. Parents have been known to call for a general conversation. In my school, we have "phone home fortnight" each half term which is useful- he expectation is that form tutors will contact all parents of students in their tutor groups, and that subject teachers can do the same if they wish. Attendance to parents evenings at my school hovers around 50-60% so we're keen to keep lines of communication open. It works for.

EvilTwins Fri 26-Apr-13 22:43:22


RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 26-Apr-13 23:01:09

Do teachers think it's important for parents to attend parents' evenings, or not? If they do, then surely that means they have to attend their own kids' parents' evenings if there is a clash. Otherwise, what message are they giving out? I can't remember one parents' evening for either of my older two kids where there hasn't been at least one teacher absent. Neither school tells the parents why, but if sometimes it's been for their own childrens' parents evenings, then fair enough.

Seeker - you do start an awful lot of threads about your kids' educations. Perhaps you don't realise it.

seeker Fri 26-Apr-13 23:27:19

Russian- 6 including this one in the last 50. I have two children. And that includes a joky one about teach speak on reports. Hardly excessive, I would have thought!

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 26-Apr-13 23:29:33

That's 6 more threads about your kids' educations, that you've started, than I have about mine. And I have 3.

seeker Fri 26-Apr-13 23:49:19

Well, good for you.You obviously have it all sorted, and have no need to ask for advice. I am pleased for you.

RussiansOnTheSpree Fri 26-Apr-13 23:57:55

Not at all. But consider - you asked for signs that you are not relaxed. I suggested one such sign. And your reaction has been ......extremely non-relaxed and downright snippy.

I'm possibly the least relaxed person one could ever hope (fear?) to encounter. And I don't, for what it's worth, think you are even remotely as unrelaxed as me, from what I see in the limited amount of browsing I do on mumsnet. But you do strike me as somewhat unrelaxed (to use survey speak) for the reasons I have set out. That's all. smile

OK, I see there have been lots of rather random comments...

But back to the point, I'd be wondering what the teacher's spouse was doing that afternoon/evening that was so important that they couldn't go to their kids' parents evening. If they're both going, well they don't have to, one can go, and if only the teacher is going, why isn't the spouse doing it instead? of course they might be dead or something

Feenie Fri 26-Apr-13 23:59:41

This happened with mine and ds's parents' evening. I phoned his teacher up and explained, and she gave me a separate appointment. Didn't occur to me to do anything else confused

greyvix Sat 27-Apr-13 00:05:14

As a teacher, I have always prioritised my students' parents' evenings over my own children's. I have had to make alternative arrangements in case of clashes, ie DH attending. (There always were clashes, as I taught/teach at the school my DCs attended.)
It is directed time for teachers; they don't have an option.

Feenie Sat 27-Apr-13 00:09:49


Feenie Sat 27-Apr-13 00:10:46

But back to the point, I'd be wondering what the teacher's spouse was doing that afternoon/evening that was so important that they couldn't go to their kids' parents evening

Ever heard of single parents?


Feenie Sat 27-Apr-13 00:18:04

As a teacher, I can tell you that most parents' evenings are a waste of time- the ones you need to see don't turn up and the rest well- there is little to say usually.

I find that comment to be hugely bizarre coming from a teacher, I really do.

Roseformeplease Sat 27-Apr-13 21:36:34

I teach at my son's (and soon my daughter's school. When there is a parents' evening, I am talking to the parents of their classmates. No way of missing it - the dates are agreed a year ahead. However, an appointment at a primary, with ONE teacher can easily be rescheduled.

Yellowtip Sat 27-Apr-13 23:14:03

Where parents teach at a school that their own child attends, their attendance qua teacher is a slightly red herring. I also think primary parents' evenings are pretty easy to catch up on since there are fewer teachers, inevitably. As a non teaching parent I have full sympathy with a teacher of a secondary school child at a different school wanting to attend their own child's evening and offering e-mail or telephone communication instead.

Roseformeplease Sun 28-Apr-13 12:12:16

My attendance is agreed a year ahead so even if I had to go to another school, I couldn't. So, my point wasn't aren't I great, attending both at the same time. More, I will never be able to go round as a parent for my children - my husband will always have to do it. I think the job has to come first. That said, schools are reasonable places and, as I said above, for a vital meeting, most would be flexible.

TheApprentice Sun 28-Apr-13 12:21:11

Not read whole thread, sorry, but felt compelled to reply. I think the teacher is out of order. As a teacher myself this situation has happened twice this year - my school's parents evening have been on the same day as my sons'. I simply arranged with my sons' school to see the teachers on a different day - they were very accommodating as they understood the situation. Granted its a primary school so probably easier when its just one teacher to see per child, but I really think you have a professional responsibility to put your job first and sort out your own arrangements with your dc's school.

I'm an MFL secondary teacher with a child at the same school. For parents evening, I made appointments with DFD's teachers before I dealt with my pupils, then gave my pupils free choice of the appointment slots I had left in which I wasn't due to be on the other side of the desk. Had DFD's parents evening been at a different school on the same day, I would have gone to hers and given the parents of my own pupils the choice of an email or a phone call. I don't have a partner who can attend in my place.

At secondary level the child tends to come to parents evening along with the parents (at all the schools I've worked at, anyway). If I were to sacrifice DFD's actual parents evening to do parents evening at the school I work at (if DFD were at a different school, for argument's sake) all of her subject teachers would be spoken to over the phone by me, which wouldn't give her the chance to have a three way conversation with myself and her teacher about her progress for any of her subjects. If I were to go to DFD's parents evening with her and miss my pupils', they would get this in every subject but mine. I think that's the fairest way of doing it on both my daughter and my pupils.

Theapprentice I think it's very different at primary level. It's much harder to arrange to see 9 or 10 teachers on a different evening, plus you don't get the child-parent-teacher interaction as I mentioned before. The teacher also can't whip out your child's GCSE mock paper along with annotations and corrections over the phone, and talk both you and your child through it together.

Another point to make is that as both a teacher and a guardian, my priority is my one foster daughter, not the 29 in my class. Of course I want my pupils to do well and will do my utmost to help them do so, but ultimately my own child comes first. Yes teaching is my job, but ensuring my own DFD is making progress is also my job as her guardian. In more than 20 years of teaching I've never known a HT be unreasonable about a teacher missing parents evening for their own child's provided they offer the parents of their own pupils an alternative way of getting a progress report, such as a phone call or email.

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