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

(346 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.


alypoole Sat 22-Apr-17 16:52:34

Poor teachers- they can't win😡

JoffreyBaratheon Sat 22-Apr-17 16:39:57

No need for a timer. I used to use the clock in my classroom. They got ten mins then the bums' rush.

If it was an issue where they needed more time they were welcome to come in and I'd sit down and have a proper discussion with them, any time, and I made that plain.

Hate to break OP's illusions, but many schools I worked in the staff would have a competition (ie: race) and the winner was the one to get through their parents the fastest. I always won. I can be pretty determined though and am good at shutting things down.

Anything vital, and parents' evening's not the time or place, anyway. I'd much rather someone got my undivided attention even if I had to stay after school or give up a lunch hour for it.

DanyellasDonkey Sat 22-Apr-17 16:32:14

There are quite a few teachers on our staff who say things like, "Danyella is where she should be" or "She's at the right level for Danyella" which means absolutely nothing.

Then myself and other teachers actually tell them the truth are honest about their child's progress and get abuse from parents. I actually had one walk out and complain to the HT because I'd said he found some aspects of work difficult confused

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 22-Apr-17 14:54:16


If your child isn't performing well at school, why are you leaving it till parents evening.

SmileEachDay Sat 22-Apr-17 14:26:34

mary are you a teacher?

Elendon Sat 22-Apr-17 12:01:34

Having said that a big thanks to teachers today. You are and will always remain brilliant.

Elendon Sat 22-Apr-17 11:56:27

I'm of two minds about this. My DD2 was an A* student (she did indeed get that first). My son needs full support and is doing quite well as he has come on leaps and bounds during the last year (he's sitting his GCSE's this summer). I have found that teachers spent longer talking to me with my DD2 than talking to me about my son. Teacher's do like the positive. However, since DS has improved so much recently the last PTE took much longer, so full of praise for what he has achieved. (finger's crossed he passes and goes on to sixth form).

To add, dd2 and I knew she would get a glowing review from her teachers and they did always struggle to fill in the five minutes and sometimes even said they were behind and could we cut it short! But what I cannot stand is parents who want everyone waiting to see the teacher how wonderful their son is. (my son goes to an all boy's school). I've been there; take the praise and just move on.

thenovice Sat 22-Apr-17 11:24:12

Can I just say that if teachers would tell you a little more about how your child was doing, instead of saying " everything's fine" to absolutely everyone, even when it patently isn't, then we would probably all need to spend less time trying to winkle out some detail about what they need to work on and what is going really well.

Badbadbunny Sat 22-Apr-17 11:18:54

So we can conclude that "some" parents and "some" teachers don't really understand what Parents' evening is for, and therefore go overtime discussing things that either don't need discussing or should have been addressed at an earlier opportunity. Issue solved!

BoneyBackJefferson Sat 22-Apr-17 10:59:54


I suspect that that is your personal experience.
What tends to happen from the other side of the table is that the majority of parents that go over the time fall in to two categories.

1/ the parents that are phoning the school everyday and whatever answer you give them it isn't right.


2/ the parents that only turn up at parents evening with a long list of issues that they should have contacted the school about before.

maryEliz Sat 22-Apr-17 10:50:13

In my experience if parents want more than 10 mins its because there are issues that have not been addressed by the school, emails left unanswered by the school and teachers not very organized or not having information ready. Parents generally don't want to spend any more time than they absolutely have to in parents evening but teachers need to have the right info there. Admittedly there are some parents who just want to talk a lot when there is nothing really to discuss but these are few and easily dealt with by just standing up!

DottyDonna Sat 22-Apr-17 10:38:46

I'm a teacher, all I do to end the meeting is say "well, it was lovely to meet you, thanks for coming."
That usually works for me. It's polite and the parents don't feel like they are being timed or rushed through the meeting.

KittyVonCatsington Sat 22-Apr-17 10:34:06

if your parents have a problem tell them to e-mail me

What should the teacher have said instead? Sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Believe me the reason for not attending will be a good one as there is no way any school would allow non attendance otherwise. I'm also assuming your gdd has had tracking reports and had or will have a written report? If any problems are that serious, you would already know or could always contact them.

Sostenueto Sat 22-Apr-17 10:09:54

My gdds maths teacher isn't coming to parent evening. I'm sure it must be a damn good reason he's not attending, after all teachers are human and i understand things crop up. But all my gdd got told was "if your parents have a problem tell them to e-mail me". Which is reasonable except the last time we tried to emaili a teacher it took 3 weeks to get a reply! Good job we don't have any real problems because my gdds in all the top sets, but if she was having problems its not so good.

ToffeeCaramel Sat 22-Apr-17 09:57:36

I think teachers must get a distorted idea of what people think of them because the happy majority of parents aren't as vocal. It's like if you'd never been to a soft play area you'd think from reading mumsnet that fights and arguments were constantly breaking out between kids and parents, when most of the time people go along, their kid plays and then they come home. Dd's school probably has its fair share of ranty, unreasonable parents and yet when they did the parentview thing when we had ofsted, only about 1% of parents gave negative responses and 99% agreed their child was happy/progressing/school well run etc. (I do sometimes send positive feedback as I think it's a good thing to do.)

KittyVonCatsington Sat 22-Apr-17 07:35:52

Do you like being negatively criticised so harshly for doing your job, by strangers, in such a patronising manner, DuckDonald?

DuckDonald Sat 22-Apr-17 02:16:45

Why are teachers so chippy?

Piratecatcher Sat 22-Apr-17 01:57:02

Or parents who are worried sick and fobbed off at every turn so maybe need more time

NottinghamNeil Sat 22-Apr-17 01:29:26

If the previous parent is monopolising the teacher for an extra 15 minutes, then I guess that's the previous parent's fault. Without being privy to that conversation, it's impossible to know what attempts the teacher tried to bring it to a close. Personally, I don't worry too much about spending an extra 15 minutes to talk about my child's progress with their teacher. Maybe your time is more valuable and you have a kidney transplant to get to, or an international trade negotiation to discuss. If not, then maybe you need to get over yourself and YABU.

ItsOut Fri 21-Apr-17 23:31:12

flipflop49 Do you realize this thread is three and a half years old. I suspect the OP has moved on.....

flipflop49 Fri 21-Apr-17 23:03:54

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

stoplickingthetelly Fri 21-Apr-17 21:49:16

We're not allowed to use a buzzer. Also no point making appointments because I nearly always have more parents to see than slots available. Parents just queue up and wait. My record is 78 parents in one night! SLT do not tell parents that parents evening is over so teachers are regularly still sat with parents queuing at least 30 mins after the official finishing time. And it's often much longer.

lukeymom Fri 21-Apr-17 21:39:07

I don't like parents evening much as a parent. My eldest boy is 8,we had parents evening in classroom was quick,didn't really tell me much about my son. Then my youngest son in reception, we had it in the hall. Basicly teacher kind of rushed me out,didn't say much about my son either.She told me she feels she don't really know him,he is quiet. Said she would give me a note book so I could write down what he has done after school and at weekends.I agreed and said its a good idea.We said our goodbyes. That was in February,never did get the notebook.
Most teachers tell us if there are any problems anyway and we have an idea of how our kids are doing anyway.Yet if you decide not to attend ,we get hampered with reminders and a selected time slot to go. Surely it's up to the parent if we go or not.

mumindoghouse Fri 21-Apr-17 21:10:30

Most of time our appointments run to allotted time scale but run late cos of others, emails are answered on time UNLESS teachers drop a bombshell at parents eve that should have been revealed before. Oh I've unilaterally decided only to enter DC for lower GCSE paper having not consulted with parents or DP; oh yeah the other teacher was behind on the syllabus; DC has been misbehaving (in a way that could have been nipped in the bud if only you'd told us earlier). Maybe that's why appointments overrun.

Badbadbunny Fri 21-Apr-17 20:47:26

Some teachers don't help themselves. At ours, some teachers take control and give "their talk" which is basically, recent results, general overview of performance, etc., giving virtually no time for us to respond, but they've given the information required as they have it all to hand in front of them, i.e. sheet with names, what they want to say, results, etc. so all over and done with in 2-3 minutes and no queue! Other teachers dither around, leafing through their files trying to find scores, dither about what to say, then often go way overboard on giving a commentary on what topics have been done so far, what topics will be done next term, etc., etc., Hence long queues. One of our son's teachers in particular is terrible, she has horrendous queues and can be running over an hour behind schedule, taking 15-20 minutes with each parent - when it was our turn, she just went on and on, but really had nothing that needed saying as DS was performing well and she had no adverse comment to make - why on earth she couldn't have said that in 2-3 minutes like others, I just can't fathom. It certainly wasn't us wanting to talk that long as we had nothing to say, we just sat there in virtual silence whilst she went on and on. Perhaps some of them need some training in getting a point across succinctly and not waffling.

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