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They need a different system for parents evening, how does yours work?

(76 Posts)
longdiling Tue 23-Feb-16 18:28:58

We had an appointment at 5.10. Dh is still waiting to go in. Parent before him has been in 35 minutes and counting....

School tend to give everyone 10 minute slots but obviously some parents need longer. There must be a better way surely? Can't be great for the poor teachers to be stuck there til all hours either. How do your schools do things so I can make some helpful suggestions?

Katenka Tue 23-Feb-16 18:30:34

At primary we have a slot. Works well.

At dds last one there the three booked in before me didn't bother turning up. So I went straight in. Although ds is there now and it's never run over.

Dd is now at secondary and we make an appointment with the teachers we want to see.

longdiling Tue 23-Feb-16 18:32:15

Yep we all have a slot but they always run on and as the night goes on it gets ridiculous. By the time we get to our third appointment for our third child it's always run over by an hour or more. Should the teacher try and wrap it up and reschedule a.longer meeting for those that need it?

Katenka Tue 23-Feb-16 18:34:11

Yep they should. Our teachers make time. But make it clear they can't over run and make an appointment for a longer chat if needed.

AdriftOnMemoryBliss Tue 23-Feb-16 18:35:07

primary school does it over 2 nights and you get 10-15 minutes. If you need longer, they ask you to come back!

lilydaisyrose Tue 23-Feb-16 18:35:33

The bell rings each 10 mins for ours, works well. Online booking system too, used to hate sign up sheets as a working parent.

Euphemia Tue 23-Feb-16 18:35:46

As a teacher I'm assertive with parents. We have the school bell set to ring every 10 minutes then I stand up and thank them for coming.

If there are concerns that can't be addressed within 10 minutes I suggest arranging a meeting at another time.

In your shoes I'd complain to the Head - their teachers are not running parents' evening well at the moment. There should be no surprises or big issues coming up - they should have been addressed with the parents previously.

DD's school used to do this - it drove me mad!

Chapsie Tue 23-Feb-16 18:38:24

No you are not being unreasonable. Teacher should bring meeting to a close after the 10 mins if that is the official timing. If longer is needed they should suggest a further separate meeting. It's not on and easily resolved. I would contact school as it may be that the teacher needs reminding of protocol. (New teachers often don't know how to handle parents who won't leave). I start standing and extending a handshake to parents as time is up.

clam Tue 23-Feb-16 18:38:45

This is unacceptable. We are told by the HT to be very clear with parents that after 10 minutes we must apologise but stop the consultation, offering a follow-up at another time if there are further things to discuss. It's not fair to anyone to overrun like that.

PennyPebbles Tue 23-Feb-16 18:39:07

The parents all sit at an individual table in the hall and the teachers walk around. You get seen on a first come, first served basis. First parents to arrive sit at table 1...up to table 80. Then a second lot of parents arrive an hour and a half after the first and we repeat.

FranHastings Tue 23-Feb-16 18:39:34

Ours sit with a massive wall clock on the desk and a list of appointments visible. They ask you to make another appointment on a different day if 10 mins is not enough to discuss your issues. It works quite well. No more than 10 mins cumulative delay later in the evening.

35 mins plus? It's very selfish to monopolise the teacher for that long when they know people are waiting.

Chapsie Tue 23-Feb-16 18:40:35

Lilydaisy what online system does your school use?

longdiling Tue 23-Feb-16 18:41:43

Thanks all. I'm glad I'm not being unreasonable to be pissed off about this. I will definitely be having a word. We never take more than our allocated time but always end up hanging around. I have an evening class that I'm probably going to miss now

PennyHasNoSurname Tue 23-Feb-16 18:44:27

We found after two parents evenings that the teacher sitting talking through all her info takes at least the alloted 10mins, so there is no chance of asking even one question without the session then running over.

Personally id rather they emailed you their report the week before, you read, email back any questions etc and then this gets dicussed at Parents evenings

longdiling Tue 23-Feb-16 18:44:33

It IS selfish isn't it? She knew my dh was waiting too. I know her well and know that she absolutely dotes on her child so this will be a.case of indulgence rather than need.

longdiling Tue 23-Feb-16 18:44:58

That makes sense Penny.

AliceInUnderpants Tue 23-Feb-16 18:45:14

The 10 minute bell sounds like a great idea.

Our school ask on the appointment slip (asking if you want to see a teacher) if you'd like to also see a member of support staff. This tends to work as any longer 'issues' tend to be kept to support staff who, afaik, dish out longer slots.

redhat Tue 23-Feb-16 18:49:26

We have a strict 5 minute slot. Its so short as to make it completely pointless, particularly since in some cases the same teacher will be teaching a couple of subjects. We have deliberately not bothered with a few parents evenings simply because there's no time to get any meaningful feedback.

BackforGood Tue 23-Feb-16 18:50:32

Primary ? Believe you me, it's a piece of cake compared with secondary wink

In Primary, the teaching staff have to be assertive. I've been in schools where they've set the timer every 7 mins, but it shouldn't be necessary. IMO, work for parents to look at should be separate from the time you are with the teacher, and anyone with big issues to discuss needs to arrange to come at a different time.
The trouble is, the longer you have waited past your time, the more you then feel entiteld to a couple of minutes extra, and so it goes on for the poor parents towards the end of the evening, and, of course, the teacher (+ HT who waits until the end, + caretaker who wants to lock up....)

ladygracie Tue 23-Feb-16 18:52:08

I have a note on my door asking parents to knock when it is their time. This would have worked much better if the clock outside the room said the same time as the clock inside the room! It usually works really well. It is so rude of the patent but also the teacher needs to be far far more assertive too.

ladygracie Tue 23-Feb-16 18:52:29

Parent not patent. Stupid phone.

acasualobserver Tue 23-Feb-16 18:52:42

Should the teacher try and wrap it up and reschedule a longer meeting for those that need it?

Yes, that's a reasonable expectation. Make this suggestion to the HT.

longdiling Tue 23-Feb-16 18:56:19

I will suggest that. The teacher is hardly a shrinking wallflower, I'm surprised she hasn't managed this better!

EvilTwins Tue 23-Feb-16 18:56:20

At my DTD's primary, it's a 10 minute slot. The yr 3 teacher kept a timer on her desk and is the only one we've ever been to where it's run to time.

I teach secondary. Parents get a 5 minute appointment, booked online. However, very few stick to it. It is extremely frustrating but I'm not sure I'd get anywhere telling parents to go away and come back at the right time.

3phase Tue 23-Feb-16 18:56:51

Up to Y4 we have a slot of about 10/15 minutes which feels like a good amount of time.

After Y4 all the teachers gather in the hall and you queue to see the ones you want. Which means we only ever make a point of doing Math, Science, and English because just doing them means hanging around for at least an hour (private school, only 40 or so per year). I've never felt the need to stay for more than 5 minutes with each teacher but our kids haven't had any major issues.

I find Parents Evening quite useful up to Y4 and not so much afterwards. The kids are more able to relay information themselves at that point and we get half-termly reports with actual grades from Y3 onwards. Plus we have the option to email the teachers if and when we have a problem. If I did have a problem I probably wouldn't use Parents Evening to discuss it as all the other parents are in earshot / bored of queuing behind me.

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