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Parent Teacher Consultations. Teachers too busy to contact me. AIBU?!

(216 Posts)
WhoUpsetTheEquilibrium Wed 21-Mar-18 11:27:43

The PT C’s were two weeks ago. They put clip boards out in the morning, it’s a mad dash to get to them to write down what slot you want. This only works for the parents who aren’t at work that morning.

I’m at uni and I work and I have placements. Suffice to say, I’m rarely at the school so I miss this opportunity. Usually this isn’t a problem, I simply call the school and arrange it with the teacher.

Both teachers (two kids, primary school) offered times that I was in training or at work (I can’t get time off for a 15 minute meeting) and I offer a whole bunch of times and days that I can do. They call back (via the woman in the office) and offer a time I’m at work. Helpful.

Nothing since. I’ve called three times and left messages.
I call this morning about it and about my son being in hysterics again about a maths thing. I mention that no one has contacted me yet and got “Yes that’s becuase they are extremely busy.”
Well them and us both! She sounded pissed off.
AIBU?! I’m getting pissed off now.

Inseoir Wed 21-Mar-18 11:35:46

Can you suggest a time that works for you? Say, directly after hometime one evening?

EllieMe Wed 21-Mar-18 11:36:05

YABU, sorry. They can't run their lives around your hours. You'll have to find time at a time that is convenient to them.

BarbarianMum Wed 21-Mar-18 11:43:24

Can you email them directly so you don't need to go via the office to arrange a meeting?

Separately, I'd email the Head and conplain about the booking system for parents evenings. Sounds like something out of the stone age.

Allthebestnamesareused Wed 21-Mar-18 11:43:49

You called this morning you say at 11.27 - you do realise they are TEACHING!

Also if your son is in hysterics over primary maths surely it is something you can explain to him or if not YOU would interrupt your schedule to see the teacher. Do you have partner/co-parent who could go?

Fattymcfaterson Wed 21-Mar-18 11:44:30

YABU, sorry. They can't run their lives around your hours. You'll have to find time at a time that is convenient to them

Bollox to this, the OP has offered multiple times when she is available. The teachers should really be more flexible.

noblegiraffe Wed 21-Mar-18 11:48:06

The OP has offered times when she is available but it doesn’t mean that they’re reasonable. She might be free at 9pm at night or 9am in the morning and neither time would be acceptable for a parent teacher meeting.

WhoUpsetTheEquilibrium Wed 21-Mar-18 12:25:02

“You called this morning you say at 11.27 - you do realise they are TEACHING!“

No need to shout. Yes indeed I did call THIS MORNING.
I also called 3 other mornings and one afternoon and left a voice message.
Should I call at night when THEY ARENT TEACHING?

WhoUpsetTheEquilibrium Wed 21-Mar-18 12:26:52

The OP has offered times when she is available but it doesn’t mean that they’re reasonable.

I offered any time between 8am and 4pm on wednesdays and Thursdays. Or after 4.30 on all the other days.
That’s a pretty broad spectrum.

FlouncyDoves Wed 21-Mar-18 12:27:00

The teachers will also have families and loves to lead outside of the school hours.

When have you suggested as a time?

FlouncyDoves Wed 21-Mar-18 12:29:11

They may well have staff meetings/training on Mondays and Tuesdays (I do) and Friday...well, you just want to leave as early as you can!

8am is a rubbish time for a teacher to meet as they’ll be planning and preparing their day ahead.

It’s tough, but that’s why parents’ evenings are scheduled and why a quick chat at 3:30 is normally doable

WhoUpsetTheEquilibrium Wed 21-Mar-18 12:30:44

Ok, so they can do during the day because they are working and they can’t do night because they have families and lives?

WhoUpsetTheEquilibrium Wed 21-Mar-18 12:31:29

I didn’t suggest 8am I suggested any time BETWEEN 8am and 4pm.

WhoUpsetTheEquilibrium Wed 21-Mar-18 12:32:21

I’m more than happy to do 3.30.

Now if you could pop along for me and arrange that, that would be grand.

Littleredhouse Wed 21-Mar-18 12:37:58

What an archaic system. Surely all working parents find this impossible...why don't they do it online?? You're NBU and have been very flexible; they should be flexible also.

pickingdaisies Wed 21-Mar-18 12:41:00

Bear in mind you may be only one of several parents trying to arrange meetings. Must be a lot of people not there to fill in the clipboard. Not your fault, or the teachers, but as a pp said, the whole system is archaic. Receptionist probably fed up of fielding calls. Email the head if you hear nothing by end of tomorrow.

LikeARedBalloon Wed 21-Mar-18 12:41:01

YANBU...what a silly system whereby a parent who can't get to the noticeboard misses out! My DD school used to put really important messages on a board outside the classroom at the end of school....if your child was in after school club then you missed the message. Or if it rained and the message smudged. Or a child wiped it off for fun. They now use text and email luckily!

mamadrummer Wed 21-Mar-18 13:13:20

I get that it's super frustrating for you but it's awful for the teachers too - they are told parents evening is on such and such a day, at a certain time but then because of systems like this, and parents being unavailable but still wanting/needing a meeting, it ends up dragging on with meetings scattered around for weeks. It's hell on Earth. Add in department and tutorial and staff meetings, planning and prep, marking, the actual teaching and it just becomes a battle to stay on top of it.

I know you have tried to be flexible but 8-4 isn't actually very helpful for a teacher! They will be teaching until 3.15 ish and then stuff just needs doing like tidying up, meetings, phone calls etc. Before you know it, it's 5.

Setting aside a specific time to hold parents meetings is necessary as it can be planned for and if it's only once a year it might be worth trying to get to that board? It might be worth complaining to head or suggesting a different system but it's really not the teachers fault. Could you schedule a phone chat instead?

WhoUpsetTheEquilibrium Wed 21-Mar-18 13:22:04

8-4 isn’t helpful but bang on 5pm is?

So from this thread, they are busy during the day, she lives and families at night, can only do 3.30, can’t do 3.30 and can do 5pm. grin

One thing we can agree on is the useless way they arrange the meetings in the first place!

SunnyCoco Wed 21-Mar-18 13:25:06

Ugh it’s ridiculous. You’ll get no support on MN though as teaching is apparently the only job where people are busy

Beetlebum1981 Wed 21-Mar-18 13:33:18

Sorry, teacher here and whilst your times are a bit restrictive they are by no means impossible. As a teacher you should be able to meet a parent at 8am, similarly you should be able to meet straight after school. If I were you I'd email teacher again with times and if no response in a couple of days email again and cc in the head.

Minisoksmakehardwork Wed 21-Mar-18 17:19:28

Op, yanbu. Our old school moved over to the clipboard system from sending slips out offering 2 slots (eg 1. Between 2-4 then 2. 4-6) and 2 days. The school secretary would then collate the slips and work out times which suited both teacher and parent, bearing in mind some families had multiple children in school.

The clipboard system meant if, like me, you had to sign up for each class, by the time you got round all the boards you would end up with an appointment at 2pm, one at 3:30, another at 6pm and so on. And that was with me being present at collection time.

But the clipboard is easier for the school. All they have to do is hand the sheet to the teacher.

I do think, given you have suggested a reasonably wide time frame when you can see the teacher, they are being slightly unreasonable. But I guess all you can do is email in your concerns about maths or whatever and ask for the teacher to email you back.

Barbie222 Wed 21-Mar-18 17:22:29

I think maybe you just need to keep on being a squeaky wheel and you will move to the top of the long list of people they are trying to sort out with meetings.

UrgentScurryfunge Wed 21-Mar-18 17:37:02

The clipboards sound rubbish. The DC's school offers a range of time zones for you to indicate your preference, then it is finalised in the office. Pretty common in the schools I've worked in too.

It is possible for a teacher (like so many other professions wink) to be busy pretty much constantly from 8am until 4pm as there are duties meetings, extra classes, clubs, meetings etc. I tended to make my phone calls 4:30 until 5:20 as there simply wasn't opportunity to do it any earlier. After that I had to dash to collect my own children. I'd get a couple of hours on my own domestic life before resuming work at 9pm. Phoning from home with my own children screeching in the background is not professional. Phoning after 9pm would probably be unpopular too.

It's just a fact that parents are busy in their own lives, and teachers have little flexibility around their directed time. Secondary will have PPA dotted through the week but is increasingly used for cover. Primary tends to be in one chunk in the week.

pieceofpurplesky Wed 21-Mar-18 17:38:21

Thing is OP I would not be able to do any of the hours you offered." (I am secondary)
Monday meeting until 530
Tuesday intervention until 5
Wednesday and Thursday teach from 8:30-3:25. Start at 8:15 as that is the earliest I can get to school sorting out childcare and finish at 5/6 these nights.
Friday intervention and detentions until 5.
I have 3 ppa sessions in the week where I don't do ppa but meet with parents for various reasons. I invite them during those three hours and if they can't make it I don't stress over it.
I know I am not the only busy person in the world but my hours are inflexible.

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