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Parent's Evening - how does your school do it?

(19 Posts)
KBear Fri 01-Jul-05 11:48:15

My DD is 6 and in Year 1.

Parent's evening this year is a drop-in session. No appointments, children welcome, three hour session.

So, I have to take my children to this at any time I choose, to have to wait possibly an hour to see the teacher (also have 3 year old).

Haven't met DD's teacher before, she was new at Easter.

Used to have an appointment system - you could pick a ten-minute slot within a three hour period.

Am I an old moaner?? (be nice!) - am I the only one that thinks this is an inconvenient and unorganised way of doing things especially in a large infants school were all the parents turning up at the same time with their children could turn into a nightmare!

I would like to ring the head and find out her thinking behind this but I can't face her defensive "I'm in charge" attitude.

This is one of a long list of things that irritate me about the management of DD's school but this is IMPORTANT. I would like to have a quiet, ten minute chat with the teacher about my daughter's progress and I know this won't happen.

Views anyone?

flashingnose Fri 01-Jul-05 12:07:54

Umm, does sound rather unhelpful for the reasons you state. If you can't get a babysitter, I'd be inclined to ask for an appointment at a different time convenient to you when you won't have the children with you "as you don't want to discuss X's problems in front of her and you don't want to be distracted by Y".

As to everything else, put it all down in a letter and give it to the Head - majorly cathartic for you and will mean that you'll present your suggestions in a reasonable and well thought out fashion IYKWIM. If (s)he doesn't answer/takes no notice, then you have your answers re the future of the school .

Good luck.

KBear Fri 01-Jul-05 12:13:46

I was thinking that I would write in. I don't think DD has any problems at school but the fact is I would like the usual few minutes of the teacher's time (which to be honest only happens twice a year) where she can say "this is good, this is not, DD works hard, DD enjoys this". The school reports were generated electronically last year and most parents couldn't make head nor tail of them so a couple of minutes of good old fashioned chat with the teacher for some feedback isn't much to ask IMO.

I will mull it over - thanks for replying.!

flashingnose Fri 01-Jul-05 12:25:56

There is definitely no way I would take any of my children to a parents evening until I have to (i.e. at secondary level) - I couldn't concentrate and they would get bored and run riot, especially if there was a long wait.

bee3 Fri 01-Jul-05 12:43:22

Did you have appointments in the Autumn and Spring, then this 'open evening' thing in the Summer term? I (as a class teacher), think that the Spring term is the most important time to actually speak with parents properly - you are half way through the year, now know the child well, have a clear idea about how to move them on etc etc. Autumn term appointments are more of a 'meet and greet - tell me about your child', and Summer term ones are going through the report, answering any queries. I think some schools use the rationale for Summer term drop-ins as parents have had a report and the children are moving on to a new teacher in a few weeks, so indepth discussions aren't normally necessary. However, I think there should still be an opportunity for parents to book a proper appointment, if they want to, and especially if there is a newish teacher.

Just have a quick word with the classteacher saying you'd like 10 minutes to chat afterschool one day - she shouldn't mind at all, and if lots of parents do it, perhaps the head will realise that the 'open evening' thing isn't enough for some parents. HTH

Marina Fri 01-Jul-05 12:47:42

We are actively discouraged from bringing anything other than babes in arms along to our parents' evenings kbear (ds is also 6 and in Yr 1).
Our evenings are appointment-based EXCEPT for the music, IT and PE specialists who are clearly free spirits and annoy everyone by making long queues form. As it happens they are all good at their jobs and attractive gentlemen so the long queues mostly consist of mummies saying, "but we're almost next-but-one, why don't you nip home and relieve the babysitter and I'll chat to Mr Gorgeous".
I totally agree appointments are the best way forward KBear. Good luck with raising it.

KBear Fri 01-Jul-05 12:52:37

Thanks bee3 - nice to have a teachers POV.

There was an appointment system in place for the parent's evening back in Feb. However, DD's teacher left at Easter and she has had a new one whom I have never met. DD is happy at school, she's getting on fine but I would like to hear it from the teacher, privately, without a ton of other kids leaping around and parents tapping their feet next to me.

Sounds like I'm stressing about this and I'm not really because I know DD is ok - I just feel that the head of the school is disinterested in the parent/teacher/child relationship which in my view is important.

Fimbo Fri 01-Jul-05 13:05:09

My dd is 7 and in year2. Parents night is on Monday, we have a 1/2 hr slot between 6 & 6.30pm, dd comes along and shows us all the work she has done in class etc. The classes find out today which room/teacher they are going to in September and spend some time with their new teacher. We will also have the opportunity to visit the new classroom on Monday. Her current teacher will be "around" to have a chat, but you can make a private appointment to see her if you prefer.

batters Fri 01-Jul-05 13:10:27

ooh Marina I am a bit envious of your being able to talk to so many teachers. And the fact that some of them are so good looking....!

We have the same teacher for everything at the moment (dd in Year 2, primary). We get 10 mins twice a year with the teacher, pre-book the appointment. But it is incredibly easy to see the teacher either before or after school on an ad-hoc basis as well. I take advantage of this quite a lot.

KBear Fri 01-Jul-05 13:13:23

Fimbo - how civilised!

I found out DD was changing clases on the last day of term last summer (from an A4 sheet of paper pinned on the notice board). Never met the new teacher until parent's evening in Autumn term.
Got the school report the same day as parent's evening in the summer so plenty of time to read it and share with DH etc before parent's evening an hour later!! NOT.

Listmaker Fri 01-Jul-05 13:18:48

Bee3 was interested to hear you say the spring term parents' evening was important because we don't have one so there is nothing official (or otherwise really) from October to the summer term. Seems ridiculous to me as they hardly know them in October and then sometimes issues only come out again a few weeks before the end of term. Might write a letter!

Also we are given the report during the 10 minute session which is useless.

But on the bright side at least we are given an appointment time. Your system sounds ridiculous Kbear. I have 2 dds' teachers to see so would be waiting for hours with 2 dds hanging round with me. Nightmare.

bee3 Fri 01-Jul-05 13:43:47

Listmaker - at my last school when I was appointed they had the 'open evening/walk round/no appointment' thing going on in the Spring term and it infuriated me because I do think that is the best time to properly talk to parents (and I hate those type of events as the poor parents sort of hang about trying to catch your eye for a chat, then ask perfectly sensible questions which I would prefer to answer honestly in private...) After some gentle persuasion we got it moved to the Summer term. We made sure parents had reports a week before hand, laid out loads of work from the year for eveyone to look at, encouraged parents to visit other classrooms (especially the one where their child would be next) and asked parents to book appointments if they had something specific they wanted to talk about (about 20% did, others were happy with info in the report and a look around).

There are loads of different ways of organising the way it's done over the year. TBH as long as information is forthcoming through the year, with regular letters home about what's going on in the class, and teachers readily available to chat after school, then most parents are happy. Problems arise when communication is poor all the time, because then that 10 minute appointment slot takes on much greater importance.

Fimbo Fri 01-Jul-05 13:47:57

It is quite civilised KB. Their reports came out on Monday, so we have a week to peruse them before parents evening. Sadly still waiting for the SATS results as there is a problem with the LEA computer.

happymerryberries Fri 01-Jul-05 15:54:03

The scool I work in runs a 'book a five minute slot' system, and runs for 3 hours. The kids pick the slots they want and you pray that you don't have an hour to wait on your own till the last appointment!

My kids school runs a drop in, no appointment system, chaotic but at least they give you tea and biscuits while you wait!

QueenOfQuotes Fri 01-Jul-05 15:56:55

DS's nursery has theirs next week - there were lists up on the board to sign for a slot (between 4.30 and 8pm - 10 minute slots).

KBear Fri 01-Jul-05 16:15:27

It's a miracle - the reports came home tonight a whole four days before Parent's Evening. DH just called me at work! Never one to boast - suffice to say I'm a very happy bear and my little cub will be getting a proud bear hug when I get home.

nooka Fri 01-Jul-05 22:39:14

My ds school runs the booking thing, it's over two afternoons/early evenings, and they let you know about a week in advance. It's a nightmare for me as I work full time, and for dh as he's a SAHD and so has to find a babysitter. It's beyond me why they can't give more notice. On the bright side, the teachers are very approachable and we make sure that one of us has a chat with her every month or so, as ds's behaviour is not the best.

frogs Mon 04-Jul-05 18:08:38

Just going to resurrect this for a RANT!!!

Dd1 brought home a little slip of paper this afternoon which announced: "Your child's parent consultation meeting will be on Wedsnesday (sic) 6th July at 4.10pm."

That was it. No alternative appointments, no 'if this is not convenient please let me know', and only two days' bloody notice. And the silly woman can't even spell Wednesday.

Blasted 20-something clueless Aussie teacher obviously thinks we mothers sit around all day waiting to be summoned at her convenience. And it's inner London, so deduct 30 points from each mother's assumed IQ, with a further 20 points for each additional child in tow. Clearly none of us could possibly be in gainful employment. Or even have a range of educational after-school activities to fit in. Grrrrrr.

KBear Fri 08-Jul-05 19:09:11

I am going to fess up to actually enjoying parent's evening this week after all my ranting!!! I went in straight after school with DD - the work books were on her desk to look through and her teacher just hung around in case anyone wanted to speak to her. I looked through her work, looked around the classroom, had a quick chat when the teacher reaffirmed her comments on the school report and I thanked her for her hard work in successfully taking over a class for the summer term and making a smooth transition for the class.

Glad to say that all's well that ends well!

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