Unrealistic to expect more detail from this week's parents evening

(19 Posts)
Eastie77 Sat 21-Sep-19 10:43:15

We had parents evening for DD (year 2) this week. Personally I'm surprised they occur so early in the term but this is presumably the school's choice. Her teacher is very nice and approachable. However I felt her assessment of DD was quite..vague. She spent most of the time showing me DD's exercise books, which was good to see, but didn't say much about DD specifically beyond "she's a lovely girl, likes to learn and plays nicely with everyone". Obviously this is nice to hear but it felt as if she could have been talking about any child. I didn't get the impression she was aware of DD's current level or progression in specific areas. The HOY was present and she interjected with a couple of comments that were specific to DD so I'm wondering if she felt it was all a bit generic as well.

I think I'm overthinking this and also comparing this teacher unfavourably to DD's Y1 teacher who was amazing and described her so well at the first parents evening I felt he really took the time to know her. Her Reception teacher was the same.

If there are any teachers around, would you say I am being unreasonable in expecting a bit 'more'?

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HennyPennyHorror Sat 21-Sep-19 11:41:12

YABU. No concerns is what many parents would pray for. It sounds like you wanted more praise for her.

crimsonlake Sat 21-Sep-19 11:50:36

They have been back what...a couple of weeks??
You're expectations are too high, this teacher has hardly got to know your daughter. I suspect this meeting was infact just to see how your child was settling in to class. HOY in year 2 I do not follow?

crimsonlake Sat 21-Sep-19 11:51:32

There also cannot be much work in the books?

Eastie77 Sat 21-Sep-19 12:09:38

Ok, I accept IABU!

I didn't want more praise for DD by the way. I was just comparing this parent's evening to the one last year where I felt her Y1 teacher carefully explained what he had observed about her (it wasn't all positive!) and I felt that he was taking the trouble to tell me specifics about her. Reception was the same. This teacher opened her books and then said one line about her but ok, if that's to be expected then fine.

Crimson - the other teacher introduced herself as the Year Group Lead.

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sirfredfredgeorge Sat 21-Sep-19 17:18:45

When you said "So, how is she doing in Maths, what is she currently struggling with, is he progress on track, is there something you think she's not really secure on that we could support with at home?" type questions were they still generic comments - or were you expecting the teacher to lead on that too?

Parents evenings are a discussion, if there's nothing to say - 'cos the kid is nice, progressing well academically and socially then I don't think it's good for the teacher to mention details unprompted. The parent is as likely to take "Little Jemima next target is proving Fermat's last theorem" as "Oh no, Jemima is terrible at maths, we need to get a tutor" when actually it's just what she's about to next work on.

And especially in earlier years, it's your chance to advocate for the kid, 'cos lots of kids are not ready to advocate for themselves, but will be able to tell you their concerns. Again if you don't need it 'cos there's no problems, then the parents evening isn't going to go much beyond the "what a sweet girl Jemima is", and a look through some books.

viques Sat 21-Sep-19 17:55:50

A parent teacher meeting this early in the term is really a getting to know you event.

You get to make sure any appropriate information about your child has been passed on, the teacher gets to explain her expectations about homework, reading books , classroom rules etc. There is little point looking at exercise books IMO,.

Ideally you would have them later in the term, but this is a killer term, long and hard withchristmas shenanigans right up to the last minute so no respite. Best to get things like parents evenings over early while the teacher can still string words together coherently and the clocks haven't gone back!


1066vegan Sat 21-Sep-19 18:03:50

You'll have had detailed information in your dd's end of year report. Children have only been back at school for a couple of weeks. Many will have slipped after a summer where they haven't picked up a pencil or opened a book. I do think your expectations were unrealistic.

cansu Sat 21-Sep-19 18:11:52

you really can't expect an academic update after a couple of weeks. I assume the parents evening is more an opportunity to meet the teacher and give info you think they need to know. It is a bit pointless in my opinion. You need to suggest to the school that they do them later in the year.

viques Sat 21-Sep-19 18:26:26

I wonder why the year group head was there. Is the teacher an NQT by any chance? they might have been nervous at their first parents meeting, it can be daunting, some parents seem as old as your own parents when you are only 21 or 22! Maybe the books were there as a prompt/starting point.

Eastie77 Sat 21-Sep-19 20:20:56

She is not a NQT but it definitely felt as if the HOY was there to support her, as I mentioned she stepped in to elaborate when it was clear the teacher had nothing more to say than DD is lovely and plays nicely.

I honestly thought a teacher would have a bit more to say than that about a pupil 3 weeks into the term but thanks for the feedback and I will look out for more detailed information in the next Parents evening in January.

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crimsonlake Sat 21-Sep-19 22:26:47

This teacher probably has a class of 30 children to get to know and has only had your daughter in class for 3 weeks. Are you that parent? Possibly this is why the teacher felt she needed back up.

Mumoftwoyoungkids Sat 21-Sep-19 22:38:55

Our school used to have parents evenings early in the term. (Don’t any more - change of head.)

They were very much a “nip concerns in the bud” exercise.

So teachers say “Little Johnny has smashed three windows so far this term and hospitalised two TAs - is there maybe something going on at home that is making him act out at all.”

Parents say “Susie has spent three hours a night crying about not wanting to go to school because you threatened to lock her in a cupboard.”

Her being positive but generic at this point is almost certainly a good thing!

Connaught92 Sat 21-Sep-19 22:46:13

For the seven years my DS was in primary school , I felt that every single parents evening was like this , save for one meeting in year 4.

I would wait for my turn to speak with the teacher having watched other parents having long and animated discussions with the teacher. I would then get a quick 2 minute conversation which usually amounted to them saying something like ' well, he's alright I suppose'.

I would usually hum 'all in all ,your just another brick in the all' on the way out.

Connaught92 Sat 21-Sep-19 22:48:05

Sorry, missed the w out from wall.

Eastie77 Sun 22-Sep-19 17:53:37

Crimson I don't think I'm That Parent - in the 3 years DD has been at this school I've barely spoken to any of her teachers aside from exchanging pleasantries as there have been no problems - and I doubt her new teacher, who has never met me before, felt the need to bring in the HOY as back up before meeting meconfused I didn't ask her for any more information about DD and when the 10 minutes were up I said thank you and left.

As I've said, if a generic one liner is to be expected at this stage then all good. It just took me by surprise.

@Connaught92 - now I can't get that tune out of my headgrin

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EmilyStar Sun 22-Sep-19 19:03:49

I think when there’s a parents evening so early in the year, there’s often not a lot to be said about progress, it’s more about whether they’re settling in ok.

My DC’s school is having their first parents evening of the year next week.

I think it’s going to be useful for my DC with ASD, in terms of making sure information about his SEN and issues relating to that has been passed on.
But for my NT DC my expectation is that it’s probably going to be very much as you describe your meeting.

HolesinTheSoles Sun 22-Sep-19 20:43:06

I agree with PP (and fair play to you op you siuvd like you've taken it on board). I imagine the purpose of the meeting is really to encourage engagement between parents and school and to pick up on any budding issues early in the new school year. It sounds like you're an engaged parent with a DD who is getting on well so there wasn't alot to say. I think as the kids get older the scrutiny tends naturally to get less intense as any issues (Eg social problems, attention issues, difficulty with reading etc) would already have emerged so if things are going smoothly parents evenings tend to be more quick and to the point.

BackforGood Tue 24-Sep-19 00:10:30

Agree with those saying any meeting this early in the year is there as a two way 'meet the teacher / meet the parent' conversation, so you can let them know of any concerns as much as them letting you know if there is any concern. Obviously they won't be able to say much more than they did at this point. Itis however really useful for the parent to say "How's he getting on with his new glasses" and the teacher to go "What glasses".

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