Year 7 parents evening(20 Posts)
Hi - I have my first parents evening at my DS's school next week. I am used to meeting with one teacher at a set time to discuss their progress in primary.
I have heard that it is a bit different in secondary school and that appointments are made for 5 minute slots. OMG - how do you get around all the teachers and are there huge queues. I will be there until midnight. There has been no communication from the school on what to do.
Any ideas/tips please.......
You sharpen your elbows. Take your partner if you have one. Be ready to dive in where there's an empty seat. Arrive early and locate where your teachers are sitting to maximise fluid movement. Stick out your foot to trip up parents who look likely to beat you to an empty seat in front of a teacher you need. Don't take longer than five minutes.
And write down what each teacher said straight away - by the time you get home you'll maybe remember horse-face woman said he needs to put more effort into contributing to class discussions, and weasel-nose man said he needs to let others have a turn, but you won't remember what subjects they teach!
Yes, be a bit mercenary and if you see a teacher you need to see is free, do ask if you can jump in early even if it's not your time.
Also, 5 minutes is no time at all, so don't expect a nice cosy chat with the teacher about how they'd been rubbish at maths in primary until Y4 when it just clicked, then they had Miss Smith who was a bit strict etc etc, there's no time! Let the teacher say what they want to say then ask any questions. Or if you have any major concerns, say it up front as soon as you sit down so your 5 minutes can be spent discussing what you want to. If you don't have any questions, don't try to think of any to look keen and involved, get out of there and on to your next appointment!
Make sure your child hqsn't been asked to make for you with his teachers. They often are- and if they forget, either accidentally or on purpose, you're buggered.
Wear comfortable shoes. Show no mercy.
Make appointments for you, that should qhve said!
Oh, and perfect your reading upside down skills- they often have very informative lists on their desks in front of them! I was a Civil Servant back in the day, and that was the single most useful skill I learned.
If you and DP can get there early get your DC to book early slots, ours is generally quieter.
Unless specifily forbiden take your child, you need them they can find their teacherts, you won't.
I had to take DD1 as she did't know any of her teachers names, but can recognise them. Also you can be sure the teachers talking about your Alfie not one of the other 3 in the year. (DD isn't called Alfie, but something confusingly common).
You and Dp may have to split up and I have been known to use DD to sit in queues, but generally I have seen everyone I want to.
And don't worry, teachers who write the vaguest most unhelpful reports have all turned out to be lovely and helpful in person.
At my dd's school parents evening, slots are 10mins apart, but we are never able to keep to exact timeslots, more of a follow the list, then wait in a queue. In 2 years of parents evenings we have only once joined a massive queue, well it was about 6 or 7 groups deep. Most we get straight in or are only 2nd. But there are quite a few teachers to see and they are usually in different buildings so it's not unusual to be there 2 or 3 hours. A bit different to the 10 minutes we got at primary. We get a list of where the teachers are so even if the child has forgotten to write down the appointment, we can go anyway.
It's just like speed dating, get in there early, watch for the ones you really want, skip queues when you have to.
What we found really unnerving was that at dd's all the responses/questions were directed towards her - we were just observers really!
Actually for the first parents evening at our school you just meet with the tutor who has collated feedback from all the staff who teach your child.
Later in the year you will do the full on musical tables thing.
Be prepared for it not to be as fluffy as primary school parents eves.
Agree with everything that has been said above - DD1's parent evenings were like this at middle school, I'm not expecting any different at secondary. DD2 is still at primary, so will have fluffy for another couple of years.
My advice would be not to see ALL the teachers necessarily. I just focused on the core subjects plus Art because DD1 really loved it, I was actually not that interested in how she was doing in PE and music and DT... It really cut down on the musical tables and I didn't feel I was missing out anything vital.
Think Speed Dating - our dc have to make appointments then you run between the desks to find the relevant staff.
I agree with SecretSquirrels. Check with the school first about whether this is going to just be a meeting with the tutor or the full thing with all the teachers there.
If it's the latter and your ds has to book appointments for you, make sure he leaves a gap between appointments if possible. You'll need that time to get from one teacher to the next.
At prep school we had a big clock projected onto a screen, together with the school bell going off every 5 minutes, so there is no doubt about the time, teachers at desks around the edge of the room, some seats in the middle to sit while you wait, and wine with which to drown your sorrows. We were asked to select which teachers we wanted to see, so we had appointment times in advance.
Not sure about senior school yet. Had a meet and greet with the teachers - someone there for every subject. I have one of those children who is, um, unlikely to go unnoticed in class[sigh], so I got a lot of feedback in a fairly informal setting. I guess someone had to have the child where the teachers were struggling to remember who they were....
Thank you everyone. This has been really helpful. It sounds like its going to be an interesting evening. I now feel a bit more prepared.
My DD had her first parents evening last night, a ten minute chat with the form tutor with a list of comments made by her other teachers, i think they are saving the big musical tables one for next year.
We have our first parents evening next week as well, or mentoring evening as they call it. As I understand it, we have one appointment and will see the form tutor who will have been provided with basic info by all our daughter's tutors. Parents of older children have told me you can also request appointments with specific teachers if you have any particular concerns in their subject. Hope it goes well.
Don't be afraid of slipping in early if the teacher has a space. Teachers hate sitting around waiting for the next appointment, and love finishing the evening early. (I am a teacher, obviously!)
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