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Do teachers really want all parents to go to parents eve ?

(54 Posts)
Howlongtillbedtime Fri 12-Jan-18 07:16:07

In this day and age of email contact with teachers (secondary school) is parents a evening an outdated pita for teachers ?

I have a child in yr 9 , parents eve is coming up , I have dutifully booked a few appointments but am I just wasting everyones time ? Do teachers really want me to turn up and spend 5 mins hearing all is ok ? We get regular progress reports and a yearly full report and if anything was amiss we have email .

So my question is will the teachers be grateful if I cancel or think I am a parent that doesn't care about their child's education?

BuffaloCrumble Fri 12-Jan-18 16:57:36

Don't know about secondary, but at my primary we get quite annoyed if parents don't come to parents' eve. We chase them repeatedly to make appts either on the eve or an alternative date if they don't.

cansu Fri 12-Jan-18 16:59:36

No only go if you have a concern or they are not doing well.

Bekabeech Fri 12-Jan-18 18:13:15

Teachers expect you to attend (at least some subjects) if you don't attend at all you will be seen as not caring that much. You can't really keep up to date with just email, and in my experience often teachers have important information to pass on and a lot of context.

BubblesBuddy Fri 12-Jan-18 19:59:31

Are you not interested in meeting the teachers? Getting to see them was a priority for me. You can find out quite a lot from body language and a conversation! I think you risk looking like you don’t care if you don’t turn up.

Howlongtillbedtime Fri 12-Jan-18 21:10:29

He is now in yr 9 and I have done every parents evening so far but I just had a thought when booking for this year that the teachers probably find it a pain in the arse .

I am happy to be told by teachers that they want to meet (again) the parent of the kid that is doing pretty well but I did wonder that they thought it was all a bit pointless .

Bekabeech Sat 13-Jan-18 04:12:07

The teachers have to be there anyway, and it's part of the job.

Greensleeves Sat 13-Jan-18 04:17:05

I personally think it's really important for us to meet our children's teachers face to face, and good for the children to see us on the same page and reinforcing one another's praise/criticism. I missed one parents' evening last year when ds1 was in Y9, because I'd just come out of hospital. I felt really out of touch and it bothered me a lot. My beef with the school is that there aren't actually enough appointment slots for all the parents to see each teacher, so there's a scramble to book them online and if you're too late, tough. I know parents' evening is long and a big commitment on top of teachers' already infeasible workloads though, so I don't know what the solution is. A return to proper, personalised school reports (rather than a printout of meaningless figures) would go some way towards restoring communication.

echt Sat 13-Jan-18 04:25:11

so there's a scramble to book them online and if you're too late, tough

But you can see the teacher outside the PTE if you can't get an appointment, surely?

I always say to students if their parents can't make it, I'll email them if they like, or 'phone.

If parents of students who are a matter of concern don't attend, I arrange a separate meeting for them. This doesn't happen very often but it gives me some idea about why they don't come - lots of people juggle several jobs, for instance.

They do it tough in Au. There are two PTEs a year, and everyone has to fit in, though they run from 2.00 to 8.00.

Greensleeves Sat 13-Jan-18 04:28:34

Emails tend to get ignored unfortunately, our school does have a bit of a communication problem. It has other strengths though and some very good (overworked) teachers.

I'd be very surprised if teachers preferred parents not to turn up. It's much harder for them to manage children if the parents aren't backing them up.

marcopront Sat 13-Jan-18 05:30:19

If your child is doing well I wouldn't be that bothered about not seeing you. Maybe send a mail asking the teacher if he/she wants to see you.

EllaHen Sat 13-Jan-18 05:36:59

Doesn't your son want you to go? I know my children do and it was a long time ago but my parents never missed a parents' eve for any of the 4 of us. One year, my Dad couldn't go and I was pretty annoyed and disappointed.

Cavender Sat 13-Jan-18 05:40:57

Why wouldn’t you want to go?

Celticlassie Sat 13-Jan-18 05:45:51

There's a difference between a parent not backing a child and a parent not going to parents' eve. We generally know the difference. As a pp mentioned, we only have 24 slots for a class of up to 33 so its frustrating when a parent with no issues makes an appointment at the expense of one whose child is struggling in the subject.
I also often find that, for good kids who work hard, all I'm doing is verbalising what's in the report (which are full and detailed) so there's not really a lot of point. If you teach the same child every for the 4/5/6 years they are at the school, things can get very repetitive.

And no, I would judge a parent who couldn't make it. I'd assume work, childcare, etc.

mmzz Sat 13-Jan-18 05:48:16

I think teachers want to see the parents who can't be bothered to go and they could happily do without seeing the parents who do want to go.

It's a paradox.

mrsprefect Sat 13-Jan-18 05:51:20

I'm a secondary teacher. If no concerns have been raised and you have no specific questions then honestly attending is often a waste of time. I always start by asking if there were any questions about the report and, unless there are, I sit all night essentially reiterating the report card. On the other hand, if you didn't make an appointment and I felt I needed to see you I would get in touch. IMO your feeling is correct - no point in attending to hear that once again all is fine.

turtletum Sat 13-Jan-18 06:12:32

As a secondary teacher in a school where there are enough appointments for all, I'm happy to see parents of good kids performing well. I like building and maintaining this relationship, which can't be as easily done via email. I also think it's important for the student to know that parent and teacher meet, that they are important enough to have a face to face discussion. I'd imagine y9 is quite important due to gcse options coming up?
Having said that, I wouldn't judge any parent who does not attend, as I'd assume they have other commitments preventing them coming or are happy with their child's progress.

BertrandRussell Sat 13-Jan-18 06:22:24

In my experience the parents that teachers would really like to talk to don’t go.

timeforheroes Sat 13-Jan-18 06:28:44

Another secondary school teacher here. I’d always like parents to come, it’s a good way to get to know parents and has helped solve minor and major issues. It’s always nice to share a pupil’s achievements too. Although I must admit at my last school it was almost implied that you only needed to make appointments for pupils that were struggling academically/had behaviour issues. I invited everyone as it would have sucked the life out of me spending hours just having to deal with the negative.

We didn’t write pupil reports so many parents didn’t even know when their child was doing well or not. Was an odd system.

I wouldn’t judge a parent that couldn’t make it but would always phone them afterwards and try to speak to them that way.

Hesburger Sat 13-Jan-18 06:30:12

Secondary Teacher here - for a core subject. I personally like to see as many parents as possible, even if their child is making good progress.

I think it's really important to celebrate progress, plus there are always ways to improve further. We share and show key pieces of work. The vast majority of students in my experience enjoy the praise in front of their parents and this can spur them on to do even better. They seem to listen more to what's been said.

We are going to be there all evening anyway and it takes more of my time and energy to sit answering emails when I could be planning or marking.

As a pp has already noted, generally the parents of the students we really need to speak to are the ones that don't turn up despite phone calls to try and get them in.

Pengggwn Sat 13-Jan-18 06:58:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sanityisamyth Sat 13-Jan-18 07:01:15

I find it's only the parents who care about how their child is doing that bother to turn up, whether they are doing well or not.

The ones you really want to turn up (because their child doesn't hand in homework or misbehaves in lessons) don't tend to. If the parent doesn't care about their child's education, why would the child!!

Evelynismyformerspyname Sat 13-Jan-18 07:11:38

I used to teach a core subject at secondary, and would not have had time to see every part at parents evening - I taught at least 120 children at any one time, plus having a form group. It would have taken at least ten hours to give everyone a 5 minute slot.

It's lovely to see parents of children who are doing well and always have been because they tend to be in a good mood and positive, but its unnecessary. The parents you need to see, as a teacher, are the ones whose children are not doing as well as they should be, or that you have some concerns about. Also the ones who have something to tell you of course.

My own mother used to tell us she was going to parents evening "to show the teachers that I'm a good mother" confused I think she was joking/ trying to be funny, but it's the wrong reason and absolutely a waste of teacher time if they teach a core subject and usually end up fully booked and sitting in the hall for five hours of back to back five minute slots!

Mistigri Sat 13-Jan-18 07:19:35

The kids want their parents to hear their teachers say nice things about them.

Might be true at primary but surely not at secondary?

I hardly ever go to parents evenings - kids both doing well. If I go, I am very selective about which teachers I see, so as not to waste their time or mine.

Pengggwn Sat 13-Jan-18 07:22:02

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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