I love parents evening despite the fact that it can be a bit nerve-racking waiting to go in and wondering what they’re going to say about your child. Even if you know your child is a pretty good kid and works hard. In this day and age there are more assessments then when we were kids, and as you do want your kids to do well you want to see them meeting their targets. But how can you get the most out of your parents evening?
Every school is different and will have different opportunities to meet the teachers through the year. Most will have an open door policy and if you need to to, you can email or arrange a phone call even if you can’t get to a face-to-face. This is great if you have issues throughout the year or want to discuss progress if your child is struggling.
Our school have open mornings each half term just before school where parents can can go in informally to the classrooms, look at their children’s books and work, and speak to the teachers. I’m always there early so get a good chance to have a chat before it gets busy and I find it really helpful to just get a quick heads up up on how how Ns confidence and progress is coming on.
Most schools will have at least one parents evening year, with January seeming to be a popular time with most of the school children parents I know. We are lucky in that as well as informal open mornings, we have two parents evenings a year. One in January and one in July. The second follows the reports coming out and gives you a chance to talk progress that year and what they have to work on in the following year.
While I don’t have the time to get that involved with school, my son’s education is important so I want to make sure he gets the best opportunities to learn what he can do. That means being engaged with what’s going on in class and talking to teachers when needed. But without taking over and expecting the teachers to be able to work miracles with so many children to teach.
Parents evening is one of the most important routes to do this as it’s dedicated time to talk about a child’s progress and work through any options for improving progress where they might need more help.
But how to get the most of parents evening when you might only have 10 minutes.
1. Get in first when booking your slot – go for the last slot and you might be lucky and get a bit more than the 10 minutes.
2. If your school let you send in comments ahead of parents evening, send questions or comments for the teacher. It’ll give them chance to prep for some of the questions that might be a surprise for them.
3. Turn up on time (or even a little early). Ours usually have a book fair at the same time, and also set school books out for parents to look at before speaking to the teacher. If there is a spare slot before you, you might find you can go in early.
4. Think about questions to ask before you go. Write down any points to make sure you don’t forget what you want to ask.
5. Let the teacher know about good feedback and times your child has really enjoyed his work. The teacher will be pleased to know what is going well as well as any concerns you have. It will help them understand more about what our child likes.
6. If you have issues or questions through the year, don’t save them all up until parents evening. There will only be limited time to talk, but if the teacher has already started working with your child on progress methods, parents evening is a good opportunity to get up to speed and also rethink.
7. Your child’s teacher should be able to give pointers on friendship concerns you might have, as well as academic.
8. Let the teacher know how things with homework go. It will help them adapt any additional booster sessions or learning in school to help with homework issues that they might not already know about.
Parents evening is one o those key times a year which is crucial for getting time to talk about you child’e progress.
What tips do you have for getting the most out of parents evening?