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Any advice for first parents' evening?!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by minnieminx, Mar 26, 2012.

  1. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I usually say things like 'the expectations are different in year X, so they actually need to do more to gain the same level' I say it with a smile and confidence and as if it explains all. Parents almost always buy it. When they don't I show them an APP type grid and they can often see that their child doesn't actually meet the criteria for the level they though.

    I don't tell them that at parents evening. Or at least it would be a continuation of previous conversations. There is no way that sort of thing should be news to them at parents evening. If you haven't told them before now, don't do it then. See them after school whenever there is next an incident and say how surprised you are etc. Then keep telling them every single time.
    Me too! Am thinking I ought to start practising the drinking now!
  2. Thank you, Minnie! I really like the idea of having the APP grid handy so they know we're not just plucking this stuff from thin air! Definitely going to do this, thank you. I have their Y2, autumn '11 and spring '12 levels and a target for Maths, Reading and Writing in a grid so I'm hoping that little crutch will help! It's definitely in the confidence: I've sat in with teachers who I know are BS'ing a bit but they are so supremely serene that the parents don't even go there.They're totally going to smell my fear! Not literally, we hope. Ahh, parents are scary! Going to be on a huge high when it's done, though. Like the first time I gave blood or got a tattoo or had a filling hehe. Four more early starts! [​IMG] xxx
  3. 1. Smile
    2. Beforehand think of something positive about each child... and open with that. This means that parents will feel like you care about their child.
    3. Don't worry too much about levels. Unless you have a class with all teachers as parents nobody will know what you are going on about. As a (preteaching) parent I only wanted to know if my child was making progress.
    4. Concentrate on reading, writing and maths - that is what most parents want to know about.
    5. Say what they are good at first... then say what you think they could improve. If necc have strategies that you can suggest.
    6. And stress that the best thing they can do to help their child, is to do everything possible to encourage reading. (backs of cereal packets, signs on the bus... anything)
    7. As for the little darlings that are a pain in class, say a load of positives... then say: "but one area that X somtimes finds difficult is working together/getting on/listening/etc etc". I always say to parents that school is as much about learning to get on with others/learning to follow instructions/learning to focus attention...as it is to learn to read and write. Say that sometimes their cherub finds things difficult, but that you can see an improvement. Say you know that X finds these things difficult, you are trying to help them overcome the difficulty, and you know you can count on parents for their support. Most parents will see this as you liking their child and trying to help them.
    Good luck
  4. Hehehe, great advice, thank you!
    I had actually thought that maybe a good plan would be to open with:
    i) What a lovely child this is!
    ii) Good news - here is some wonderful progress they have made this year!
    - because I know most parents are very supportive but one or two are a little urrm combative and I reckon it will be harder for them to be like this if I'm relentlessly positive. [​IMG]
    Parents' evening is surely the last tickbox on the Being An Actual Teacher checklist. Exciting! xx
  5. All good advice on here so far. I also always give the children a questionnaire to fill in that I keep on top of my notes. It's pretty simple, just things like: Do you enjoy school? What's the best thing you've done this year? What are you proud of? What would you like to improve? Who are your friends? What will Mrs 1974 say about you?
    I find it really helpful but don't show if if it's really negative (which they very rarely are - most of the comments are brilliant and make me smile!).
  6. upsadaisy

    upsadaisy New commenter

    Lots of good advice here, I will say don't sugar coat it too much! Parents also need a realistic view of how their children are doing at school, so they can help their child move forward. I had a child still in level 1 in maths in year 4 and the mum had no idea just how far below he was in maths, she had just been told he is weaker in maths or struggles a bit. The next day she enrolled him with a tutor and that year he moved just over a level.
  7. modgepodge

    modgepodge Occasional commenter

    I just avoid talking about levels tbh...if you say "they're a 2c" to most parents you'll then have to explain what that means. I'd just say "they're ahead/behind/where they should be" and leave it at that unless they push it. If you've got someone massively behind who is making no progress over a period of time you may need to be a bit more specific with them.
    Love the idea of having an app grid to hand, my only concern would be that some parents still believe their child's understanding etc is far above what I know it to be...
  8. Avoid levels unless they ask.
    Ask if they have any particular questions or concerns before you get going.
    Start with something good.
    Bury bad news in the middle, and finish with something upbeat (commonly known in my previous job as 'delivering the sh*t sandwich)
    Mention everything their child is good at (there's usually at least one thing!) even if it's not maths or literacy!
    Give them something practical they can do to help.
    Give them the child's maths and English targets - e.g. 'more practical problem solving in maths', 'read nightly', 'widen reading material' etc etc.
    Don't deliver 'surprise bad news'. This should have been discussed elsewhere.
    If you have a 'difficult discussion' coming up - book a double slot so you don't over-run!
    Keep your watch on the table.
    When their time is up, stand up and offer your hand saying 'nice to see you'.
    Be firm with those who monopolise your time. Explain you have people waiting, but they are welcome to make another appointment to discuss things further.

  9. lardylegs

    lardylegs Occasional commenter

    I just say the same things to them all.

    "Handwriting is lovely in the handwriting book, but could improve in daily work"
    "He/she is exactly where I would expect them to be at this point in the year".
    "Was there anything you wanted to ask me?"
    After 10 mins, stand up and say "Thank you (both) for coming tonight".
    Pub after to share tales.
  10. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Well???? How did it go????

    Lardylady I need to work in your school!
  11. Yeah, it went pretty well! I thought a few might get a bit stroppy but nobody did. Closest we came was the mother of the Y3 L4 reader who grilled me about whether the child is being sufficiently pushed. Ehh! Not going to be too complacent as have got the most 'demanding' parent tomorrow. Home, bed, Apprentice and thoughts of Friday evening in a beer garden sustaining me and everybody else! Thanks for all your support, everyone xxx

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