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NQT First parents' evening....advice

Discussion in 'Primary' started by trainee88, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. trainee88

    trainee88 New commenter

    Hi I have my first parents' eve in Year 2 coming up. Has anyone got any advice on what to say/ what not to say.

    Any advice is much appreciated :)
  2. Waiguoren

    Waiguoren Occasional commenter

    Have the books marked.up to date so that you can show them to the parents.
    For each child identity temple three strengths and one of two targets to discuss.
    If you do have problem children, now is an excellent time to talk to their parents about them. Be tactful, but get your message across. The message being that you want the child to do the best they can, and you want to help them to make their best choices so they can fulfil their potential.
    If you do fun into a sticky situation - unlikely, especially at the start of the year, but not impossible - remember that you can always say that you're like some time to think it over. Get support from your line managers and prepare to have a follow up meeting on your own terms, when you are prepared.
    It may help to have some resources to share with parents to help their children at home. Could be useful websites, or perhaps print off some useful resources for them to take home.
    Good luck!
    lindenlea likes this.
  3. ABCCBA123321

    ABCCBA123321 Occasional commenter

    Leave yourself an appointment slot in the middle to go to the loo. As an NQT I forgot this key bit of advice and spent most of the evening very uncomfortable!
    hammie likes this.
  4. sunshineneeded

    sunshineneeded Star commenter

    Leave your watch on the table beside you. There will always be one (or more) parents who want to talk for England. If that happens, you can look at your watch and say something like, "I do only have 10 minutes for this meeting as I've got 29 other parents to meet. But if you want to talk further, I'm happy to make an appointment." Don't let yourself get bogged down so that everything runs half an hour late!
    hammie and lindenlea like this.
  5. PEmonkey

    PEmonkey New commenter

    Remember that you’re talking about someone’s child, be positive and show that you know/understand them. Parents want to know that their child is safe, happy and liked/appreciated by the class teacher.

    Have notes, with the child’s name written on them - no matter how much you know your class you’ll forget your own name by the end, so just being able to look down and see the child’s name, who your currently talking about, is very helpful.

    Block out some free slots for tea/toilet breaks or to compensate for over running.

    Be prepared to stand up at the end and say ‘any more questions or problems please feel free to book and appointment’ before showing them the door.

    Begin by asking a question ‘any problems/questions regarding...’

    Other than that, you’ll have at least one bad appointment, at least one curve ball that you just were not expecting and you’ll be hoarse and knackered by the end... have a bottle of wine at home already prepped. But if you care enough to ask the question on this forum, then you’ll be fine.
    fly, Lucy2711 and Pomza like this.
  6. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I wouldn't do that, at all, ever. You set the agenda - achievements - learning and social, something to work on, ideas of things the parent could do to help. Try and keep to time as said above. The time will fly.
    I quite enjoyed meeting parents and found the children were always particularly well behaved the following day.
  7. ladylyra

    ladylyra New commenter

    Don't fret. I love parents evenings.

    Be sensitive but honest. Find something positive to say about every child but don't sacrifice honesty for positivity. It will only come back to bite you if you've told Jenny's parents she's doing well and always behaves well if jenny spends her maths lessons distracting everyone around her and therefore hasn't quite worked out how to count yet.
  8. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    I would not start with that but would certainly end with it, they know the child better than you do.
  9. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    and avoid education speak and acronyms. I hate being at meetings where "experts" ensure they use as many new acronyms and invented new words as they can so they appear important. Ditto for parents with teachers.
    squashball and Pomza like this.
  10. captain scarlet

    captain scarlet Established commenter

    How to conduct yourself on the open evening, REMEBER, that time will fly The way it goes:

    don't forget to smile
  11. squashball

    squashball Occasional commenter

    Oh I always start with "do you have any specific, pressing questions" because it makes parents relax and they may well be quite new to the parent evening thing if you are teaching Y2. Parents at this stage pretty much only want to hear about how they are in class and whether they have friends. Once you've got that important stuff out of the way you can go on to the Reading Riting Rithmetic and attitudes to learning.
    For those children about whom you have specific concerns or IEPs I would have separate meetings as there is never time to go into detail.
    But do talk to the parents, not at them - find out about how they are at home - show an interest - do they read, do their homework, what time do they go to bed, what do they talk about? I absolutely love hearing all this stuff, mainly because I'm very nosey.
    Also, never be persuaded to compare children - say if they are doing well and what they could do better; if they are not doing well, be completely honest: parents want to know and hate platitudes.
    hammie likes this.
  12. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    spot on squashy
    squashball likes this.
  13. Over_the_hill

    Over_the_hill Star commenter

    I always do The Sh it Sandwich. Start with a positive, then give something to work on, and end with a compliment. I knew I was in trouble with Son 1 when his parents evening was all Sh it and no bread.
    cassandramark2 and squashball like this.
  14. welshmercury

    welshmercury New commenter

    Have a big clock right in your eyeline as a watch on the table you won't even see! Parents (I am one) are most concerned with does their child have friends and are happy in the younger years. Observe your class on the playground to see who they play with so you can confidently share this. Have a notebook handy so if parents tell you something you have a record as the time flies and you will forget what they asked you to keep an eye on. All children need a next step even if they are working at greater depth. If any one becomes abusive or starts shouting at you, remain calm and leave the room, if you know you will have a tricky parent, request a member of SLT to check in.

    finally, some parents deliberately the book the last appointment so they can chat for ages, once their time is up politely move them on saying the caretaker will be cursing me to lock up!!

    Have a bottle of water handy as your throat will get dry.

    Also, if parents are late to the appointment they will just have to slot in as it is not fair to hold up other parents. It is tricky when they have been held up with other siblings but parents are told so many times not to book back to back appointments and leave 20 minutes between each one! One parent will always forget and turn up at the right time on the wrong day!!

    I've been teaching a long time and still get nervous about what I will say but it whizzes by!
    squashball likes this.
  15. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    A lot of very helpful and practical advice has already been given. There is not much I can add, except that the time DOES go quickly. It is usually pretty exhausting, so try to arrange for something not too stressful for the day after big event.
  16. ElizaMorrell

    ElizaMorrell Occasional commenter

    Do work that doesn't involve any marking the day of PE and the day after. You'll be cream crackered and the last thing you'll want to do is catch up on marking.
  17. d43587

    d43587 New commenter

    Make sure you can see a clock, when you say thank you for coming at the end, start standing up as this is a clear signal that time is up, don't be afraid to say that another time can be arranged to discuss something tricky (this gives you thinking time and keeps you on track with your appointments), if you have a rude or aggressive parent don't be afraid to ask them to leave or explain that you are leaving the room to get a senior leader. Ask questions about the child at home, gives you valuable information.
  18. Northern_Miss

    Northern_Miss New commenter

    - Make sure you can see the clock from where you'll sit. If someone goes over their time, offer to meet them again on a different day.
    - Put a chair and some books outside your room for their siblings and some unix cubes in the room for any toddler siblings.
    - Print off a copy of Year 2 statutory spellings for parents to take away and something for Maths e.g. times tables, 100 square or number bonds. Parents love something useful to practise at home with their kids.
    - If the child is underachieving, make this clear by having an example of their child's work, set against an Expected Standard peers. Then, discuss how you plan to start closing that gap (2 targets / interventions).
    - Be positive, but if behaviour is an issue, make that clear to the parent. Although they may wonder why you haven't spoken to them earlier if that is the case...
    - If you have a difficult parent, say "I would be happy to help you make a meeting with a member of senior management for a different day, if they aren't available now".
    - Try to personalise your feedback - "Izzy is such a lively member of our class, but is often reluctant to raise her hand to answer questions. Isn't that right, Izzy? So in Year 2 this year, we're going to work on building up her confidence levels when it comes to participating in class discussions."
    - Don't ignore the child if they attend, draw them into the conversation.
    - Smile, smile, smile.
    - Make sure you have some great examples of the children's artwork up, so they can proudly point out their work to their parents as they enter or leave the room.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018

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