It’s parents evening time in U.K. schools. A time when parents get to meet with their child’s teacher to discuss how they have settled into the new school year and how they are getting on academically. For teachers , it’s the most knackering time of the year as settling in new children to whichever year group you teach, is hard work! They always seem so young and it takes a good six weeks to get them ‘trained’ up to follow the routines of their new class. Parents evening is the time to discuss how this process is going and what we can all do to help each child make progress. However, let’s be honest, it can be tricky to communicate exactly what each child needs next! There are certain things that teachers tend to say without really saying what they mean!
Here are are some guidelines for parents (and please don’t take this seriously!!) on what your child’s teacher really means…..
So, how do you think your child has settled in the new school year?
Either, the teacher has no idea who you are or they are worried about what you might say! By asking you first, they can gauge how the meeting may progress. As a teacher, I have learnt the hard way by launching in and saying how amazing a child is. This can progress with the parent disagreeing with me and telling me all about how their child is being bullied! Sigh…..
Johnny is beginning to listen on the carpet.
Johnny can’t listen on the carpet and is annoying everyone.
Amy ‘s target is to learn all the phonics we have covered so far.
Amy hasn’t learnt any phonics so far this year.
Bob is very sociable.
Bob needs to stop talking and do some work.
Frank is very happy to play his own games.
Frank is a loner and needs help to socialise.
It would be helpful if you could spend some time on Izzy’s spelling at home.
What have you been doing each week? We send home spellings each week!
My Top 5 Parents evenings for various reasons!
1. A Dad sat down, I introduced myself, and we started to talk about Sam. I’d never met Sam’s Dad but he was next on my list and I checked with him that he was ‘Sam’s Dad.’ We talked for about 10 minutes about Sam until he told me his child was called Daniel. We worked out that his child wasn’t even in my class…….
2. I was heavily pregnant with my second baby and this was to be my last parents evening before going on maternity leave. My maternity cover teacher was at the parents evening as well, to meet the parents. One parent sat down and said, ‘it’s not fair that you are having a baby whilst my child will suffer this school year. Teachers should have babies in their holidays.’ I sat there agog. I could not believe what I was hearing! This was a mum…..she did eventually apologise to me!
3. One irate mum sat down and started to have a massive go at me about this and that. At the end of the rant, she said, ‘and you can’t even say her name right, it’s Sian!’ Once she had got everything off her chest, I returned to the fact that I had her name wrong. This was a 4 year old child who hadn’t told me I wasn’t calling her the right name (and her mum hadn’t corrected me until this moment, 6 weeks in). ‘Sian,’ I said (pronounced Sharn). ‘No! It’s Cyanne!’ Said her mum. 🤣 I’ve also taught a SAMiah (emphasis on the Sam please), Shan-Elle (Chanel) and Dlan (not Dylan but Dee-lan). I’ve taught a Blue, Dallas, K and Arizona (Ari for short).
4. One set of parents listened to everything I had to say and we seemed to be on the same page. They then turned to me and told me proudly that their child had been learning long multiplication at home and knew all of their times tables. Their child was 5, it was the beginning of year 1 and this child couldn’t recognise all of their numbers to 20 at this point. Sigh. Actually, this happens quite a lot…..
5. Another common parents evening goes something like this….”Luke is finding it tricky to follow the rules at school but we are working with him with lots of positive praise How is he at home?” ‘Well that doesn’t sound like Luke! He always does as he’s told! He doesn’t like you maybe?” The conversation continues where the parent blames the school/the other children/ me. Later in the conversation, we talk about homework. ‘How is Luke getting on with his spellings at home?” ‘Oh, we don’t do any homework as we don’t believe in it. Anyway, Luke likes to play his PlayStation when he gets home. Oh, here he is now….” Luke then proceeds to nag his mum as he wants to go home to play His PlayStation /have a snack/ play on Mum’s phone. Then Luke gets exactly what he wants and the meeting comes to an end as Mum has to go as Luke is tired. 🙄
I have loads of stories but these are my favourite. Do you have any to share?
A blog about my life in The Old House, a mum to teenagers, a primary school teacher and my passion for gardening.