I am looking forward to meeting my children’s primary teachers in the upcoming parents evenings. I want to hear what they think of my children. How they are progressing and whether they are happy or not at school. I will get 10 minutes with the teacher. This is a good thing. I will be involved a little bit in their education. As a parent this is my right.
For the school they get parents into school, they get to hear about any issues that may be affecting their pupils learning in class.
But as a SECONDARY teacher i really hate parents evening. I get 5 minutes with parents at the end of a full day of teaching. The hall is cold. There are rarely any gaps between appointments.
The whole procedure stinks of repetition. I write down in the pupils exercise books how they are doing, what they have done well and what they could improve upon. Then i write their reports in which i say how they are doing, what they have done well and what they could improve upon. Then at parents evening i tell their parents how they are doing, what they have done well and what they could improve upon.
So i say for secondary schools, parents evening must change.
In the internet age we can have much better day to day communication with parents if we need. Indeed the government is telling us we must do exactly that. Yet of course as we all know communication that is merely digital lacks some basic contact. It is still imperative that parents and school meet face to face. But not over a desk in the school hall discussing the teachers mark book.
I am not sure exactly what could take its place but i have a suggestion to get the discussion started. Parents could come into an extra lesson after school WITH THEIR CHILD. They could see what and how their child is being taught. They could get a sense for the learning environment, they could share this experience with their son/daughter, they could get to know their offspring’s teacher. It would be so much more REAL than that 5 minute chat.
I would really welcome any contribution to this line of thought…… happy half term to you all.