Monday, 25 September 2017

How to approach parents' evening

How to approach parents' evening- with Jane

Anyone with school-aged children will be more than familiar with parents’ evening.  All our kids are now in full-time education, but rather bizarrely it will be the first year that we have regular parents evenings to go to.  We are familiar with meeting the kids teacher's but parents evening can be a bit of a whirlwind and it's easy to shy away from the event, simply listening to the information presented, thanking the teacher and leaving.

But, as a parent who has had experience of kids having educational challenges, I'd say this is the chance for you to have a proper conversation with the individual who is guiding your child through their early years of education.  We have regular meetings with Jane's brothers' teachers because they both have IEP plans and have a good idea of what we want to know about.

For Jane this is a chance to improve her teachers’ understanding of our child and Jane's overall education.   These meetings are very short so it's an idea to know what you'd like to talk about.  Here's are a few things I'll be thinking about when it comes around later this term.

Academic Progression

The first thing that teachers are likely to talk about is my kid's grades and academic capabilities or achievements. If Jane is having difficulty or is falling below what is expected, then I'll be trying to find out why.  Every kid is unique and may do better in some areas than others but if there are any particular problems, we'll be able to come up with a solution more easily together.

More than Grades

But, success and progression at school is so much more than grades.  Ask about other aspects of your child’s school life. How are they getting on with their classmates? Do they participate in the group discussion or discussion with the teacher? Do they show particular interest in a certain area of study? Use this time to find out about your child’s overall experience while they are out of the house.  My kids basically tell me nothing about their day so I've only other information to go on.  This information can help me to nurture specific interests or help with any areas that they shy away from.

School Trips

Teachers know that different children learn in different ways. Some are auditory learners. Some are visual learners. Some prefer to interact directly with the subject of their study. School trips offer a great opportunity to combine all of these different teaching methods in a memorable and exciting day out of the usual educational environment of the classroom. Find out about what's happening and how you can support it. Special collections at the museum, art exhibitions, music concerts and theatre school trips can all be amazing opportunities for education.

Resources

It's week three and I've already had requests for glue sticks, tissues, pencils and other materials for the classrooms.  But it goes both ways - if you've found particular resources or tools that work for your child then this is a great time to share it.  Not only will it be useful for the general teaching but it will help your child's teacher to identify the type of learning that works for your child.   Anthony for example learns by rote and prefers visually learning over most other types.  And we discovered this by noticing now he learned his times tables at home.   It could be anything from a certain game, documentary, or toy that's really engage your child’s attention.

And finally, if there is anything you are worried about, write it down and take it with you.  This means you've also got a notepad and pen with you to take down any notes.  If you've got school-age kids or are a teacher - what advice would you give for parents' evening?

You Baby Me Mummy

17 comments:

  1. As a teacher, I found our first parents evening last year so strange! I would say to parents not to worry! We as teachers are there to help and I hope none of my class' parents feel nervous before parents evening :) #dreamteam

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    1. I'm sure some do - perfectly normal though to be a bit nervous if it's something new or they aren't sure what's going to happen. Thanks for your comments, it may help out some minds at rest.

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  2. My little boy starts school next year and I'm very nervous about all of it, especially parents evenings! Definitely going to use this as a reference!

    Stopping by from #brillblogposts

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  3. I've got our first parents evening in a few weeks. Thanks for sharing some great tips.

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  4. I remember going to a parenting evening and one of the teachers recognised me from when I was a pupil, Karen, she said you can't be old enough to have a child in this year, little did she know that I had another child two years ahead, think how old that would have made her feel!#brillblogs@_karendennis

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    1. Trying not to laugh too hard.. thanks for commenting :-)

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  5. I totally agree with write it down and take it with you! I always forget to talk to them about things or ask questions! #coolmumclub

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  6. My daughter has just started in reception and we have our first parent's evening coming up just before half term so this was really useful thank you! Thanks for linking up to #coolmumclub xx

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  7. Great tips. It is great to have some questions ready when you go. The social aspect is just as important as the academic. Thank you for linking up to #ablogginggoodtime 🎉

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  8. It is helpful to write down questions or concerns it is so easy to forget one you get there #ablogginggoodtime

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  9. my boy just started reception and we have parents eve drop in sessions in a few weeks. great tips. will def make a note of anything before hand! #KCACOLS

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  10. Really good tips, I think to go prepared is key because you do have such a short space of time to discuss matters.
    Thanks for joining #kcacols

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  11. My children are too young for school yet (2&1) but I'm really looking forward to parent evenings when the time comes and finding out how my children are doing. I'm a bit of a clingy Mum and really worry about not knowing what's going on and being there to see and help them progress #KCACOLS

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  12. Thanks for these ideas. With my 2 adopted boys and the challenges they bring I often feel I am having a quick parents' evening session every day when I pick the kids up from school. So far school has been good and teachers are willing to listen. #KCACOLS

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  13. Some great advice here - I still have some time to go before I got to these. #kcacols

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  14. I'm going to my girls parents evenings next week. They're in Year 1 and Year 3 now. So I've been to a few. You've pretty much said everything I would have advised. #KCACOLS

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I read all your comments and appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me and our readers. I welcome any feedback on my posts and you can always contact me directly. Thank you.

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