Parents’ evenings are the perfect opportunity to share developments and talk about how each student is performing. However, these events can sometimes seem a little daunting and teachers often forget to discuss all of the key issues, so we’ve put together some tips on how to make everything run smoothly and efficiently.
A child is a lot more than hard data
Whilst test scores and progress figures provide an overview of how the student is performing academically, it’s important to also focus on larger issues that affect their school days as a whole.
Confidence, wellbeing, curiosity, self-expression, energy levels, drive, communication skills and many other factors can mean the difference between success and stagnation, so talk about the student as an individual rather than a set of numbers on a sheet of paper.
Discuss behaviour strategies
It can be difficult talking to a parent about how their child’s behaviour is holding them back, especially if it’s also affecting the learning journey of their classmates. Still, parents’ evenings are the ideal time to sit down with the parents and suggest strategies that you believe will bring top results.
What’s more, whilst supporting their progress and grades in school and further education, helping a child to improve the way in which they interact with the world will also encourage them to become a well-rounded adult and a productive member of society.
Be as specific as possible
If the student is having problems at school, the parent deserves to know the precise details surrounding the situation. Saying that Tom doesn’t pay attention in Maths but failing to mention that this lesson is always after lunch could simply mean that he needs a more nutritious midday meal.
Similarly, if Sarah never puts her hand up even though she knows the answer, it could be due to anything from lack of interest to low confidence – problems that should be approached in very different ways. Be as specific as possible, because every student is different and deserves your utmost attention.
Saying that improvement is required in a subject or certain area of learning is all well and good, but it’s not particularly helpful. As the teacher, you can offer valuable insight into not only the facts and figures of a child’s progress, but also how they respond, engage, and convey ideas on a daily basis.
A child falling behind in English as a whole may be down to a single topic that they find especially difficult. By talking through the details at a parents’ evening, you give the parents the opportunity to help their child to overcome obstacles through extra support outside of the classroom.
It can be tempting to go into great depth about problem areas and then quickly skim over achievements. However, the good should be given as much focus as the bad, as it helps to make the conversation more free-flowing whilst giving the parents and their child something to celebrate afterwards.
How do you make parents’ evenings run smoothly? Let us know on your social media channels by tagging in #TeachNorthWest.