The best way to get through parents evening?
Prepare, prepare, prepare.
Parents' evening is a great opportunity to meet the families of your children. Here you can really begin to build relationships with parents and carers and show them your aspirations for their children. Here are our tips for making it as successful as possible.
Tidy your classroom
It’s always good to start with a good impression, so make sure your classroom is tidy, organised and your displays are up to date.
Stick your appointment list on your door
Print your appointment list out A3 size and blu-tac it to your classroom door. Tick off each appointment once it’s over so parents can see where you're up to on the list.
Make sure the children have organised their work
This is great for showing parents the quality of their child’s work. To help parents understand what children are working towards you might like to have some work samples available. Make sure that all of the children's work is marked and up to date.
Have a notebook handy to write down anything that parents and carers mention that you will need to follow up later. There’s often so much to take in that it’s easy to forget a little side note here and there.
Have a big lunch!
Or keep a bag of nuts or an apple handy to sustain your energy levels. You might not get the chance to eat until much later that night!
Make sure you have a drink
Parents' evenings could last five hours so have a bottle of water on hand. You could also ask the person in charge of refreshments to come in every so often to check if you want a cuppa.
Be clear on your school’s procedures
Some schools ask for you to report specifically on targets and progress. This takes time to prepare so make sure you know what you're supposed to be doing and what you'll need to have ready.
Use this as a chance to build a relationship with parents
This is especially helpful if you're teaching in the upper years when you don’t get to see parents as often. And don't be afraid to say ‘I'm not sure, but I can find out and get back to you'.
Remember, you're the expert
Some parents might insist their children should be working in a higher maths group etc. You know the children, so stand by your professional judgement. Praise the children for their qualities, but don’t be afraid to discuss the areas where you think children could improve.
Use it as a chance to get forms signed!
There's always children who are rubbish at bringing letters back in. Have the letters ready for parents' evening and grab the signatures from the parents you need them from!
Be as firm as possible with timings
You’ll find that some parents will want to go into more detail in the meetings. Politely organise another time when they can discuss things in more depth.
Unwind with your co-workers afterwards
You’ll be ready for dinner by the time you’ve finished, so why not consider going for a meal with the other teachers straight after your parents’ evening? It’s a great opportunity to talk through your experiences and by the end of the meal you should be completely relaxed.
Good luck! Let us know how you get on.
Experienced teacher? Got any tips of your own?
Share your tips and experiences in the comments below.