Parents’ evening is a crucial date for parents, pupils and teachers alike. With the right guidance and preparation, it can be a constructive and educational day for all involved.
Here are our top tips on how to make parents’ evening a success and even a highlight of your teaching job.
Preparation is key
- With so many parents to see in limited time, it is important to set out a plan beforehand. Figure out how much time you can allocate to each meeting and be strict when it comes to sticking to it.
- It’s important to make sure you have a print out of appointment times and names to avoid any mix ups. A clear idea of how to structure each meeting and notes on what you need to cover for every pupil will also help you get the most out of the time you have.
- Make sure your marking is up to date. This is the best way to have an accurate idea of where each pupil is currently at with their learning.
Set the tone
- As each pupil is different, the feedback you give will also vary. Whether you are speaking to the parents of your highest achieving pupil or those struggling in certain areas, the focus should be on constructive feedback and finding ways to improve.
- Greet the parents with a handshake, make them feel welcome and reassure them that you are there to help their child. It’s often nerveracking for them, so make them feel at ease.
- Positivity is contagious! Always end things on a positive note and with a solid plan in place.
Be prepared for difficult questions
- Sometimes parents may have a completely different view on their child’s behaviour or progress than you do as the teacher. Make sure you communicate honestly about how the pupil behaves and learns when they are in your class. Listen and acknowledge their views, whilst sharing yours. Back your opinions up with evidence.
- Remember to be polite but honest. If a parent asks a question or requests any information that you do not have to hand, make a note of this and arrange to follow up later. It is better to take the time to give a well-informed answer with the right information.
Parents’ evening is all about communication and reflection. If you prepare effectively and stick to your plan, it will be a constructive day for all and the ideal opportunity to set future goals. Your pupils’ success is your success – so remember to recognise your own hard work too!