Whether it’s going to be your first Parents’ Evening or your 100th, you should always be prepared and professional. Here are some tips from us that will make the evening run smoothly, comfortably and professionally.
Be Up to Date
Make sure all your marking of any recent tests or homework is up to date; some parents will want to know results and evidence on whether their child is performing well or not. It will also look good on your part to be prepared!
Don’t forget about SuccessTracker – the progress tracking feature for teachers within EducationCity – it automatically marks work and provides instant feedback to teachers.
Have a Clear Schedule for the Evening
You’re going to be meeting plenty of parents and will have a short time-frame to do so. Creating a schedule not only for yourself, but also to put on the meeting room door, will mean that not only will you know who is coming next and when, but the parents will know who they’re before or after and at what times.
Have Something to Eat and Get Comfy
Parents’ Evening is often shortly after the school day is over and you probably won’t get the chance to go home and have a proper dinner, so make sure you have had something to eat. You may just have to heat something up in the Staffroom microwave. The last thing you want is to be talking to someone’s parents and your stomach starts rumbling!
Depending on how many parents you are going to be meeting, the night can be a long one. So, make sure you’re comfy, prop up a cushion on your chair, or wear something that isn’t too restricting (but still smart) as you may be sat down for a long while.
There’s always the worry that there are going to be angry or frustrated parents and there probably will be. So, just keep yourself calm and professional, and most importantly, don’t take it personally. Just savour the positive moments when you have happy parents.
Be Welcoming and Polite
As the next appointment comes in, get up, smile, welcome and shake the parents’ hands. This will help put the parents at ease, give them a good first impression of you and it will start the conversation positively.
Don’t forget to get up and shake their hands at the end as well.
Create a Structure
You will probably have a time limit on how long you can speak to each child’s parents, so have some sort of structure. Make sure you start on a positive note, what has the child been excelling at or improving in? Then move onto any negatives that need to be mentioned, then put them at rest by explaining how you’re planning on improving any of these negatives, and possibly what the parents can be doing at home to help. Avoid starting or ending on a negative!
You may even want to set a timer for each appointment; if you do, just make sure you let the parents know. You don’t want them jumping out of their seats when an alarm goes off.