I’ll never forget my first parents’ evening – by the 28th appointment I was so tired I referred to the child by the wrong name. Twice. Parent teacher relationships are surprisingly tricky given we both care so much about the same child. I’m fortunate to have had some amazing parents over the years: parents who have helped on trips (and actually helped), parents who made a point of saying thank you just because their child had a good week and parents who have turned up to parents’ evening with Rymans stationery goodies. Equally brilliant are those parents who manage to get their children fed and to school on time every day before getting to work themselves.
So just so we’re all clear: parents you’re amazing; I don’t know how you do what you do. You have my upmost respect. That done here is my Parents’ Evening in 30 statements. For the record, these are ALL things I’ve said/heard said to parents over the years.
1) You need to read with your child. Actually start with talking to your child you can build up to reading later.
2) We did send out a letter about that. You can get another one from the office.
3) No, I’m afraid I don’t know where her jumper is. Have you checked lost property?
4) Please don’t worry. Your child is happy, learning lots and making friends – you don’t need to worry.
5) I’m not going to set extra homework. You can find plenty of worksheets on the internet if that is the sort of thing you are after.
6) No, your child is not being bullied they just need to stop ruining other children’s games.
7) Your son is so kind, and considerate of others – you should feel incredibly proud.
8) Your daughter is working her socks off; I’m working with her and together we will get there.
9) We’ll be sending a letter out about that.
10) Teaching your son has reminded me why I do this job.
11) I’d like to talk to you about why your child licks walls.
12) You need to make sure your child goes to bed earlier. He’s too tired and isn’t able to focus. Well you need to unplug the Xbox then. And take away his tablet.
13) I’ve become a better teacher since I started teaching your son.
14) Your daughter needs to stop pinching other children.
15) Sorry, you can’t just turn up you had to make an appointment. There was a letter.
16) No, I can’t tell you where he ranks in the class because we don’t do that.
17) She needs a coat and some tights. We can provide you with those if it would help but you need to make sure she puts them on before coming to school.
18) No I won’t be setting extra homework.
19) Your daughter makes me laugh every day.
20) I think she would really benefit from engaging in conversations with adults at home. Is there anyone that could do that?
21) What would he enjoy reading? Can we get him some more books about that? I’d really like to get him reading more.
22) I’ve been working with your son on using the toilet – perhaps you could work on this with him at home?
23) Your daughter needs to go to bed earlier. Well you need to take her tablet away then.
19) Well yes, if your son does the wrong thing he will be moved down. Then he needs to stop doing the wrong thing.
20) Can you explain to your daughter that “halal” only refers to meat? She’s not eating salad and bread at lunch because it’s “not-halal”
21) How long has your son been eating glue?
22) Now about this love triangle your daughter is caught in.
23) I think she needs a few more friends. Would you consider having another child over to play or letting her go to a classmate’s house?
24) Could you show your daughter how to use a knife and fork?
25) Your son is delightful. It’s a privilege to teach him.
26) Obviously we cannot tolerate racism in school. We take it very seriously.
27) Your daughter has only been here for 12 days in the last month. You need to bring her to school every day.
28) No I’m afraid I can’t tell you how she ranks in the class. We don’t talk about children like that.
29) Thank you for everything you’re doing for your daughter. It really does make such a difference when they come to school every day ready to learn.
30) Yes, there was a letter about that.