At this time of the year, up and down the country, parents are heading to their child’s school for a 10 minute meeting. Some are hopeful, some are anxious and some are just downright confused.What questions should you be asking? What do you really need to know? How can you make the most of those precious 10 minutes?
The first Parents’ Evening of the year is really a chance for you to get to talk to the teacher, find out a bit more about how your child is settling in. You will only have 10 minutes with the teacher, so it’s worth thinking about what you might want to find out more about before you go in so that you can maximise your time.
Here are some possible questions that will help you find out more about how your child is getting on:
- Does my child have a group of friends that she/he regularly plays with? (This will let you know whether they are happy at playtimes or whether they are often seen on their own.)
- Does my child contribute in class? (This will inform you whether your child is sitting back when in a group scenario. This can show that they aren’t really understanding what is being taught, or can be an indication that they are not comfortable in the class environment.)
- How often does my child work with a Teaching Assistant? (The answer to this will give you a good idea about whether your child is grasping the concepts being taught or whether they are regularly needing extra help.)
- Does my child have any interventions? (Interventions are essentially small group work and are put in place for children who need catch up work. This will let you know the areas your child is struggling with.)
- What are my child’s strengths/weaknesses? (This will give you an idea of areas you might need to concentrate on at home but will also give you a thread to follow through as your child goes through school.)
- Is my child on track for their age? (You will be able to look at examples of their work and this question will enable you to know whether they are on track for age related expectations. If they are not, you can then ask what they school are putting in place to help.)
- How can you help my child with friendships/concentration/their writing at school etc (This opens a great dialogue with the teacher and helps to alleviate any concerns you have.)
- How can I help my child at home? (Hopefully the teacher will give you some key areas to work on, and you can follow this through at the next Parents’ Evening in the Spring.)
The first Parents’ Evening is also an opportunity for you to discuss any areas of concern you have or to update the teacher on anything you think they need to know from home.
Parents’ Evenings can feel quite daunting, especially if it is one of the first ones you have done, but if you can use the 10 minutes as a way to not only find out more about how your child is getting on in school, but also as a way to build a good working relationship with the teacher, you will find it much easier to approach them later in the year if there are any problems!
Are there any things that you wish the teacher would tell you at Parents’ Evenings?
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