This week I had my first parents’ evening and writing about it while it is fresh in my mind is the best thing. This post is going to be similar to my post 10 Things I’ve learnt in my First Term of Teaching. So, let us start…
1. The stress is real. The truth is, I was stressed like hell the whole week for this. Even though everyone was telling me things will be just fine, there was nothing I could do to calm me down. I used all my calming techniques, nothing worked. I couldn’t even read and you know how much of a bookworm I am. Also half an hour before it, I was literally shacking. If there is one person out there who will tell me that the first parents’ evening as a teacher is not stressful, I won’t believe it!! Not in a million years…
2. After a couple of parents you will chill. And now is the time for you to laugh of me because after just 3 or 4 pairs of parents, I was completely chill. I could even crack a couple of jokes with people (never thought that would be possible). The thing that relaxed me was the fact that I started to repeat myself a little. Explaining the assessments, the revision schedule, homework system – everything was the same for everyone. Also, I have decided to put the same question to all the parents: “How much is your child revising by himself/herself at home?”. From this everything kind of worked smoothly.
3. Have notes. I think this was the most useful thing I have done in preparation for the parents evening. I wrote notes (short sentences, key words) on 3 topics for every single child: behavior, effort and grades. It was incredibly useful to take a quick glance at those notes to make sure I have not forgotten things.
4. Have proof. This might sound a little strange, but I have found out that having the tests (not just the grades) is better. I had some parents who seemed to be very math experts and wanted to see exactly what their child is doing wrong. I also recommend you have the actual test with you so that the parents also see the questions. Because they will think that you (as a teacher) could be a little incapable of doing basic questions after 5 years of university. But.. hey!! I am not complaining, if you talk nicely and explain the things properly with calm, everything is fine. Thinking more about this, if I was in their place I would probably do the same. But, it might get a little frustrating first.
5. Everything works if you are calm. As you saw above, I had some parents a little bit tricky and I think that is ok. Every person is different and everyone sees the situation differently. I tried to listen with as much calm as possible, be nice and honest.
These are my immediate thoughts on my first ever parents’ evening. I am sure I will learn more from next ones. Also, I will never be so stressed for another one. If you have advice, just feel free to comment bellow. Hope you enjoyed this post. Have a great week. You can find me on Facebook, Tumblr, Google+, Twitter and Instagram. I will try to post there as often as possible.
Don’t forget that maths is everywhere! Enjoy!