I’m a mother of one son and remember Parent’s Evenings as one of those formal occasions I would look forward to; meeting my son’s teacher, discussing his work and behaviour, his friendship groups and his strengths and weaknesses.
I also remember my own parents’ visits to these evenings; both would put on their best clothes, warn me how the report from my teacher had better be good. I’d sit up waiting anxiously for them to return in the hope that they wouldn’t be disappointed in anything relayed by my teacher. It would be a very one-sided formal event; the teacher almost instructing and very little two-way conversation or discussion.
But how have these consultations changed over the years and are the expectations of parents different?
Certainly in most secondary schools the students themselves are expected to attend the consultation with their parents or carers. Invariably many parents meet their child at the school straight from work too.
So how can the Parent Consultation be used by parents to support their child’s learning and development?
Remember to ask questions too:
- Where can you find supporting resources?
- Are there any coursework deadlines?
- What is the one thing he/she can do to move up to the next grade boundary?
- What days are Homework set?
- Are there any support sessions he/she can attend after school/in the holidays?
Most parents will leave the consultation with a plan of action which will build on the student’s learning and ensure the likelihood of long-term success. This is the start of an ongoing dialogue between parent and child and ideally the teacher. Talk about the how and when.
At home, pin up the targets in a place where you will all be able to refer to them easily and where they will be seen daily; subliminally sending out the message of how and what needs to be done to improve.
Remember to keep in touch with your child’s teacher to ensure he or she is actually making the progress expected and to praise your child for their determination and resilience. It’s not always easy to keep on going in the face of adversity so it’s about encouragement and staying positive.
I hope that this helps to support you and your child at Parent Consultation.
Learn, Achieve and Be Successful.