Surviving parents' night

These tips focus on dealing with parents' night.

Makes notes

Make notes on each pupil to take to Parents' Night with you - a summary of their grades in the different elements of your subject and a few sentences about their performance in lessons will help to jog your memory and stimulate the dialogue between yourself and parents.

Always be consistent

Make sure that what you tell parents about their child is consistent with what you have written on report cards - or, if the situation has changed, be prepared to explain this clearly to parents.

Look busy

If you have long gaps between time-slots, take along some marking or another task that can easily be done while you wait and put to one side when a parent arrives. This passes the time and means you will avoid being seen to be "twiddling your thumbs" or staring off into space!

Let parents see their child's work

Take along photocopied examples of any recent assessments or other work completed in class to let parents see exactly what your subject entails, and how their child is progressing. This will also help to bridge any gaps in conversation.

Freshen up!

Some schools run Parents' Nights that start straight after school. If this is the case, check whether you will be teaching at the end of the day, and leave yourself time to freshen up and check a mirror, to ensure that you face the parents looking your professional best! If you are teaching all day beforehand, you might consider bringing a fresh shirt/top to change into.

Dionne Doherty
Probationer Teacher of Modern Languages - Linwood High