Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Parents' Evening...

I do like Parents' Evenings. They are very hard work, and, on top of a full teaching day, they can be totally exhausting, but it is really great to be able to meet the parents of some of the children we teach. It also has the advantage of demonstrating to the parents that the "mean ogre who always picks on innocent little me for no reason at all" is actually human and quite approachable.

My opening salvo is nearly always effective here: "So, Johnny, what do you think I'm going to say to your parents?"

Little Johnny has nearly always been brought up by parents to tell the truth. So he very obligingly confesses to whichever misdemeanours you usually reproach him with in class...

...which are henceforth impossible to deny as something done by his friends which he got the blame for, or something which the teacher has imagined, or misunderstood...

...definitely payback time!

7 comments:

gemoftheocean said...

I expect with a few of them you can say: I see where they got it from!

On the side of the angels said...

um..could be going for a 'practical' interview as a science technician - any advice please [apart from prayers to St Albert...]?

Mac McLernon said...

OTSOTA - you won't have anything much to do with children. Unless you count the science staff. Being a good technician involves knowing the equipment and chemical supplies held in school inside out, being able to get everything requested by the teachers ready for the start of each lesson (so working to deadlines), as well as being able to anticipate what a teacher might need, based on the lesson requisition which has been submitted ie. pointing out that the cold water tap in a particular lab doesn't work, so there is no earthly chance of the leibzig condenser working, but perhaps one would like a pre-prepared sample of ethanol extracted from red wine (actually food colouring and water)

You also need the patience of Job as there are frequently times when teachers suddenly descend upon you apologising profusely and begging for equipment which they forgot to requisition in advance but which they really, really need for their lesson... which started ten minutes ago...

Science technicians are real heroes (unfortunately not noticed by non-science staff and children), without whom Science lessons just couldn't happen. They can make or break a science teacher's lessons and/or career.

Good luck. I'd add St. Jude to St Albert. And St. Joseph...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the tip!
Philip (NQT)

Mac McLernon said...

Philip... what tip?

Sue Sims said...

I use the same technique at Parents' Evenings - great minds... At least, I used to use it. For the last three years, we've changed to 'Student Review Days', where pupils, plus or minus parents, have ten minutes with their form tutor, other staff having previously provided 'progress checks' (A to D for commitment, ditto for attainment). We then have a Parents' Evening for ALL years at once, at which we see the parents we've specifically asked to come - or those who want to see us. That, as you'll realise, means that all one's interviews are (a) with the parents of the dim, the lazy or the wild ones, or (b) with the parents who want to have a go at one for being Nasty To Little Jenny, or Giving Little Maisie a C. It's so depressing.

Mac McLernon said...

Yes, Sue... we have the student review days too. But they're strictly for the kids. We also have the progress reports...

Parents come for parents' evenings (one Year Group at a time, thankfully) and the appointments at my current school are arranged centrally. But very few people stuck to their appointment time anyway!

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