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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:53 pm 
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I am struggling with an issue that has come up at my sons school. We have had the letter to invite us to attend parent consultations and information on how my son has the opportunity to book '7 appointments' for us during the 'evening'. My first question is, I feel a little restricted by being told I can only see 7 out of, say 13 subject teachers. (This also happened in year 7).
Also, I asked DS to book with his science teacher who told him that as she has three year 8 classes she is only making appointments with boys SHE wants to see.so wouldnt let him book.....
So, I am being over sensitive and should i be grateful im off the hook for a relatively quiet evening or is the parents consultations for parents and therefore should there be more choice for them? I would love your opinions and happy to be put in my place :shock:


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:20 pm 
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It can be very frustrating and disappointing not to see the teachers you really want to see. My dd's school operates a system whereby we can have as many appointments as we are able to get - except some teachers aren't able to see all their pupils because (for whatever reason) they are timetabled to have (say) all four forms and cannot possibly see all the parents in the one evening. They tend to restrict it to either those they really need to see (ie: those struggling/having problems) or (if no-one's really struggling) they do it by by a draw.

If I were you, and you cannot get to the teacher/s you really want to see, I'd make separate appointments. Parents' Evenings don't give you the time to discuss anything thoroughly anyway, and I think you'd be much better off doing it this way - and you'd get more time, and privacy too!

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:20 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2009 2:14 pm
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Location: essex
My son is in year 7 and exactly the same has happened with him.
The science and english teachers have said they only want to see parents of boys about whom they have concerns and my son has not been chosen. Whilst it is pleasing he is not causing any problems it is his first parents evening at secondary school and I feel those two subjects are particularly important.
Once I have the full list of appointments I am going to email the teachers who are not able to see me just to check all is well, perhaps you could do the same?
While intending no disrespect to the teachers of music, drama, DT and PE, they are not really the ones I want to see and I will be very disappointed if I have to spend an evening chatting about his key fob project or how he is progressing in basketball.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:26 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 2:28 pm
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I think there are similar problems at lots of schools.
My experience of many such evenings is that one rarely learns anything useful anyway!
If there are subjects that you are particularly concerned about where you can't get an appointment to see the teacher then I would contact them (email, written note...) and either ask any questions or if it is more serious then ask for a telephone appointment.

I'm not saying that I think the arrangements at your school are fine or that you are being unreasonable to be annoyed but you are probably fighting a loosing battle to do anything about it other than if you take a pragmatic approach and focus on specific issues you need to sort out for your child.

Hope you do manage to make contact with all those teachers that you need to.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 10:35 pm 
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Location: Barnet, Herts
I think that's awful. My son is in Y9 and we have just had our 3rd Consultation Evening.
The children make appointments with ALL their teachers and you get 10 minutes with each one. Mind you, there are less children as it's an indie so I suppose it is easier for teachers to get through them all. But I think if you want to see a specific teacher then that should be allowed. I would definitely make an appointment to see the teachers you need to see on another occasion.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2011 11:33 pm 
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Joined: Thu Dec 18, 2008 10:12 am
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Location: Berkshire
We've just had year 8 parents' evening, and seen all we wanted to see with the exception of the English teacher, who went to great pains to explain to our son to say that we could seek a telephone consultation or face to face meeting because she had no time left on the evening. I have not bothered because he is doing well, and I've no worries at this stage. If I had, I would be on the phone straight away, trying to make appointments with those I had no opportunity to meet.

If you think you need to speak to the science teacher, then ring her and make an appointment, or do it over the phone, as far as I'm concerned, parents' evening is our opportunity to have a word as much as the teachers, and if no appointments are left, another day/time should be made available


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 7:30 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 16, 2010 8:12 pm
Posts: 800
Location: Kent
We have had several years of secondary parents evenings at DS1 and DS2's school (the same one). I always found it ok, apart from regularly sitting down to be told how 'Charlie' or 'John' are doing so have to remind the teacher who my son actually is! (this for me indicates the pointlessness to a certain degree of the exercise) School reports are the same and I have just returned the reply slip to ask the school to pass on the comment about someone other than my son, but which is in his report :roll:

Now DS3 is at a different school and they have online monitoring available to parents to give a 'real time' view of his progress and at parents evening it was a finely tuned operation. Almost like speed dating where you get 5 minutes with the person in front of you and then a bell rings and your time is up. Nothing worse than missing appointments because the teacher / parent has taken far too long and if extra time is needed you are encouraged to contact the school about it. Emails to the teachers are available by clicking a link through the timetable (also online) so really easy!

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 9:13 am 
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TBH my husband is a Science teacher and,because of the way it's organised, teaches something in the region of TWELVE different groups-seeing some as little as once a fortnight- so perhaps understandably does have problems differentiating between some of his quieter students. He can't see all parents at Parents' Evenings due to time contraints, however is always available to speak to parents during the week on the telephone or by separate arrangement.
However, as a former English teacher I am astonished to see that the English teacher doesn't intend to see all of her students and I would certainly request an appointment at a later date. Usually you see the same six or so groups of students for five lessons a week so I'm sure will have something to say.
Also, as mentioned by another poster, it is as much your chance to speak to the teachers as it is the teachers' to speak to you.
I'll see what happens at my DS's school later this month! One thing they do is say the student should come too which I liked as a teacher, but don't like at all as a parent as I'll feel quite inhibited lest I embarrass my DS!!


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 10:11 am 
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As far as I know, all the students attend the parents' evenings at my dd's school, it's great because the teachers know exactly who they're talking about then. I don't find it inhibits us at all. It's good for her to know what we say and what the teacher says about her - and she knows we know!

DD's school is also about to start on the live on-line monitoring, I'm looking forward to that :D

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 09, 2011 11:32 am 
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We had our first parents eve last night where dd came too and I like it! You know, they know and they know you know :wink: No excuses - you can discuss any slacking off and they have heard it from the teacher in front of parent. A bit :oops: for them but a good boot up the backside. Also nice for them to hear the praise too and hear parent sticking up for them if necessary. I wouldn't say you need it every year but I thought it was ideal for Y9s.

Always a bit of a logistical nightmare but some people seem to have it off to a fine art (not me though) I would say that emailing is a good option, I have on occasion done this with teachers and if you don't overdo it I think it could work well when you want more info or didn't get an appointment at parents eve.


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