If the messages have been less positive, they should be confident that needs are understood and by working together, home and school can ensure good progress.
You might make the day – or even the week – of someone who was in school photocopying lesson materials at 6.30am.
For teachers, meeting parents is always illuminating, deepening our understanding of how to bring out potential in a student, even if difficult messages have sometimes to be shared.
This is the parents’ evening, which is why you are being told now.
Concentrate on understanding the problem and asking how you can support a strategy for improvement.
Both parents and teachers should be mindful that the experience feels very different on each side of those little tables and it isn’t only students who feel under the spotlight.
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Now that the academic year is up and running, I am turning my attention to this term’s parents’ evenings.
As a mother with two children in secondary education myself, I have a sense of the vulnerability parents can feel when crossing the school’s threshold to hear how their child is getting on.
Late last year we wanted to make something fun and when an associate mentioned that he'd motorised a Cosy Coupé for his son, John was struck with an instant vision - a life-sized road-going version!