Parents’ evening always stresses me out. I’m not sure exactly why – maybe something to do with having to listen to someone else comment on my kids’ abilities, personality and highlight the good (blush), gently flag the not so good (cringe). It’s even worse than getting feedback on myself somehow.
If you also struggle with this three times a year, I’ve developed some top tips for surviving (and my lovely teacher friend has added some thoughts too):
1. Don’t mind the little chairs.
If your bottom doesn’t fit, just remember that they are made for little bottoms not grown up bottoms. It makes me think of the time Victoria Beckham was so tiny that she wore jeans that were the same size as kids aged some-age-less-than-10 jeans. Don’t be hard on yourself. You are not Victoria Beckham.
2. Don’t get stressed out by the countdown timer on the table.
If it’s not there, so-and-so’s parents will literally be speaking to the Maths teacher for an hour which means everyone will still be there at midnight.
3. Don’t be embarrassed if you forget who is actually teaching your kids.
No-one can be expected to keep track of every single teacher from one year to the next.
4. Yes, teachers are very young.
Just accept this. This is the way of the world. See also: policemen.
5. Understand The Teacher’s Code.
Here are some examples:
Likes to participate – talks non-stop and has no off-switch
An independent thinker – impossible to teach
Didn’t get this quite right but it was a good effort – completely wrong
Do NOT cry, or worse, collapse in a hysterical fit of giggles.
In response to constructive criticism do not argue or reply, no matter how tempting, “Isn’t that your job?”
The teachers know all your secrets. Your kids tell them EVERYTHING. But as one wise teacher once said to me, “I won’t believe everything they tell us about you if you won’t believe everything they tell you about me”.
What the teacher REALLY thinks…
The teacher sitting across from you is probably thinking the following: