How to shine at parents’ evening

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By Paul Noblefreelance writer, ex-head teacher and education advisor

Remember that first impressions last. Find out how you can have positive meetings with parents

teacher with parent

Making a good impression during interviews with parents is essential for your professional integrity and parents’ confidence in you as a teacher. But it does require effort on your part. Parent interviews need careful and thorough planning. Although each school will have its own strategy and timetable for these, there are some general rules of thumb that can be applied to all interviews with parents.

Choose your ground

Talking to parents about their children needs to be done in a proper place. Don’t be drawn into discussing a child’s progress across a busy road or in a pub. If you are put under pressure, suggest a private appointment. Parents will appreciate the effort you are making and will usually concur. If this fails, make polite excuses and move on. A head teacher I know once dismissed parents with the conversation-stopping excuse, ‘Sorry, I’ve got to go. I have to bury the cat’. (This is not recommended.)

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