Parent’s evening may be an annual or termly event that you and your children have to endure. Rather than seeing it as a chore however, see it as a chance to get to know your children in a different light. Understanding how your child learns and how you can support them can vastly improve their educational success.
Here we are looking at a range of key questions you can ask. With children at secondary school y
ou may have a score of teachers to see so perhaps save some of the more personal questions for their personal tutor rather than grilling every single subject teacher.
Attitude to learning
It’s important you understand your child’s attitude to learning. Just knowing their grades is not enough for a true picture and their attitude will have just as much of an impact on their results as their intelligence. Understanding your child’s approach to learning will help. Some pupils, for example, may not be achieving fantastic grades but their learning approach is extremely enthusiastic. This is a positive you can embrace and they may simply need more encouragement or additional tutoring.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Once again looking at grades won’t necessarily tell you where your child shines. They could have a talent for an extra-curricular activity, for example, they may have a weakness that you’re perfectly placed to help them with. It can be hard for children to be reflective so seeing the objective view of the teacher can really fill in the gaps your child hasn’t told you about.
Enjoyment and Pleasure
Ask about what your child enjoys. It could be a surprise. They may be a huge art fan but not achieving great grades and there’s nothing wrong with that. Just because somebody is fantastic at a subject doesn’t necessarily mean they enjoy it so learning about their genuine passions in the classroom can help you develop them at home. Education has to include a degree of pleasure or it isn’t achieving anything.
Levels and Measures
Although it’s not a competition understanding where you child sits compared to their peers can help you support them more at home if necessary. You should always chat to each subject teacher about where you child sits in terms of averages for the school and for the country. If they’re falling below you may be able to look for ways to provide them with additional homework support or consider private tuition to boost their competence and confidence. Remember these levels are only guidance so there is no need to feel upset or anxious if your child needs extra support.
How can I help?
Teachers may have resources and ideas which you can utilise to help your children at home. It could be additional reading or it could be giving you a run-down of the subject areas coming up so you can brief your child and get them interested in the topic in preparation. It’s very easy to be overbearing and stifle your child when it comes to their education so take note of anything the teachers can provide you with to be supportive without taking over.
You will attend countless parent’s evenings in your life as a mum or dad so it’s important to get the most out of them. They are important and they can have a positive or negative impact on your child’s education, depending on how seriously you take them.