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Thread: Disappointing Parent Teacher Interview

  1. #37

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    Default Re: Disappointing Parent Teacher Interview

    Quote Originally Posted by Olive View Post
    Many of you are implying that the school must inform parents of going ons at school, that they're obligated, but yet it's still ok that parents haven't bothered to meet the teacher
    But they are obligated Olive.
    They are paid to teach. They are not volunteers. This is their job.
    I must admit, I wonder if Ginger and N2L's childs teachers spend as much time with every parent as the do with them.
    2x 30-40 minute sessions per 10 week term, multiplied by 25 is ALOT of afternoon meetings. (2.5 per week)


  2. #38

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    Default Re: Disappointing Parent Teacher Interview

    Quote Originally Posted by Ginger View Post
    I think that it is ridiculous to suggest that you know everything that is going on, just by getting your child's perspective.
    This is very true! A number of times what dd has told me is very different from talking to the teacher. Especially when she said that she didn't play with anyone.

    I have two girls in school now, I drop them off and pick them up, I don't always see the teachers but I know their doors are open and we are encouraged to email.

    I think it is a two way street you have to make yourself known to the teacher even if it's phonecalls or email if you can't meet them in person. I would expect to be told if my child was involved with anything to do with the principal or being told not to play with other friends.

  3. #39

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    Default Re: Disappointing Parent Teacher Interview

    Quote Originally Posted by wysiwyg View Post
    So by not having 'met' the teacher you forfeit any right to feel like you should be informed by the school when you need to be?

    If the OP hadn't mentioned this was the first time had met the teacher would peoples reactions be different? How many times do you need to meet the teacher or 'check in' so you can complain about the lack of communication from the school?
    That is not what I am saying at all. Any other words you'd like to put in my mouth? What I am saying, is that if the op had been more involved/communicated more, then she wouldn't have found the parent teacher interview so disappointing.

  4. #40

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    Default Re: Disappointing Parent Teacher Interview

    Quote Originally Posted by Livinthedream View Post
    But they are obligated Olive.
    They are paid to teach. They are not volunteers. This is their job.
    I must admit, I wonder if Ginger and N2L's childs teachers spend as much time with every parent as the do with them.
    2x 30-40 minute sessions per 10 week term, multiplied by 25 is ALOT of afternoon meetings. (2.5 per week)

    Yes, my child's teacher meets with parents before and after school very frequently. He also returns calls/emails.

    I also believe I am obligated as a parent to take an active role in my child's education. That is my job.

  5. #41

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    Default Re: Disappointing Parent Teacher Interview

    Quote Originally Posted by nothing2lose View Post
    I find it staggering that people wouldn't want to be involved in their children's education, even at such a basic level as meeting the teacher. I mean, how onerous is it?? Why wouldn't you?????
    It isn't onerous, "why wouldn't you?" well because you don't realise that it is expected of you, because you believe the channel of communication is the 'communication' book, because you don't think using teachers time for "progress checks" without any reason to check is a valuable use of their time.

    This fascination on meeting the teacher, if the OP had met her first week of school prior to any issues and then hadn't been informed is that acceptable from the school?

    If at work I didn't inform key stakeholders of issues just because I hadn't 'met' them, I wouldn't get very far. Stakeholders expect to be informed without having to chase me and then they step up and do the necessary - if I had the attitude well they haven't bothered to meet me they obviously don't care, I will just wait till the next review meeting to tell them, I wouldn't get very far. If I spent my whole time telling them what is going on, and not actually doing anything I would also not get the best outcome.

  6. #42

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    Default Re: Disappointing Parent Teacher Interview

    Yes, if I had to update everyone on the status or their order every day, I wouldn't get too much done.
    However, the second there is a problem that I can't fix myself, I am straight on the phone to them.
    And I have lots more than 25 clients.

  7. #43

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    Default Re: Disappointing Parent Teacher Interview

    I'd be interested to hear from some BB members who are primary/secondary teachers.

  8. #44

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    Default Re: Disappointing Parent Teacher Interview

    So you expect a teacher to write in 25 kids communication books every day, good or bad?
    I had no idea such an archaic way of communication still existed tbh
    Our teacher happily communicates via email.

  9. #45

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    Default Re: Disappointing Parent Teacher Interview

    Quote Originally Posted by Olive View Post
    So you expect a teacher to write in 25 kids communication books every day, good or bad?
    I had no idea such an archaic way of communication still existed tbh
    Our teacher happily communicates via email.

    No! That's the point.
    I expect communication when it is needed.
    Which means is my child is struggling in a area and his teacher thinks he needs extra help then they should contact me.
    A single line 30 second message asking me to come in for a meeting is NOT going above the call do duty for any teacher.
    I shouldn't have to organinse weekly or monthly reviews to be afforded this "courtesy"

  10. #46

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    Default Re: Disappointing Parent Teacher Interview

    I am a teacher with a very varied background. I have been qualified to teach for about 25 years. I have worked in a variety of settings ranging from suburbs near Brisbane wih a high level of prison housing to newer suburbs in Canberra's "Nappy Valley" to being a teacher at a youth detention centre and working in tiny country schools.

    Every school in in my experience has been a direct reflection of the boss. How parents have been involved in a school has really impacted in the general atmosphere of a school.

    Smaller country schools seem to have more parent involvement (per head of kids) in my experience. This may not be the experience of other teachers.

    I personally like to invite parents to a "meet the teacher" evening/arvo at the school early every year. Some schools have encouraged this. Others have actively been against it to the extent of not willingly letting me be on school grounds with parents after hours!!!

    I tend to run two sessions early in the year. Both usually in the first week. One at 3pm so "pick-up" parents can easily attend and one at 6 ish so working parents can easily attend.
    These sessions are usually attended by about 2/3 of the parents and in my experience those who do not attend are usually the ones who complain the loudest and most unreasonably when something goes wrong.

    I have used several forms of communication with parents. I personally favour giving carers a call if anything unusual happens or a child gets into a problem. I often wait for the "pick-up" parents and make this a Face to face. If something odd happens (not behavioural for that child, like a lunch gets stolen or kid seems a bit off colour I tend to pop a hand written note in the kids bag for mum.
    For children who need more assistance for whatever reason I use communication books. I will often start one of these for kid who has learning issues, gets new glasses, parents report a family incident like a death in the family or a divorce. Kids with behaviour issues get e book just so we all keep on top of things.
    In an average class I would write in probably 5-8 books each day.
    If a kid really surprises me with their learning in a positive or negative way I would probably send a note home.......just to keep us all on the right page.

    I must say at most schools I've worked at we talk about kids a fair bit with other teachers and if we are worried about a negative interview we'd chat to others about positive things we could say.

    Hope this helps

    As for OP I think perhaps communication systems aren't working for you or the teacher. I suggest look to the schools boss and see what could be done.

    There is little progress made in hashing over what's gone wrong. Communicating your concerns is important. Working towards and improvement is more important.

    Keep in mind I no longer teach full time ..........................................

  11. #47

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    Default Re: Disappointing Parent Teacher Interview

    Moderator Message
    There is a great discussion going on here but please remember to keep it nice. Let's not let it get derailed. We are all mums or dads, or mums to be, whether we work outside the home or not. Please respect each other's opinions.


  12. #48

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    Default Re: Disappointing Parent Teacher Interview

    My 2 cents...

    Although I agree that if the student is struggling or getting in trouble, the school should be contacting the parents, I also tend to have the philosophy of - don't expect everyone else to do the right thing.
    I'm like that with driving, work, and the people looking after/educating my kids.

    I feel that by striking up a relationship with my kids educators, I am opening up the lines of communication and they know we are working towards a common goal.

    My SIL & BIL are both PS teachers and have both said that they find it much easier to talk to the parents who make themselves known to them. They tend to find it intimidating to talk to parents they don't have a relationship with because they feel that these days, parents tend to be very defensive and show little respect towards them as teachers.

  13. #49

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    Default Re: Disappointing Parent Teacher Interview

    Quote Originally Posted by nothing2lose View Post
    Astrid, my understanding is that all state schools in Victoria (at least) have these types of info sessions at the beginning of the school term.
    Year 3 this year and the first time interviews have been held at the start of the year. The reason give was nothing to do with what other schools were doing. An info session, is different to a 3 way interview with the teacher, parents and student.
    We are are a regional school and tend to follow what the other schools in the region are doing (principals have regular meetings), what they decide to do as a group may differ to what is done in Melbourne schools.
    (not posting as an argument, just an FYI )

  14. #50

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    Default Re: Disappointing Parent Teacher Interview

    I am a teacher, and the majority of parents in primary school do make contact with the teachers in the first week. We tend to send home a welcome letter and I'm more than happy to take 30 mins a week to fire off a reply if any parents have concerns. We have a range of home environments, but most parents do acknowledge the welcome note through email or phone call, if they are unable to do school drop offs/pick ups
    Admittedly the schools I've been at only have around 500 students, as our classes have been about 25 students, so its been easier to maintain contact with families.
    As a parent, I have only been able to pick my DD up from school about 25% of the time. Im also *that* parent who only finds notes when its the night before, or too late, so the teacher calls and will touch base that way. We did the parent teacher interview over the phone this semester as I couldnt get into the class at all.

  15. #51

    Default Re: Disappointing Parent Teacher Interview

    I think it is probably worth considering that while some may view regular check ins with teachers as a poor use of the teachers time, I think the opposite may well be true. A few minutes spent making sure you are both on the same page and complimenting each others efforts instead of pulling in opposite directions or missing things would often actually decrease the time the teacher spends trying to work through issues, getting students up to speed and putting out spot fires with disgruntled parents. Time spent preventing an issue today is much better than the two or three fold time spent when it the issue rears comes to the surface bigger and trickier 6 months later. Obviously disruptive communication like breathing down a teachers neck, micromanaging and having unrealistic expectations about how a student is or should be travelling is going to be problematic for a teachers time, but there is plenty of room between 'haven't spoken to the teacher all year' and 'lengthy tongue lashing every week' for effective communication to happen and save time down the track.

  16. #52

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    Default Re: Disappointing Parent Teacher Interview

    Oh dinky, I'd be so disappointed after that meeting too. I'm really concerned that it sounds like this teacher doesn't really like your daughter and has a negative view of her. That's not a good environment for your daughter to be in. If she's always being told what she does isn't good enough or clever enough then it's going to really impact her love for learning and confidence in her abilities. I think you need to follow up with another meeting to try and discuss it all more.

    As for the discussion on meeting a teacher, I am surprised that you didn't make time in the first week of school to be there for a pick up and to meet her teacher at least once. To meet the teacher for the first time mid-year seems odd. But regardless of that I do think you should have been notified when your daughter was sent to the principal's office and when plans were being made such as not allowing her to spend time with a certain friend. I'd be questioning the principal about that and just letting them know you are keen to be kept in the loop and you are available for meetings if they contact you.

  17. #53

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    Default Re: Disappointing Parent Teacher Interview

    This is a quote from the Raising children website

    All parents will have a different relationship with their child’s school. This relationship isn’t just about direct contact with the school, but also includes relationships with other parents, your child’s friends and teachers. The relationship might change as your child gets older, or when things change at work or at home.
    This is the point - all parents have different forms of relationships with their children and their children's school - just because you haven't 'met' the teacher does not make you an un-involved parent, who doesn't care about their education Different teachers have different ways they prefer to work with parents, some may enjoy/desire frequent contact even when issues are not present, some may not - but whichever the teachers preference their shouldn't be the assumption that parents all know what is preferred for that teacher - parents need to be informed - and as I have said previously the fact that a communication book existed, tends to suggest that that is the preferred method - just like if there was no book, and the teacher gives out their email and says "is easiest to contact me via email, please email me for updates on your child's progress" you would know that it is what to do.

    Yes it is easier often to deal with someone once you have met them face to face (is why businesses fly teams all over the place for project start-ups) dealing with someone once you have had some form of physical interaction (acknowledgement of them as real person) is always better - but if you haven't met them it doesn't mean you just dismiss them or make assumptions.

    A few minutes spent making sure you are both on the same page and complimenting each others efforts instead of pulling in opposite directions or missing things would often actually decrease the time the teacher spends trying to work through issues, getting students up to speed and putting out spot fires with disgruntled parents. Time spent preventing an issue today is much better than the two or three fold time spent when it the issue rears comes to the surface bigger and trickier 6 months later.
    All of the above is true - and all of the above could also be applied to the teachers lack of communication, and the added bonus is the teacher actually knows what the issues are and where is the best use of their time across a class of students. All this focus on the parent in this thread, all these judgements applied, where is the education given to the parent about the type of communication required? - teachers have under gone some training they know what is current way of thinking, what is the way their school works etc etc - there is plenty of guidance on how teachers should be communicating - many parents only have their own experiences to go on and often their own will have involved their parents (who may have been extremely involved in their childrens education, on parent committees etc) only being in touch with the school when there are any problems.

    Obviously disruptive communication like breathing down a teachers neck, micromanaging and having unrealistic expectations about how a student is or should be travelling is going to be problematic for a teachers time, but there is plenty of room between 'haven't spoken to the teacher all year' and 'lengthy tongue lashing every week' for effective communication to happen and save time down the track.
    I don't believe frequent communication is always disruptive (in most cases it probably isn't), I just don't believe it is always necessary or that teachers have the time to devote the amount of time as mentioned in N2L's example to every student in the class. I trust that the teachers will make sure the time they have is applied where it is needed most, I don't care whether that is my child or not (if there was something concerning me I would get in touch) - but making out that people who don't make frequent contact (monthly was an example given) are not involved in the education, not taking responsibility, don't see it as their job etc - is not only a unfair assumption but it also is likely to have the effect of placing more pressure on teachers as instead of being able to balance their time across the class as they see fit - they have to see everyone because everyone wants to see them because otherwise they are labelled as an un-involved parent.

    If people want to have frequent meetings, emails, contact etc - go for it - but just because that is not someone elses style don't label them - people have many different approaches, a parents approach might be different with different children depending on their needs, different teachers etc. etc.

    When DD starts school next year - I will be sure to find out exactly what sort of communication her teachers require (she will have more than one) - I am more than happy to comply with whatever their approach is - as I suspect most parents are - if only they are told.

    I do find much of this thread disturbing though - the whole lets just ignore whether the school has done the right thing or not and blame the parent (if only the parent had met the teacher). It would be an interesting experiment to post the same thread elsewhere but instead of saying "I haven't met her before" say "I met the teacher once at beginning of year for 10 mins" - and see what different responses it might elicit.

    People may have a 'bee in their bonnet' about parents who aren't involved in their childrens education, but it might be better to target this ire at people who actually aren't interested in their childrens education, rather than just those who might approach in a different way to you.

  18. #54

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    Default Re: Disappointing Parent Teacher Interview

    Dinky, I can hear your frustration, your anger and your disappointment in your original post.

    I am concerned that you were never contacted about your DD's friendships and behaviour. It doesnt matter if she was a follower or instigator, I would have expected a call from someone at the school about this behaviour. What sort of behaviour does your dd have at home? (Its not a question made in judgement) (If my dd was displaying similar behaviour at home, especially when around these friends outside of school then I personally would have discouraged the friendships)

    From your post I feel like there is a total disconnect from the your home and school. (re the books, the homework, the friendships) I don't think either one (you or school) is at fault, however I really do believe that families and schools do need to work together to gain the best results for students. Your post feels very defensive though, and its really hard to work out what is really going on behind all this.

    We all do our best as parents. Teachers do their best as well. Perhaps make an appointment with the principle next term to address the behaviour with the friends, ask why you weren't informed of this earlier. Organise another meeting with her teacher next term. By the sounds of it your dd has very few issues at school though, her grades are good, it sounds like the teacher knows she is a good kid at heart and is attempting to look out for her.

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