First Parents’ Evening
He’s only four, he can’t have done much damage yet can he? Yet the mere idea of Parents’ Evening has immediately filled you with anxiety, not least, because you’re now the bleeding ‘parent’ in this scenario.
You can be a Teacher’s pet all you like … unfortunately that now means nothing.
They are now measuring your worth on what your precious first born has brought to the classroom and your guard is up straight away ready to prove he is a/ the perfect child b/ any bad aspects are purely from his Father and c/ any good qualities are down to outstanding mothering.
Your mind starts to race at what he has been up to when you haven’t been around: has he suffocated the class pet? Has he stolen someone’s free milk? Has he tied the teacher’s laces together.
Or written ‘Mrs Smelly Bottom’ on the board?
As an ex teacher I understand the kiss-punch-kiss or compliment sandwich technique of feedback. So I sit on the tiny plastic seat hoping it doesn’t snap or get wedged entirely onto my arse and I await the results.
“He is doing great. He’s great with numbers. He’s got a fab memory.” O.k, there goes the kiss. I await the punch…
“He can get pretty angry, and he stamps his feet.” Obviously gets that from his father!
“He’s also overly tactile with other children when he gets excited and some of them don’t like it.” She finishes. We discuss boundaries.
He’s just full of love bless him.
She finishes with lots of positives to finish her sandwich and I feel relieved. I also feel so grateful to the teacher who seems utterly wonderful and who I know from experience will be overworked and underpaid. I think about what nice gift to get her for the end of term. Box of wine should do it.
So – how do you survive?
Be prepared for the kiss-punch-kiss technique, don’t be overly defensive, remember they’re only four and be thankful they haven’t set fire to the class teddy, glued the numicons together or egged the Head teacher … yet.