Parent/Teacher interviews, a translation for the uninitiated.

It’s almost mid year, that means parent teacher interview time.  Parents rejoice the moment that note comes home with the little box checked, interview required – yes.  Yeah right.

With this many children (half a dozen plus one, in case you’re just coming in), I am fast becoming a pro at the art of the parent teacher interview.  I’m fairly sure I’m every teachers nightmare, especially when I pull out an iPad full of my notes and questions. O_o

What newbie parents of school age kids may not realise, is that teachers have a finely tuned turn of phrase – a language if you’ll humor me, that they have crafted especially for use on parents.  Pretty sure it’s a subject in their bachelor of education – How to talk to Parents 101.

A lot of these statements will often be used in place of saying something negative about your child, questions disguised as a statement, but let’s face it – why have you been summoned to the school on a cold winters night?  This probably isn’t going to be your night.  Prepare for an evening of awkward explanations and uncomfortable silences as you figure out what to say next.

While I don’t have the answers, I can help with some translation of the parent teacher interview language for you.

What is he like at home? = Good god.  How DO you live with him?

He is full of energy = I simply cannot keep this kid in his seat.

He has interesting tastes = Like glue, glitter, sand, the class guinea pigs food and paint.

He always seems very hungry = Obviously sandwiches are not his thing.  Try spreading glitter on them. Our stationary costs are mounting.

She is very creative, and we need to find a way to channel that into something = Drawing horns and glasses on every picture she comes across in any book, is getting a bit old. The class has been banned from the library.

She needs to be more focussed on her class work = When she is not drawing on library books, she is staring out the window. Quite probably daydreaming about drawing glasses on ponies.

We enjoy having him in the class = This kid is more fun to watch than the circus.

He is a very affectionate little boy = Some parents outside may wish to talk to you also. Kiss chase is just not the done thing these days.

Thanks for coming, it’s lovely to meet you = Wow, you made it I didn’t think you’d be so together given what I see from your child each day, and amazingly you look quite normal! (Damn I owe the deputy a fiver).

11 Comments

Filed under School, The Kids

11 Responses to Parent/Teacher interviews, a translation for the uninitiated.

  1. Love the translations, especially the ‘we love having him in the class’ one. My favourite was from a friend’s daughter’s kindergarten report – She is very confident in her social interactions (translation: she is bossy).

  2. You forgot “He’s an active listener” It’s a nice way of saying he draws/plays paper football/plays drums with his pencil etc. while she’s trying to teach. He can answer her if she calls on him, and that only makes it more annoying.
    I dread the parent/teacher conference. I know they’re expecting me to come in dissheveled since my daughter absolutely refuses to comb her hair and always has chocolate cereal milk stains on her shirt.

  3. Danni

    Gold. Yet another awesome blog… it gave me heaps of giggles. Ta

  4. How true! I am sure I will have years of ‘What’s he like at home?’, He’s full of energy’ and ‘He has interesting tastes’.

    PS: Can just imagine you pulling out your iPad : )

  5. Haha, love it. So true … (You can read their expressions as to what they really think as they speak. Especially the part where you look surprisingly normal and well-adjusted.)

  6. Judy

    I totally agree with you. I sit on both sides of the desk and there are so many things we’re not allowed to say that you end up looking for some really obscure way to get it across – especially the case in reports. And I LOVE your last comment – it’s so true (not that it’s ever cost me a fiver!).

  7. Angela

    I hate it when the teacher has a different agenda.
    Really have I been that bad in teacher interviews… I’m always in trouble.

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