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).