Parents' evenings can be a bit daunting or even stressful when you are a training or newly qualified teacher. We share our top tips for effective feedback and communication with parents.

by Teachit's editorial team
17th August 2020

  1. Tricky customers. If you anticipate a difficult conversation, phone parents or carers before the evening to discuss some of the key issues. You can then identify how best to work with each other to support your student/their child during the evening.

  2. Standard supplies. Consider having spare chairs, sweets, colouring sheets, an iPad or the ability to pop on a film as an option for younger siblings so that parents can concentrate fully on the discussion. Have some supplies on your desk – paper and pens for parents who want to take notes, and tissues for unexpected emotional moments! 

  3. Food and drink. Have a bottle of water handy to keep hydrated. If you can, eat a proper meal before you start – you’ll need your energy!

  4. Photos. For parents’ evenings early in the school year or where you have a large number of students in one year group, print out student photos to avoid confusion between students of the same or similar name!

  5. Attention to detail. Ask each student who will be attending so that you can note the name and correct title of the parent or carer on your appointment sheet, along with the student’s name. You can then introduce yourself more personally.

  6. Sample work. Take the class set of books with you and sort them into the order of parental appointments so that you can easily find the relevant book to show recent work (and identify a really nice example of each student’s work to share with parents). Bring some key texts, examples of work or subject handbooks for parents to look at if you’re not running to time.

  7. Subject specifics. Create a handout to give to each parent with tips on how they can support their child in your subject. This could include, for example, specific websites, resources, revision tips or dates of forthcoming assessments.

  8. Data. Make sure you print off or bring copies of data, such as target grades, recent test results, homework marks, etc. Refer to these as evidence of trends such as increased effort or to show where more progress is required.

  9. Timings. Try to stick to appointment timings. Delays can be stressful for parents and other colleagues if you overrun and develop a back log. Use your phone timer to help.

  10. Start with the positives. If you have challenges working with a particular student, think carefully about the good things you can say before you meet their parent or carer, so you can confidently start with the nice stuff.


Download all 20 ideas for managing parents' evenings below: 

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