The Challenges of Parent Evenings

I am pretty sure when I was at school my parents saw the teachers about once a year, if that. And school reports were only sent out annually. That's definitely no longer the case



As a parent in today's world, there are appointments and reports and tests and assessments and meetings and all sorts. I see more of the boys' teachers than I do of my friends!

Stalking the teachers

We even once went on holiday with one of my son's teachers. I would like to point out in our defence that this was not done on purpose. The poor lady just happened to be on the same flight and staying at the same hotel as us. It must have felt like a busman's holiday to her, as my son kept on rushing up to her to play, or to show her a particularly interesting book he was reading.

By the third day I spotted her in a large hat and big sunglasses, scuttling off to a far flung part of the resort. I could only sympathise and wish I could join her.

Unaccompanied as I am

This week we had to attend two lots of parents' evening for our 2 boys. Normally my husband comes along and asks very sensible questions but on both occasions he was away.

That was poor planning on his part but what can you do? He said he had 2 important business meetings that he had to attend - one on a golf course and the other at a Michelin starred restaurant. Sometimes I wish I had his job (but without the golf).

Meet the teachers

Anyway, that left me on my own to meet the teachers. Sort of like meeting the in-laws, but with more disapproving stares!

For some reason I get very nervous at these events, as I do with my in laws, which doesn't bring out the best in me. I talk too much, share way too much information about myself with them (not necessarily appropriate either), pass on gossip and generally make a fool of myself.

Stay away from the bar at parents' evenings!

What makes it worse is that they offer free wine at these events. Why would they do that? Don't they know that is just a recipe for disaster?

I've seen a parent knock back a bottle of wine at one of these things, before weaving her way to the PE teacher and throwing a comforting and slightly lecherous arm around his shoulders. Or was that just me?

Other parents have a couple of glasses then start to get a bit punchy when they don't like what they hear about dear little Jonny. Schools - take note. Wine and parents' evenings are not a good combination.

Reports from their teachers

The long and the short of it is that we had a good report for our eldest, but unsurprisingly a mixed bag for the youngest. Apparently he chats a lot, doesn't really listen and is pretty slow in getting changed.

Tell me something I don't know.

Amanda Coxen, Working Mum and Tinies Director

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