Secret Teacher: Your child is low priority unless they’re exam-age

Mar 14, 2016 by

We’ll pay attention when they’re writing GCSEs or A-levels but until then we can barely tell them apart at parents’ evening

It’s year 8 parents’ evening. The dining hall is alive with the buzz of conscientious parents ready to hear how their children are getting on, and whether the 13 years of love, worry and encouragement they’ve invested in their offspring are bearing fruit.

I’ve got back-to-back five minute appointments, and halfway through the evening a queue has built up. As a mother and daughter get up to leave, my stomach drops. Uh-oh. Blond hair, long face, pointy chin. Next is either Tom or Tim … but I can’t tell them apart unless they’re in the classroom.

Tom sits in the middle of the room and gets on with his learning. He’s near the top of the class and deserves to see his parents beaming with pride at a good report. Tim sits in the front and messes about, and once attempted to fling glue on to my ceiling. I want to tell his parents that he could do a lot better if he only took a more positive attitude towards his learning.

“Hello,” I say with a warm smile, and introduce myself. I’m hoping his mum will introduce herself in return with “I’m Tom/Tim’s mum” but no, she just shakes my hand with a friendly “hello” and the two take a seat. Time for another tactic. I scan my appointment sheet with rising panic.

Source: Secret Teacher: Your child is low priority unless they’re exam-age | Teacher Network | The Guardian

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