Some teachers of course will be brutally honest, would never dream of beating around the proverbial bush, and might even make you cry.
Which is best? I’ll go for the lost in translation approach please Miss.
To help you decipher those well honed phrases I’d like to share with you a useful article I sourced from The Guardian archives that both made me giggle and gasp (see 4) as it hit a cord of familiarity a bit close to home.
Teachers Translated: what they say and what they mean
1 ‘So, how do you think she’s settled in?’
Parents always react to this as if I were making idle chitchat. But it’s actually important to me and I need an honest response. If your child is showing any signs of unhappiness at all, hopefully there is time for us to get to the bottom of it so that a) we can make her happy again and b) her learning won’t be impeded.
2 ‘She’s quite a character’
Even the most stone-hearted teacher loves to have lively children in their class, but if a teacher makes this sort of comment it might be that your child is sending out worrying signals. Could she be crying out for attention and, if so, why? Is she parked in front of a screen for most of the time at home to keep her quiet or occupied? If so, it’s little wonder that she may want an audience when that screen isn’t around. While getting laughs from her peers might make her feel good, it won’t help her learning. It might be time to limit the screen time and have a few conversations in which you listen to her.
3 ‘I’d like to see him contribute more to class discussion.’
Some children genuinely lack self-confidence. If this is the case I’ll tell you so in a heartbeat, and we could discuss a few strategies to build his self-esteem or speaking skills. Some children, on the other hand, don’t lack confidence in class yet for some reason they choose to sit and watch others put up their hands in discussion. If I use this phrase, it’s because he’s a bright kid, and I think he – and the rest of the class – would benefit from him sharing his ideas more readily. It would be great if we could both encourage him to do so, and shower him with praise when he does.
4 ‘He needs to take more responsibility for his own learning.’
I’m telling you, regretfully, that he’s bone idle. Could it be that he is is too used to having everything done for him at home? If he can’t think for himself, he’ll be in for a major shock at secondary school. He needs to learn responsibility, and fast; a few chores around the house in exchange for his weekly pocket money would be a good way to support this at home.
Secondary and FE
5. ‘His written work is inconsistent.’
Your son’s arts course isn’t just painting, acting and drama games. He needs to put hard hours in on the theory as well as the practical stuff, because written work will count for just as much when it comes to his final grade. Unless he starts taking this side of things seriously, he’ll end up losing that university place to somebody else who does. It would be great if you could join me in reminding him of this as often as I seem to be doing.
6 ‘This subject doesn’t come naturally to him/her …’
See also: ‘Needs to apply herself a little bit more.’
To be blunt, he’s going to fail unless he pulls his finger out. We can discuss a variety of intervention strategies and extra revision, but I really need you to limit the X-Box. Coming up with a structured work/play timetable nailed to the fridge at home – particularly in the run-up to exam time – would be a good start.
7 (to child at parents’ evening) ‘How do you think you are getting on? Tell me about your progress this year.’
Sorry. It’s nothing personal, but I’ve been sitting in this chair for the past three hours, and I physically can’t talk any more.
Other phrases translated:
‘When you apply yourself you can create some really good work’
Translation: Timmy needs to knuckle down and work harder.
‘Can be a little chatty’
Translation: REALLY disruptive.
‘Please remind me what time your appointment is?’
Translation: I have absolutely no idea who you are or what your child is called.
(Source Source: theguardian.com
The writer is a history teacher and blogs under the name of Disappointed Idealist)
Parents’ Evenings have been much likened to speed dating so make sure you get the most out of your 15 minutes, read this useful article by clicking on the link below.
PARENTS EVENINGS – Get the most out of your 15 minutes
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