Good questions to ask at parents’ evenings

“To make the most of your allotted few minutes, draw up a list of questions to ask in advance”

Waiting for your turn to see your child’s teacher on parents’ evening can sometimes be a little nerve-wracking, especially if it’s your first time. However, parents’ evenings are simply designed to give you a chance to check on your child’s progress with their teacher, and find out a little more about their life at school.

If you’ve ever come away from a parents’ evening feeling there’s still more you’d like to learn about your child’s school work, next time aim to arrive prepared. To make the most of your allotted few minutes, draw up a list of questions in advance and bring them with you.

Elizabeth M, is a primary school teacher and has been working with children for 15 years, ranging from babies to 16 year olds, and is also a parent herself so has been on both sides of the parents’ evening table. She’s given some tips below as to the sort of questions to ask your child’s teacher. Take your pick from those which are most relevant, or use the list to help you come up with some suggestions of your own. The first seven are more general, whilst questions from eight onwards may be useful if there are particular issues to discuss;

1. Does she seem happy? How does she get along with the others?

2. Who does she tend to play with?

3. What do you feel his strongest subjects are? What does he seem to enjoy doing the most?

4. What do you think he needs more help with?

5. What can we be doing at home to help?

6. Do you think he’s making the same amount of progress that he made last year?

7. Would you say she’s a leader or a follower?

8. I worry that she is one of the quiet, average girls who just gets on with it. I’m wondering if she’s getting stretched enough?

9. He seems to have hit a bit of a plateau since Christmas. Do you feel he’s still making the right amount of progress?

10. We really worry that her reading isn’t good enough for her age. Can you recommend any good books we can try to get at home?

11. I’m not sure how to best help him with his reading and writing. Could you explain to me how you teach them handwriting? Do you have any information sheets I could take away with me?

12. I’ve noticed that he seems to sit with x a lot at work time and I’m not sure that they are a very good influence on each other. Is there a way you could help to broaden his friendship group?

Whether you’re a teacher or a parent (or both!) is there anything else you would suggest to help get the most out of parents’ evenings, or would you like to share your own parents’ evenings experiences? Leave a comment below…

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