Faces pop on PC screens
For just eight minutes at a time,
But speaking to the parent of
That child that sits too quietly,
So far back I sometimes fail to see,
I realise that there’s such a depth,
The things I never knew.
I sat in my first parents’ evening tonight and it was a very strange experience. I have not been on the teacher side of a normal parents’ evening so at least the other teachers were feeling the same level of apprehension as I was (luckily I’m not speaking to the parents until next week).
We sat in a quiet classroom and waited for each eight minute slot, and then a face would appear on the screen. It was weird as we didn’t really know what the person on the other side would be like. There was no queue at the table as you would see at a normal event.
But, for me, as a trainee, it was realising that some of the students I see in tutorial aren’t all that I thought they were. This really applies to the quiet ones that come in, sit down and don’t cause a fuss. I notice them at the back, but they are shy and I don’t want to make them feel uncomfortable, so I leave them be.
When you speak to the parents you hear some of the background stuff that you would never hear from the pupil. You get told about the learning difficulties, disabilities, mental health problems and family issues.
It is only then that you see what some of these kids are carrying on their shoulders. Tonight has made me think twice about making assumptions and it’s made me want to reach out to the quiet ones a little more.
We all have our stories and I would hate to think that those that sit at the back of the class are wanting me to make the first move. I would hate for them to think that I don’t care.
Make sure that you spend tomorrow showing that you care because it may well make somebody’s day.