Parent’s Evening: What Teachers Say & What They Actually Mean

It’s the time of year in many schools when parents are invited into schools to have a chat with their children’s teachers about how they are settling into their classes. It’s a chance to get to know the teachers a little bit and find out more about what your child gets up to during the day, which is especially helpful if you have a child who apparently “forgets” everything that happened and refuses to divulge any information about the secret world of school.

But are you really getting the whole story, or is your child’s teacher just being kind when heaping those words of praise? We’ve chatted to some teachers to get the low down on what they say to parents, and what they actually mean.

1. Capability

Boy peeking over the teacher's desk

What They Say:

I know he’s a lot more capable than he lets on, but he seems to be happy meeting his expectations and that’s fine.

What They Mean:

He does the bare minimum to get by, but at least he doesn’t cause any trouble.

2. Behaviours

Funny child is naughty reading a book at School.

What They Say:

Your child has been a little disruptive in class with some challenging behaviours.

What They Mean:

Your child is the reason why I drink half a bottle of wine every night.

3. Copies

Child with cartoon angel wings and halo

What They Say:

I would happily have a whole class filled with copies of your child.

What They Mean:

I’m not sure which one is your child because they stay below the radar so they are obviously one of the easy ones.

4. Animated

Teacher is asking kids in classroom at school.

What They Say:

She can be quite animated when talking about a topic she enjoys.

What They Mean:

She’s a bit of a know-it-all who doesn’t give the other kids a chance to put their ideas forward.

5. Chatty

young girl talking and being loud

What They Say:

She’s quite chatty isn’t she?

What They Mean:

Oh my god she never, ever, ever, ever, ever stops talking. Please tell me she’s like this at home so I know I’m not the only one who has to deal with it.

6. Humour

Portrait Of Happy Naughty Little Boy Bulging His Ears.

What They Say:

He has an interesting sense of humour.

What They Mean:

He thinks it’s hilarious to disrupt the class with jokes and it’s wearing thin.

7. Personality

Happy Smiling Boy In Red T-shirt In Glasses Is Going To School

What They Say:

He’s got a lovely personality.

What They Mean:

Your child is never going to be a rocket scientist but at least he’s not one of the naughty ones.

8. On Stage

Girl performing with a hat, practicing acting

What They Say:

She’s destined to be on stage.

What They Mean:

She constantly demands to be the centre of attention.

8. Handwriting

Young female child at school writing on paper

What They Say:

I think this year we need to try and focus on your child’s handwriting. It would be helpful if you could encourage them to practice a little more at home.

What They Mean:

I can’t read a single word that they have written in their workbooks.

9. Energy

Primary school kids, wearing school uniforms and backpacks, running

What They Say:

He’s a very energetic child and we need to work on finding an outlet for all this energy.

What They Mean:

He never sits still in class, is always fidgeting, and is generally quite disruptive.

10. Sensitive

Little Boy Sad Sitting Alone At School Hides His Face. Isolation

What They Say:

He does seem to be a bit on the sensitive side.

What They Mean:

He’s a bit of a cry-baby.

11. Shyness

Smiling little girl on a yellow background

What They Say:

She comes across as being quite shy and lacking in confidence.

What They Mean:

I don’t think I’ve heard her utter a single word in class.

12. Listening

Funny girl hands over her ears not listening

What They Say:

He occasionally needs additional prompting to complete a task.

What They Mean:

He doesn’t listen to a single word I say and I’m getting fed up of having to explain everything twice to him.

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