The parents' evening booking system - How to make it work for your school.
- The appointment itself
- The booking of the parents' evening appointment
The parents' evening appointment
After a period of change during the pandemic whilst schools explored new ways of doing things, parent-teacher interviews very often continued in a virtual capacity. Most people, parents, teachers and students alike, would agree this was the best method at the time. But, just as the workplace is now seeing a shift towards staff heading back to the office, many schools are favouring face-to-face parents' evenings again, or at least a hybrid balance of remote and in-person meetings.
There are some features of a physical meeting, however, that just can't be replicated by its remote counterpart. As teacher Tessa McLaughlin mentions in the above article, having a difficult conversation with a parent is arguably easier face-to-face. Furthermore, it allows parents to visit the school and classroom, browse their exercise books, and digest their child's day-to-day life. This is particularly relevant for primaries and SEND schools.
Parents' evening meetings conducted via video also rely on adequate internet connectivity, which can frequently be an issue for both teachers and parents. It's also an inflexible method when meetings inevitably overrun, causing confusion about logging in to sessions and subsequent frustration with parents.
Virtual vs. in-person parents' evenings
As an assistant head teacher suggests, the perfect balance is perhaps a blended approach. So maybe a midyear round of virtual parents' evenings, followed by a more extensive, in-person consultation with parents at the school.
Ultimately, the success of a parents' evening will depend on how well it is managed and whether the method is appropriate for the parent community it operates within. One step closer to ensuring its effectiveness is to invite parent feedback and opinions on such an event. Using an online survey tool like Schoolzine's digital survey can enable senior leadership teams to create a multi-question survey that can be distributed to parents via email and app notification.
Online parents' evening booking systems
Lessons can be learned from the move to digital during the pandemic, not least in the booking of these sessions. Whilst the long-term existence of online parents' evening sessions can be debated, it's more difficult to argue the same for parents' evening booking systems.
The pandemic highlighted how an online system that allows parents to book a meeting with their child's teacher is often a lifeline. Moving on to a fairer system saves a lot of time and hassle for both parents and teachers alike. Gone are the days when the school double-books the time slots of siblings or last-minute discussions between parents and teachers at the school gate to rearrange times.
Schoolzine's parents' evening booking system allows schools to create unlimited events and each staff member to manage their availability. It will enable teachers to book sessions on behalf of those parents who are unable to, export booked meetings and hugely reduce overall administration time.
Furthermore, the parent-teacher booking feature integrates seamlessly with the rest of the platform, meaning that these sessions can be distributed to parents via app notification, email, via the digital newsletter and on the website.
Setting up a parents' evening session is really easy. If you'd like to discuss how it could work for your school, fill out a form to arrange a chat.