Tonight is parents’ evening.
I really dislike going to parents’ evening, partly because it means I have to leave the house at a time when I should be settling down to eat my dinner and watch some Dinner Date, but mainly because it always feels like a complete waste of time. The way I see it, if there was an actual problem, someone would get in touch, they wouldn’t wait until the next parents’ evening to tell me about it, and if there isn’t a problem then, well, quite frankly, what’s the point?
This is going to be what happens:
We arrive at the school in time for our first appointment and are herded into a cold and echoey hall. The parents before us are the sort that seem to genuinely care about how much homework their child gets set, and their five minute slot turns into 18 minutes, while they ask ridiculous questions about the curriculum and school trips that have yet to even happen. They will stay until they are quite convinced that their child is the best in the school.
We will then sit down.
Teacher: Well, Belle seems to be doing fine, she got a good mark in her last test and is currently working at level blah, aiming for a level blah by the end of key stage blah. (What ever happened to her being a second year and getting a B?)
Me: That’s great.
Teacher: Did you have any particular questions or concerns?
Me: Are there refreshments provided?
Me: You know, tea and biscuits or anything?
This last bit doesn’t actually happen out loud, but it’s what I’m thinking.
Then we all smile and look fondly at Belle, who just looks embarrassed, and we move on to the next teacher, where the pattern repeats itself. Finally, four and a half days later, we emerge from the school, bleary eyed, and finally get to go home and watch Dinner Date.
It’s not fun.
This term the cynicism is tempered slightly by my boyfriend’s enthusiasm. When we met online about seven months ago, I specifically mentioned parents’ evening in my dating profile. (Not as a way to seduce men, more as an indication of the importance to me of my family.) One of his first messages in fact was a compliment on my use of the apostrophe, a sure sign from the start that he is the man for me.
He is very keen to come along to parents’ evening, and has taken great delight in winding Belle up in the run up to the big day. As much as she doesn’t want to believe it, I suspect there may be a little bit of her that thinks we really are going to go in costume.
Perhaps parents’ evening will be more fun with a chum.
Image – Tortuga/shutterstock