Parents’ Evenings provide the perfect opportunity for parents and guardians to speak with teachers and get involved in their child’s education. At the same time, they are an important event that allows teachers to strengthen relationships and engagement with parents and guardians.
With many steps to tick off when organising a successful parents’ evening, teachers can feel overwhelmed. Here’s a few of our favourite tips to help plan and let the process run smoothly!
1. Start Planning Early
It is never too early to start planning your parents’ evening, so keep it at the top of your list from the beginning of the year. Pencil some dates down, along with making a checklist of every step that needs to be taken. Ask yourself, how will parents book their slots? How long does each meeting need to last? When will teachers take breaks?
Make sure to remind both teachers and parents about the established dates in any way you can. If you use a school communications app, you can send out a quick message or an email in seconds, in order to jog their memory. It’s also a good idea to remind parents to add the event to their calendar.
2. Spread the Word
Some parents and guardians can be hard to reach, and you may need more than a single text message to market your parents’ evening. You’ll need to ensure to remind parents and guardians of the event multiple times in the lead-up to it, and give them a breakdown of how the evening will run. If you can, provide them with a checklist of what to do in preparation to it! You can make some suggestions for them to prepare, such as: booking their preferred slot with a teacher, adding the date and time to their calendar, and making a note of any specific questions they’d like to ask.
If you send out a school newsletter, always include information about your upcoming Parents’ Evening. A school newsletter is a great way to engage with parents and guardians and share any announcements and events, all in one place.
Most importantly, ensure your school website is up to date, as parents and guardians are likely to check it regularly. The goal of your school website is to provide your school community with everything they may be looking for, therefore, it’s essential that you regularly update it. One of our top tips is to provide a term calendar where you can add all the relevant upcoming events, along with school closures and much more. Having this sort of information available online helps reduce calls from families and saves time for your school staff.
3. Be Kind to your Teachers
When planning your Parents’ Evening, it’s important to keep in mind your teachers and their wellbeing. Speaking to so many parents in one day can be tiring, so it’s key to remember this when scheduling slots.
Be sure to include comfort breaks for your teachers when planning out your schedule and time allocations. Having 15 minutes to grab a drink and regroup can help your teachers feel more relaxed and prepare for the next meeting, and prevents them from burning out. If you’re organising your Parents’ Evening on our Teachers2Parents system, it’s super easy to add breaks to the schedule.
4. Keep Sign-ups Simple
Picking a time for a meeting with a teacher needs to be easy to allow for better parental engagement. Using a booking system like Teachers2Parents makes the sign-up process simple and super speedy. Forget about the long lines of parents signing up to speak to a teacher and waiting for their turn… Our system processes sign-ups in seconds, online.
Once you’ve completed organising your Parents’ Evening schedule, you will be able to send out a link to all parents which will direct them to the booking page. Make sure to clarify which teachers and classes are taking bookings. Parents and guardians can then view their bookings in the app, making it easy to refer back to at any time.
5. Consider Going Virtual
Planning your Parents’ Evening virtually is a great way to make things easy for teachers and families as well as promote inclusivity. Busy parents may be juggling childcare or commitments at home, and having the option to join a meeting from anywhere in the world helps them to still get involved in their child’s education. Hosting Parents’ Evening virtually is also ideal for those who have multiple key contacts in different locations, such as parents who travel for work, as they can join the meeting online.
A virtual parents’ evening is not at all complicated to set up. Once parents have chosen their preferred slots, a meeting link will be sent out to them to join on the arranged date. Check out the video below for more guidance:
No matter how you decide to run your next Parents’ Evening, it is essential that you have the right systems in place to plan it seamlessly. To find out more about how Teachers2Parents can help, why not book a demo with one of our friendly team?
Already using T2P? Head to our support site for everything you need to know about setting up parents’ evenings.