The schoolmaster ought not, so the conventional wisdom goes, to produce any unpleasant surprises at a parents evening. If the pupil has been badly behaved, or has been significantly underperforming, then the teacher should have already raised the issue.
I sympathise with this view. I do. If there’s a problem, there’s no point waiting for the formal consultation event to make a fuss about it. I understand that.
Nonetheless, anyone familiar with teenagers, especially teenage boys, will know that they’re quite good at doing just enough to keep above that threshold which calls for me to make a fuss with their parents. I want to grumble about them, without opening myself to the accusation that I should have raised the matter earlier.
This is what I do.
I offer a general overview. Then I look at the parents. I turn to the boy.
(It’s usually a boy. And he does…
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