Former teacher shares what it really means if you are told your child 'has potential'

If you’ve ever gone to a parents’ evening and had your child’s teacher tell you that the little one ‘has potential’ it turns out you might have not known what they really meant, according to a former educator

parent's evening with teacher
Parents’ evening can be overwhelming (stock photo)

Going to a parents’ evening at your child’s school for the first time can be an overwhelming experience, with so many topics to cover and potentially lots of different teachers to talk to.

Depending on your child’s behaviour, it might be a stressful evening for you – and this may be made all the more frustrating if you don’t fully understand what the educators are trying to tell you.

One former teacher has explained the true meanings behind common phrases that are used to describe kids at parents’ evening – and it turns out they’re not always as straightforward as they may seem.

‘Super Headteacher’ Leon Hady, who has set up his own e-learning platform called GuidePlus, recently spoke to Fabulous about the terms mums and dads should look out for.

There are a few certain phrases teachers might use (stock photo)


Getty Images/iStockphoto)

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The first phrase a teacher might use is that your little one ‘has potential’ and while this sounds good it’s actually a sign they need to try a little harder in school.

Leon said: “This is a phrase often used when a child is doing the bare minimum expected despite having the capability to do more.

“This phrase is used as a means of letting the parent know that as a teacher, I know their child could push themselves more but is choosing not to.”

And Leon adds that ‘enthusiastic’ is another word that teachers may use to describe kids, which sounds positive but isn’t so good.

“What a teacher really means here is that whilst enthusiasm is a fantastic trait, it can wear thin if a child is unable to follow the rules,” he says.

“For example, shouting out answers in class or feeling upset if another child is chosen to share their answer instead.”

But it’s not just bad behaviour that gets acknowledged, teachers may also say certain things if they are concerned your child is being too quiet or lacking in confidence.

For this Leon suggests they might make a comment like, “I’d like to hear more from them”.

Interesting! Have you heard any more of these sorts of comments, let us know down below.

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