Elementary School Principal's Page
November 4, 2011
MRH Elementary Student’s Take The Lead During Conferences
In the last couple of weeks, I observed many teachers sitting and having good conversations with individual students about their performance. While this was happening, other students were analyzing their report cards (perhaps for the first time ever), and determining what trends they noticed and writing about them. I had to wonder how empowering this must feel for our students!
During our Student-Led Parent/ Teacher Conferences last week, I had the opportunity to sit in on several of them. I was absolutely impressed with how prepared and articulate students were in communicating their accomplishments this quarter, areas for improvement, and their goals for the next quarter. I firmly believe their preparation is how student-led conferences are successful. The students must be well informed and prepared to have these conversations, and then are more self-aware of improving their behavior, progress, and achievement.
In a 6th grade conference, one student shared, “I think I can improve my behavior. I have had 2-3 office referrals this quarter. My goal is to have none for 2nd quarter. ” When I asked 2nd grade teacher, Mrs. Sullivan about conferences she stated, “The students have done an excellent job. They are nervous, but in a good way. They are responsible for their learning. The conferences are going great!”
The feedback from every parent that I have spoken to has been very positive. I think everyone has been impressed with the role the students took in the process. Not only were these conversations meaningful to all parties involved, it really is transformative when the conference focus has now become “talking to students” compared to “talking about students.” The students were actually part of the process!
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