Student-Led Conferences on 20 March

On 20 March, we shall have our student-led conferences in the Middle School. 

A. What is a STUDENT-LED conference?

The student and parents move through the student’s class schedule. If the student has PE in A-block, for example, the child and parent will meet in the PE venue where the student will show parents some of his/her work and explain grades obtained and feedback from peers and teacher in a student-led conference.

Grades should not be the only focus. The student-led format  provides an excellent opportunity for students to share the contents of their portfolios and to explain why each item was selected for inclusion.

B. How will students prepare for the student-led conference?

First, students set up a binder to contain a portfolio of work samples to date, which may include a special project, a quiz, a homework assignment, and one assignment from which they felt they had learned the most. Then students write a reflection on their grades and study habits. They set goals for the next quarter and organized their graded work section.

C. How will teachers teach students to lead a conference?

Teachers will instruct students on how to lead the conference, assist them with collecting and preparing information to be shared with parents, and describe how to explain and interpret any information to be shared. Students learn that excuses are not acceptable and understand that they must be able to present items to their parents that depict their progress. Students who become actively involved may be motivated to improve their academic performance.

Before the conference, teachers may role-play, pretending to be the student, with the student playing the teacher or the parent. Teachers model, for example, how to explain a poor grade to parents, and they may give students a checklist of what to cover in the conference.

D. Why move from Parent-Teacher Conference to a Student-led conference?

  • to encourage students to accept personal responsibility for their academic performance;
  • to teach students the process of self-evaluation;
  • to facilitate the development of students’ organizational and oral communication skills and to increase their self-confidence;
  • to encourage students, parents, and teachers to engage in open and honest dialogue.

E. What is the role of the teacher during the student-led conference?

The teacher can assist families with the development of a plan of action that recognizes the student’s accountability for academic progress while permitting parents to support the child in appropriate ways. 

 

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/ahlness/2008836642/”>mahlness</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>cc</a>

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