This afternoon we finished Parent Teacher Conferences. In the past in third grade at this school conferences were parents and teachers only. Being new this year I came in asking if we could include students and happily the team agreed to give it a go this semester.
We kept it low key and had the students write their own goals for the last quarter (as we normally would before conferences anyway). The students were nervous when they learned they would be a part of their conference and did not really know what to expect. As it was not student led, we did not practice but made sure the parents were informed that students should come along.
The last two days have been fantastic. Each student shared their goals (sometimes translating parts into their home language for their parents), shared recent assessments and work, and then shared what they wanted to of their school life in 3EV. Students taught their parents how to access their blog and comment. Students talked about their favorite parts of the school day and what was challenging. Students shared their work in progress and how they research. It was powerful for parents to see a snippet of their child’s school life from their child’s perspective. It was lovely to watch the interactions between the students and their parents. Parents saw their child as capable and confident when speaking about their own work. As the teacher, I was there to add my perspective and talk about successes and next steps. It was a great way for parents to see what their child is learning and the progress they are making. I am so glad we gave the students’ voice priority in this way. We have already started talking about ways we can continue to build upon this experience next year.