After a tumultuous start to the year, on the backend of the bushfire crisis, with just a few settled weeks in the classroom, life was disrupted again with COVID-19. These were unprecedented times with our students having to quickly adapt to new ways of accessing learning. They stepped up! They have done a most amazing job, exploring new technologies and software, ways of learning, and presenting their completed work. We have seen students take a role in their learning and demonstrate independence and responsibility that has been enthralling to see. With these new-found skills and confidence, Stage 3 students will be participating in student-led conferences in Term 3.
What are they?
A student-led conference is similar to a parent-teacher conference, but the student is present and in charge of leading the discussion. They give students an opportunity to share with their parents their growth as a learner. Normally the conferencing process involves some form of e-portfolio that shows a range of evidence of learning that the student has selected. Student-led conferences encourage students to think critically about their own abilities and achievements and help students develop skills they’ll use long after they’ve finished school.
What are the benefits of student-led conferences?
Boosted student involvement and engagement – The benefits for students are impressive: responsibility, self-reflection, goal-setting, and leadership skills. Student-led interviews allow students to understand they need to be actively involved in their own academic and social progress.
Student-led conferences encourage them to reflect in their own words on how far they’ve come, where they still need to learn, and what they’re proud of. It is also an opportunity for students to reflect on the tasks that didn’t go so well or ones where they are able to see where time or energy was ‘misdirected’. Learning from mistakes is often the most valuable learning!
Increased Parent Involvement – During student-led conferences, parents become active listeners and learn how they can support their children’s learning at home. Parents enjoy seeing their children succeed, and student-led conferences naturally highlight student successes, that the students themselves have identified.
Some questions you may like to ask your child during their student-led interview are:
- What are you most proud of?
- What would you like to learn more about?
- It makes me proud to see that…
- What are you working on now?
- Can you tell me more about…?
- I can tell you improved in…
- What did you find challenging this semester?
- How can I help you become a better leader?
Positives for teachers too!
Teachers see their students almost every day and obviously have a good idea of their academic strengths. Asking students to interact with their teachers and parents can give new insights that allow teachers to make the learning environment more effective. It also allows teachers to build relationships with parents, and can also strengthen the relationship further between student and teacher.
Over the next few weeks, students will be guided through the preparation process. They will be asked to select specific work samples to share with you and to reflect on what went well (or not!) with the tasks. We are excited to share this journey with your children and would encourage you all to come and attend with them. We guarantee they will make you very proud!
Ms Fiona George
Stage 3 Coordinator