Magazine article Curriculum Review

Letting Students in Makes for More Complete Conferences

Magazine article Curriculum Review

Letting Students in Makes for More Complete Conferences

Article excerpt

Parent-teacher conferences haven't seen much of a change in operations in what feels like ages. The standard formula used in your school likely includes a 15- to 30-minute window of time where teachers sit down with a child's parent or guardian, quickly discussing key points of interest relating to the students academic and social strengths and weaknesses.

When juggling dozens of students' work portfolios and scheduling around guardians' and teachers' busy schedules, this probably seems like the most manageable, efficient way to approach parent-teacher conferencing.

But what if the student got to be in on this assessment of his or her progress?

A recent post on ASCD's Edge blog discusses how student-led conferences work, and why they might be worth carving out the extra time for. Here are three key reasons to consider introducing student-led conferences to your parent-teacher review sessions.

1. Having children and their parents meet in this way, with a familiar educator acting as a buffer or mediator, can help to unlock doors and break down barriers that exist between parent and child. In even the most stable of home environments, these relationships can be strained; challenges like that may certainly impact a child's academic performance or social development. Encouraging the destruction of certain walls to take place in a controlled setting creates a good habit for healthy communication between parent and child and between the student and his or her peers. …

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