#BCIS in FOCUS 聚焦BCIS#(2015-04-09 09:17:48)
As a parent myself, I think it is really great that parents have many ways to keep up with both what their children are learning at school, and the progress they are making throughout the year. How do I know that my daughter is learning at school? I take part in parent-teacher conferences, student-led conferences, and I talk with her at home regularly about her school life, as I have done for all four of my children over the past 20 years. Today, Wednesday, March 18, I will take part in student-led conferences for the last time, just a few hours before you get this letter. The last of my four children is graduating from high school. I have experienced parent-teacher conferences, digital systems like ManageBac, Blackboard, grade reports, written comments, portfolios of my children’s work, etc. and I always find myself asking the same questions - Are my children being challenged? Are they keeping up with developmental milestones? Will they be able to compete with others? Are they becoming more confident, empowered and inspired learners?
After reading grade lists, test scores, and teachers’ comments, I must say that the student-led conferences have always given me the greatest insight into what I wanted to know. I learned to listen to my children as they talked me through their work. They would tell me what they experienced, explain how they were learning, discuss their triumphs, their struggles, their strengths, and their areas to improve. These were special moments when I could gain insight into my children’s minds in the classroom. I have found that when a teacher was adept at supporting my children in expressing themselves, they were able to answer all of my questions mentioned above. This was no easy task for them! In the past, I have made many mistakes at these conferences when I asked them too many questions and had been impatient for answers, where in fact my children were taking the time to first reflect on their learning before they answered.
As a school administrator, I support you having more ways to access information about how your child is doing - ManageBac, focus student emails from the Elementary and ECC, emails from advisors, reports by teachers etc. The part I really want you to take part in, relish, and learn from is the student-led conference. If supported well, your child will learn to take you on a journey that will teach you more about their learning then you could ever imagine. It’s the confidence in their eyes, the way they talk joyfully about their successes, and the honesty they display when they talk about struggling that is so unique. The dream is that you and your child use that framework to have “student-led conversations” at home, in the park, on a trip --- absolutely anywhere. I sincerely hope that you are able to enjoy learning as much about your child’s education as I have done with mine in these 20 years.
Head of School
Superintendent of YueCheng Education