Growing Our Students
As many of you know, middle school students at Saklan facilitate their own conferences. As I visited some of those “student-led conferences” yesterday, I started to think about my own experience as a child and the importance of student empowerment. When my parents went to conferences, I would wait at home feeling powerless about my own education. Once they arrived home, they would share with me what the teacher said, I would then present my point of view with what I thought were missing facts. What resulted was a disconnect between teacher, parent, and student.
There were three important constituencies in this conversation, but one (me) was never represented except as a third party, a sidebar to the conversation. I missed a critical chance to talk about what was going well for me, what I was struggling with or hear their perception of what they saw at home or at school. Most importantly, I was not given the opportunity to openly reflect on my own experience as a learner.
Whether a student is doing a student-led conference or not, it is important for us to remember during conference time that the student is our most important partner. One of our main goals should be to help them develop a growth mindset through feedback and reflection. This teaches them that learning is a continual process, and it encourages them to take responsibility for their education.
So as we digest the information collected during conferences, let’s make sure to grab the opportunity to help our students, self-reflect, adjust and grow.