Before the Thanksgiving break, The Foundations School held our first-ever student-led conferences. Most of us are familiar with parent-teacher conferences. Parents sit down with their child’s teacher to find out what their child has been learning, where they’ve succeeded, and what they’re still struggling with. But The Foundations School doesn’t fit the traditional model for teaching and learning, and when it comes to parent-teacher conferences, we once again decided to break the mold.
Instead of having parent-teacher conferences, we decided to hold student-led conferences. Students sat down with their families and showed them a portfolio of their work. Families were given a list of questions to help guide their conversations, including asking what they could do to help their child succeed.
The process of preparing for the conferences is good for teachers and students. It allows them to review what they’ve learned and where they’re still struggling. It also empowers students to communicate their perspective and gives them agency in their learning experience.
When the families arrived, students were bursting with excitement. While some students had a binder filled with their own work, other students showed their families around the classrooms, where their work was on display. The family members were clearly excited not only to see their student’s work, but to see their student present that work. It was also a great opportunity for families to meet and interact with each other and with the faculty.
The student-led conferences were the perfect event to send students off for their Thanksgiving break. At The Foundations School, we appreciate any opportunity to bring families in and make them a deeper part of their child’s education. We look forward to doing more events like this in the future.
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