I look forward to having blogs where I can share my thoughts with this wonderful community.
So what's my first topic of choice? Well, with our upcoming student-led conferences, I wanted to spend a little time explaining the value of having children speak about their performance, success and goals.
Here are five reasons why student-led conferences are valuable:
Student-led conferences empower students to take ownership of their learning. Even the simple act of compiling their work to share helps students see what they have accomplished and what work remains.
Students learn constructive self-assessment. As students reflect on their work, their classroom habits, their participation and more, they develop the ability to look at themselves with a constructive eye. What do I do well? Where could I improve? What brings me the most satisfaction?
Important communication skills are honed. Who among us doesn’t value strong public speaking and presentation skills, both in others and in ourselves? Leading parents and teachers through their work helps our students practice the communication skills that will make a difference in their professional and personal lives.
Growth is emphasized. When our students present their work, they share their goals for the coming months and offer insight into how they plan to accomplish them. This puts the focus on both continued growth and accountability for it.
We learn when we listen to our students’ point of view. Parents and teachers alike can learn a great deal about students by listening to what they say — and don’t say — when presenting their work. Do they light up when talking about a particular project or subject? Do they seem frustrated with their learning when talking about a different area? What do they see as barriers to their growth and what suggestions do they have for eliminating them? Their answers and our observations during the presentation can shape the approach taken to their work in the ensuing months.