Last Thursday and Friday we didn’t have school for regular classes so that we could meet with parents and students for conferences. Teachers were available Thursday from 8am to 8pm with a couple of meal breaks and Friday from 8am to 12noon.
For me seeing and talking to over 50 of the 67 families I serve was a flurry that left me dizzy at the end of each day. Time literally flew by as I talked with families and it was all very positive and worthwhile.
I do enjoy getting to talk with parents with their kids there. It’s a nice time to check in and make sure we’re all together raising and educating these wonderful children.
Our school does this arena conference in the fall every year right after our first quarter and grading period ends. As you can see in the above image all the teachers are in the commons (all ten of us). We placed ourselves by grade level as parents came in at their convenience. There are no appointments in arena conferences, only drop ins. You come with your child, get your progress report/report card and then visit with all your child’s teachers as they become available. It works pretty well and we typically get close to 70% of families coming in.
Later in the spring, either late March or mid-April, we will have conferences again but that time we have student-led conferences! Those are super exciting for me as well. This time I don’t get to talk to parents at all but I get to see the students in my homeroom class meet with their parents and completely lead their own conference! Students share portfolios with their parents discussing how they are progressing on their learning goals, especially since the fall conferences.
I think it’s wonderful that my school does both types of conferences as both are very important and beneficial. Student-led conferences are wonderful, and frankly my favorite, because it really empowers kids to take charge of their education. Plus I do so enjoy seeing them take charge of their conference! 🙂