Student-led parent-teacher-student conferences are an opportunity for the students to showcase their work and articulate their learning to adults in their lives. Students prepare a portfolio of work on which they’ve reflected, and will have taken the time to think about their behavior, attitudes toward learning, and their current progress reports. Students and adults come together on conference day and discuss students’ growth and goals. Teachers help by supporting and facilitating the conversations, but teachers are not the sole source of information. Check out our video for more information! https://youtu.be/txOl9EAMm7g
Frequently Asked Questions:
Why did JT Moore switch to student-led conferences? Our International Baccalaureate (IB) Program framework emphasizes student reflection, communication, and affective skills. Research shows that when students reflect on their work with their families or respected adults, they’re more invested in their long-term growth. Student-led conferences invite families to open new and deeper conversations about student work, attitudes toward learning, and overall progress. Last year we experienced a strong, positive shift in focus and momentum as a result of student-led conferences.
What if I do not feel I need a conference? Conferences are not required, but they’re encouraged to help students develop communication and reflection skills. We have learned from last year’s conferences that these are powerful opportunities to bring adults and children together. Students are proud of their growth, and they’d like to show you their work and discuss with you their opportunities to improve.
What if I cannot attend? Conferences are not required, but they’re encouraged to help students develop communication and reflection skills. You’re welcomed to send another trusted adult with whom the student will share his/her work. You are welcomed to discuss options with the student’s team of teachers.
What if my child cannot attend? Students are strongly encouraged to attend with an adult. This is a meaningful experience for them, and an opportunity for them to show ownership and investment in their own success. If a student cannot attend, parents are still welcomed to come pick up students’ portfolios and ask questions of teachers as they’re viewing student work and reflections.
What if I prefer my child not attend? Students are strongly encouraged to attend, and we believe all parties involved will benefit from their presence. Because we’ve been working on these skills during Advisory and other classes, this is a great opportunity for students to practice these skills with adults. Inviting students to the conversation about their work is a crucial component to their ownership and investment in their own success. According to our JTM vision & mission, “We see challenges as opportunities to grow.”
What if I’m no longer with my child’s other parent? Can I have a separate conference? We understand that families come in many forms. Due to our limited time on November 1, we’d prefer that each family only occupy one time slot. If this is not possible, please discuss the arrangements with the grade level teachers.
What are the time slots & locations? In 2017, Conferences will be held on November 1. Each conference is 20 minutes. We’ll run them 8am-12pm at JT Moore, and 1-5pm at Watson Grove Church at corner of Horton Ave. & 15th Ave. in Edgehill/Hillside community. The address is: 1415 Horton Avenue, Nashville, TN 37212. Grade level teachers will be communicating time slots & availability.
Will teachers be at the conferences? Yes. Teachers will either be seated with each family, or they’ll be floating around to each family to answer questions and support the conversation. They are not the sole source of information, but they’ll play a supporting role. Families may not end up speaking with all the teachers at this conference. Please feel free to follow up with teachers at a later date if you still have questions.
How have students prepared for this? We began speaking with students about these conferences in September, and we will have worked during our Advisory classes the whole month of October to refine our communication and reflection skills. We’ve discussed how growth is challenging and scary sometimes, but that it is worth it. We’ve discussed the elements of a good reflection, how to speak our truths with integrity and respect, and how to receive feedback, even if we disagree with it. These are all part of our IB Approaches to Learning, or the essential skills students need for a lifetime of success.
What if I don’t think my child is ready for this level of reflective conversation? Because we’ve been working on these skills during Advisory and other classes, this is a great opportunity for students to practice these skills with adults. Inviting students to the conversation about their work is a crucial component to their ownership and investment in their own success. According to our JTM vision & mission, “We see challenges as opportunities to grow.” We will give you questions to discuss with the student after the conference to keep the conversation going.
What if I have more to talk about after my 20-minute time slot is complete? We will give you questions to discuss with the student after the conference to keep the conversation going. We hope that this will become a regular practice outside school, if it is not already. If you have questions of the teachers, please contact them directly.
What if I already have these kinds of conversations with my child? Excellent! We hope you continue to do so. We’re hoping to engage all families in such conversations about growth, and this is a great time to begin or continue practicing.
How will I be able to provide feedback? After the conferences, you’ll see iPads on which we’d love for you to take our exit survey. We’d like to hear from you about the strengths and opportunities for growth in our second year of doing student-led conferences. We appreciate your constructive feedback.