Turner Valley School: Ask the Principal – Student Led Conferences

Why are Student Led Conferences held before Learner Profiles come home?

The key element in student learning at school is…. the ‘student’. Student led conferences empower your child by giving them ownership of their learning and by involving them in the learning and evaluation processes. We know that if a child is involved and engaged in what they do, they learn. That is why we have student led conferences, so your child can become a partner in the learning process.

Over the years I have been involved with student led conferences held before learner profiles come home as well as afterwards (as in the case at our school). I have noticed two benefits for holding them before; they are ‘positive’ and ‘proactive’ in nature.

Positive -when held in advance, the 15 minutes becomes a positive experience for the child. They feel excited to show what they have learned thus far, and want to share that with you. They take their learning more serious because they are involved and have a say, and feel responsible. The atmosphere of the 15 minutes becomes one of growing. If students really are the key in the learning process, we need them to want to grow and improve, not have it become a negative experience that turns them away from learning.

Proactive – when held in advance (a whole month) parents see where there child is at, and with their child and teacher can make a plan that can help the child move in the direction needed to be successful. Then, best of all, they can see that success come to fruition because they knew what had to be done and there was time to do so. It becomes an opportunity for growth.

Having student led conferences beforehand really benefits the student and allows learning to be the focus.