sábado, 2 de fevereiro de 2013

Parent and Teacher Conference

Last Saturday we had the first parent-teacher conference (reunião de pais e mestres) at our school. A parent-teacher conference is usually a meeting  between parents and teachers of students to discuss their progress at school, to exchange relevant information that may interfere in the student learning process, talk about student's specific strengths and weaknesses and even discuss solutions, together, to behavioral problems. The meeting is important to supplement the information registered on the reported cards.   But this one was different from the other meetings during the year exactly because it was the first one. This meeting is divided in two moments - during the first period, the teachers and all the school staff were presented to parents by our principal. After that there was a lecture about how important is the physical activities and the sports in the academic life of our students. During the second period, parents went to one of the classrooms to have a more specific talk about how school works, what is expected for this year that is just beggining, the school rules, the evaluation system and to answer Some parents' doubts. This one is a many-to-one meeting, in which a group of usually three teachers present the meeting points and it's conducted in a general base. The next meetings will be one-on-one meetings, in which parents can talk confidentially to teachers, allowing a more specific talk about a student in a particular subject.
These meetings are crucial for the helping our students the achieve their best and mainly for us, teachers, to understand the reason some kind of students' attitude. I remember once I got very worried about one student who used to be a very nice and studious girl and suddenlly she changed completely. I tried to talk to her, but it was in vain. Other teachers tried too, but they couldn't get anything from her. Two weeks later, during the Parent-Teacher Meeting, her mother told us that her grandmother had passed away and she was going through a tough period because she didn't accepted that. We, teachers, started working as a group to discuss the topic about death in a very informal and indirect way. After three months, the student came to one of us and opened her heart. Six months later, she was allowed that lovely and studious girl come back again.  The right information at the right time is one of the most powerful tools we have, no matter the area we are in.
So, I'd like to thank all the parents who participated in our first meeting and if you couldn't make it, don't worry, we are going to have at least more three meetings during this year.
Thank you very, very much!
Parents at Eduardo Gomes School
Photo by Katia Veloso

Post Question: Being totally honest, have you ever got very apprehensive, nervous and worried because your parents (or one of them) were going to attend a Parent-teacher Meeting? Why?
If you parents were going to a Parent-Teacher Meeting TODAY, what would you like them to hear from you teacher(s)?

Tip: Read also the school manual. It's very useful and explain many instructions that must be followed by parents and students. Just click here.

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