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Why Do We Have Parent Teacher Interviews?

Year 6 students enjoy their first experience in the Science Lab.

One of the key messages boys will receive in the first couple of weeks this term will be about the importance of reflection. The development of a ‘reflective’ mindset is critical to success.

Very few individuals can achieve their goals, without first determining what they are and thinking carefully about the strategies they will put in place to achieve them. Key questions for students should include:
• How clear were my learning goals last term?
• How specific were my learning strategies?
• What feedback have I received from my teachers about how I can improve?
• How will I adapt my learning strategies to incorporate that feedback?
• How well did I follow through with my learning strategies?
• Are there any adjustments in my attitude or disposition, that I need to commit to for Term Two?
• Why have I gone up / or down?

To support this process of ‘critical reflection’ the College has undertaken three key initiatives. Firstly, students will receive specific feedback from their teachers on their Term One assessment, identifying areas of strength and targeted areas for development. Secondly, in Learning Formation classes, students will be asked to review their goals, strategies and common themes in the feedback. Thirdly, the College has timetabled Parent Teacher feedback meetings on Monday 24 and Thursday 27 April. I would encourage all parents to avail themselves of this opportunity to work in partnership with teachers, to better understand the learning progress of your sons. I would also encourage parents of students in Year 7 and beyond, to insist that their sons attend the meeting, and are actively involved in the conversation. This active involvement is an important step in the development of a mature learning mindset.
To ensure that Parent / Student and Teacher interviews are productive, can I make the following suggestions:

During the Interviews

• Come to the interviews with a pen and paper, so that you can jot down important points
• Walk away from each interview with an understanding of the three key things that are currently obstacles to your son achieving a higher mark
• Walk away from each interview with three specific strategies that they can put in place to improve

After the Interviews

• Talk with your son about common themes in the feedback of teachers
• Make an agreement with your son about the three key strategies he will put in place to improve overall
• Write these strategies down, so that there is clarity
• Without nagging, continue to remind your son of these strategies where there is a problem, or praise your son for following through
• Make contact with the teacher if there is a concern

It promises to be a busy term and I hope all boys had an enjoyable break and that they have managed to reflect on their Term One progress.

Kath Little, Dean of Learning
littlek@atc.qld.edu.au