During Term 3, parents and students in our Senior School will have the opportunity to come together with teachers for these interviews.
Berwick Grammar School interviews are:
St Margaret’s School interviews are:
Great care is taken by teachers to prepare for these interviews. Whilst Senior School interviews have the potential to feel like a form of speed dating, teachers are aware of the compressed time factor and have strategies for ensuring that the time available is used well. Teachers will have different types, and quantities, of information to share about our students as the year progresses and we get to know them better.
Each interaction, however, always focuses on our students’ learning.
Teachers will explain what they know about your child’s learning in their subject, what they have observed about the child’s learning behaviours and how these affect the capacity for further learning and what support can be offered to improve learning.
Whilst, as parents, your focus may come from the reports received at the end of the first semester, and therefore more concerned about the results displayed on those reports, there is actually more to be gained through a conversation around learning goals rather than on performance statistics, such as test results, in isolation.
The outcome from these honest and reflective conversations should be a plan for moving forward in your child’s learning in each subject area. This plan may involve what the teacher will do, what you will do as parents but, more importantly, what your child will do. The research is very clear on this – the person who can make the most positive difference to learning is the child themselves.
As these conversations focus on students’ learning, the school expects that the students will attend with their parents. This can have the potential for stress for some students. The prospect of being evaluated/judged in front of authority figures, and in a public setting, can be a stressful experience for teenagers. Teachers are skilled at orchestrating these conversations so that this risk is minimised. Teachers may suggest that a longer, more private conversation be organised after the initial interview.
Here are some other benefits of a parent-teacher-student interview:
Sometimes, when a teacher shares some challenging information, some parents react in protective mode. If this happens, interviews can quickly become more harmful than helpful. It is always better, if you feel this happening, to ask for a follow-up phone call or an alternative time to talk about any concerns raised.
Preparing for the Interviews
During the parent-teacher-student interview
Ms Linda Shardlow
Director of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching