Every year, the kids’ school will hold a 3-way conference on the first term where three parties- teacher, parent and student- are sitting together to discuss the kid’s performance over the past term and agree on a set of objectives to work on. While at the end of the second term, a student-led conference will be held where the student will take lead in sharing his work over the year.
Yesterday I just attended both kids' 3-way conference which I always find it is a very fruitful way in adding to the missing element of the traditional “parents’ day” run by local schools. Recently, this subject is raised by a local teacher in a recent SCMP article which says “In a calm atmosphere, with a report card between us, the parents and I face each other and have deep and sincere conversations about the teenager we both cherish. But where is the student?”…..
but they do not shed light on what actions the students volunteer to take to hone their study skills or the targets they will commit themselves to achieve. “
The 3-way-conference has nicely added to this missing element.
For both of my kids, report cards are taken home two days prior to the 3-way conference day. It allows both parent and kids have a prior conversation at home to discuss their results. We parent is also required to fill in a form of “3 star and 1 wish” for my kid. While kids at school are also required to fill in a reflection of their own performance and write down what do they think they should work on.
On the day of the conference, parent can start sharing their three stars and 1 wish to the kids or voice out their questions on the teachers’ comment on the report card. Then kids will share their own thoughts with parents and teachers. At the end, they will agree on some priority and goals that students should focus and work on for the coming term.
For my son, both his homeroom teachers and I agree that he is doing great on his academic area while he need to be more focus and enhance his self-management skills. While he reflected that he would like to work on his social and communications skills. After we pointing out his weakness in self-management skills, my son willingly admit and agree that he should work on it as a priority. He will write his work neatly, not to be distracted and more conscious on taking care of his belongings. In front of teachers and parent, my 7-year-old son got very serious and solemnly promised us that he’s going to be more focus and improve his self-management skill next year.
While for my daughter, I’m amazed to find that she wrote down “I didn’t put 100% efforts in doing my homework cos’ I got distracted by the longing to play sooner” I am happy to see that she is able to share this openly and have discovered her own weakness. So both myself and the teacher expressed on the spot on how she can tackle it and be more focus.
When back home during the rest of term, I can easily remind the kids whenever I find them are losing track of the promise they made.
All in all, the entire 3-way-conference process is meaningful and worthwhile for student to reflect upon. Learning is not only knowledge acquisition but how all three parties – parent, teacher and student- could have an open and frank discussion to help the kids learn and grow. Omitting the students’ participation in such a review process is a real waste to the growth of kids.
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