Today I was fortunate in getting the opportunity to experience three way (or at often times, two way) conferences. I really wasn’t sure what I would get out of this experience, but it turned out to be a lot.
I learned me how important it is to build authentic relationships with my students. I was able to see more clearly into the students home life and situation through these conferences, which will help me to determine what adjustments I need to make to help them be most successful. Fortunately, all of my experiences were quite positive – in that none of the tension or anger was directed at my TA or me, but rather the frustration was with the student and their (for the most part) lack of effort. Throughout my TA and I discussed different strategies that can be used throughout three-way conferences depending on the situation.
The reward in this experience was the way in which the student and their parents really opened up in these meetings. Why? I can only imagine it was because it was an individual conference where they felt safe, which is perfect. The part that leaves me sad is the few parents and students that actually came out to discuss their students progress and individual needs for success. I would have loved to be able to spend time with all of my students and their parents, regardless of their grade, so that I could get to know them better as students and people.
This experience will certainly inform my teaching for the remainder of my practicum. Students were able to clearly articulate, even better than they already had, what they needed to be successful. Now it’s my job to demonstrate integrity and deliver.
Until next time,