It’s parent-teacher interview time again, and over the week most parents will take the time to come and talk with teachers and support staff about their children. My fear is that parents attend the interviews because they feel they are obliged to rather than see it as an opportunity to connect with staff in the pursuit of helping students grow, develop and thrive at school. I think that often in the busyness of life we can lose perspective of the impact and purpose of parent-teacher interviews.
Yes, many parents come having heard it before and know exactly what the teacher will say. While others may be feeling anxious about their child's progress. But I don’t think that finding out how your child is progressing is the primary function of parent-teacher interviews.
From my perspective, the most significant aspect of parent-teacher interviews is that it provides a clear and tangible demonstration to students of the importance parents and staff place on their educational journey. Parents taking the time out of their busy schedule is significant, as it is too, that College staff give up their evenings to be able to meet with parents.
This unique context is one of the ways that our College Mission of supporting parents in their God-given task of educating their children is outworked. As staff and parents talk together, the gap between home and school closes a little more. The information shared (both ways) is used to strengthen the learning experience enabling students to step forward in their learning.
What exists after these interviews is a picture of students that is richer and fuller than it was before. Staff, better understand the context of a student’s life beyond school and the impacts that this is having on their ability to learn. Similarly, parents leave with a clearer picture of what the next steps are for their child’s learning across the coming semester.
So, thank you to all those parents and carers who attended the parent-teacher interviews. We deeply value your contribution and commitment to strengthening the partnership between the College and your home. I also want to particularly encourage the IT team who made themselves available on both evenings to help parents with all things IT - great job gentlemen!