I have been thinking about this question since I first started teaching, but finding the answer has proved HARD!
At our school, most families have two working parents and caregivers are really pushed for time. We have just had student led conferences and most parents were able to attend but, as I reflected last year, it would be good if there was no need for these because parents were already really well informed all year round. I asked the class how many of their parents knew all about their learning already, making it a bit of a waste of time for them to attend the conference. There were about half a dozen of these parents – the ones who I already know have good discussions with their children at home on a regular basis.
All the students in the class have a really good understanding of their current goals, where they are heading next and what they have already achieved this year, so they are all easily able to have conversation around this. Not all students would instigate this kind of discussion at home though.
So the problem remains – How do we get parents more involved in the students’ learning? I posed this to the kids in my class and asked them for their ideas. This is what they came up with:
- We could copy the goal sheets to send home when we achieve our goals. Or they could be online anyway, if we had more devices.
- Kids should tell parents each time they meet a goal etc.
- Kids should nag parents to come in and see their goals – write reminders for them.
- Each time you pass a goal, we could take a photo and put it up on our blog.
- Make our blog their home page on the computer.
- There should be specific times for parents to come in and kids to share their learning, informally.
- Each time you write a blog, email it to your parents.
- Email your parents updates on goals etc.
We have some ideas to trial this term!