As a parent, Headmaster Bill Taylor always looked forward to parent-teacher conferences. The conferences allowed him to see a different side of his children’s growth. “A significant aspect of those occasions was the fact that this was their “turf” — not mine,” reflects Taylor. “Even when I ran the school that they were attending, their learning journey was a personal one for each of them,” he continues.
Taylor understands that learning is a personal experience — one that is facilitated by thoughtful mentors and dedicated teachers. “At the end of the day, however, learning is a journey of self-awareness,” says Taylor. The process of self-discovery is reinforced when parents are able to observe their child’s journey. “This is the beauty of Parents’ Weekend,” asserts Taylor.
Research is clear that the more autonomy students have in their education, the more impactful it will be. This does not mean teachers are irrelevant in the learning process. “Such research helps to guide teachers in creating opportunities where students can be more actively engaged in their own learning, rather than being passive recipients of instruction,” says Taylor.
At Trinity-Pawling, students take an active role in leading our parent-teacher conferences. This gives students the opportunity to express, in their own words, what they are learning, how they are growing, and to discuss their personal goals. Teachers take a facilitator role in the conferences, contributing to the conversations as appropriate. “Our students are charged with leading the meetings,” says Taylor. “Student-led conferences are a meaningful way to deepen engagement within a class and strengthen a student’s grasp on the learning objectives.”
Trinity-Pawling looks forward to welcoming parents to campus for Parents’ Weekend on October 18-19, 2019!