Months of Global Leadership time spent on preparing a portfolio with a piece of work from and a thoughtful reflection on each subject culminated in student led conferences (SLCs) on April 15th. Well, almost. With small numbers of parents and students attending the event at the high school levels, it is very likely that these folders weren’t used at all for their primary purpose of showcasing to parents the work that their children have done at school.
With less than a dozen tenth grade students coming to the SLCs on Friday, parents missed out on pertinent information about the IB program their children will face for the next two years. In the morning, only two or three tenth graders came to the IB and college preparation seminar by Mr. Martyn, so it will be unsurprising if parents have many questions and concerns in regards to the program right at the beginning of next semester.
It cannot be denied that, although many students did not take the opportunity to discuss their work with their family members, going through the process of writing reflections and analyzing a piece of work led to a personal assessment on one’s job throughout the semester. The questions about what the assignment demonstrates and the consideration of the ways in which one has demonstrated academic achievement throughout the semester help students to think about what they have done so far and how they can improve. This type of work is fundamental, especially before beginning a rigorous program like the IB diploma for it leads students to become better learners. From what I have observed, the most impactful part of this assignment was not to show parents what we their kids have done over the years, but rather to encourage students to think critically about our their learning and evaluate themselves in all areas of knowledge in the curriculum. This is a valuable exercise because it can get the sophomores to begin pondering which areas they may want to pursue at higher level course in and which ones they might want to avoid.
Overall, attending the Student Led Conferences was an important moment for sophomores to clarify questions in regards to IB and college preparation. It also proved to be a time to talk to teachers about the subjects they teach and what they are most excited about for next year. It is a moment to talk to parents about the what subjects one wants to pursue, and which IB path one would like to take.
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