I teach 6th grade math and science at an international school in Seoul, South Korea. I have taught in the US, Egypt, Ghana and Zimbabwe prior to my time in Korea. I love learning new things, collaborating with others, and redesigning old ideas to make them better and more relevant!
Hi Jessica! Thanks for your comment and question. Most of the questions and concerns that our students have are addressed by the classroom teachers. We used to run a 6th grade "bootcamp" when we first became a 1 to 1 school, but now that the 1 to 1 program has rolled down to 4th grade, it's not necessary for that. We are a highly collaborative team and so usually the transitional issues are dealt with by the classroom teachers.
Hi Nicole. Thanks for your comment and question. We have not gathered data in any formal capacity. Rather, we have collected anecdotal evidence through parent teacher interactions such as conferences, email, and student reflections that are completed with parents at home. It is a big transition from elementary school to middle, and while we anticipate the many questions and concerns parents will have, we obviously can't get them all. Through these parent coffee's we can get a better sense of what questions parents have and possibly address those in another session if needed. We are always open to adapting our topics to suit the parents needs. I feel that even parents who are unable to attend the sessions feel more welcomed by the invitation alone. It has been a wonderful addition to our curriculum.
Our SLC's have evolved over the years. We started out using a portfolio and preparing the students to discuss their strengths using evidence from the portfolio and then to outline a plan for goals. We had a clear vision and purpose for SLC This was great the first year. And then the second year, parents complained that this was something they could talk about their students with at home, and they didn't need to drive to school to have this discussion with their kids. That felt a bit unfair, but our admin wanted us to design a different experience, and I think that's where we lost the focus of our vision and purpose. We changed our SLC's to try to be more unique in the sense that parents would experience their child's learning in a way they couldn't at home. So we had students sharing their learning in the science lab by demonstrating their experiments and then reflecting on them (live) ... same for mini live performances, readings, ect. However, thats where we got our most recent criticism that the parents weren't getting enough face time with teachers. They want to hear from the teacher about how the kids are doing. Personally, I think If we had better communication with parents on a regular basis, the parents wouldn't feel like they don't hear from us enough.