Well, it has been an extremely long time since I have done any blogging and have realized how much I miss it! I am now living in Bogotá, Colombia and teaching at an IB World School. I am teaching Grade 8 and 9 English and Grade 5 Drama in the Middle Years Program. It has been an adjustment period in terms of getting used to a new school and living in another country again. I finally feel I am extremely well settled and more organized again so things are improving each day.
Yesterday, the students got their first trimester report cards and we had an Open Day where the parents come in and meet with the teachers. I am a Year 9 Mentor, which essentially means that I am a homeroom teacher for one group of students and met with their parents to go over their reports yesterday. Every single parent that I met was extremely supportive and I only wish I could have met them all earlier. We conducted some of the meetings in Spanish and some in English, as many of the parents don’t speak English. The students, of course, wanted to hear me speak in Spanish since I only speak to them in English. Being a mentor only gives me these students in the morning for registration period and two periods a cycle (we have 7 day cycles), one of which is an assembly, and one of which is an ethics period that is spend on developing their levels of awareness of the world around us. I found that with not teaching the students any academic subjects, it was very difficult to comment on their report cards. All I had to go on were the comments left by their teachers, which is the same information the parents would have had without me there!
What I would have really loved is to meet the parents of the students I actually teach and encourage them to get in contact with me if they have any question or comments. A few of my students brought their parents to see me, which was really special for me, and, of course, a few of their parents brought them based on poor performance in the trimester. I believe I always make the same comments after meeting parents, but I really wish there was enough time to maintain constant contact with the parents of all the students I teach and keep them updated on their child’s performance in school so we can work as a team.
How does your school get parents involved in their student’s learning?