Parent Gold

Today I had 'parent - teacher' interviews at Bel's school. Armed with her year 10, first term, interim report I headed up to school for a mad 40 minutes of teacher speed dating...5 (or so!) minute allocations per teacher/subject, when the bell rings, you quickly move to the next teacher on your list. It's a good way to touch base with the teachers, put faces to names, hear if there are any minor issues needing to be dealt with and to hear how your child is doing and growing as a person, not just academically, but socially. Teachers are the 'fly on the wall' to how your child is accepted in a class; how well they interact with their peers and teachers and how much enthusiasm and participation is shown to each subject. Bel is a maths, science girl...her maths teacher and science teachers over the last 4 years have always enthused how confident Bel is. How she always joins in discussions, puts her hand up to ask or answer questions and is generally a very social, happy, committed member of the class. Her English and Social Science teachers always say completely the opposite of the Math, Science teachers...That Bel is such a quiet girl. (Quiet! I don't think so!), that she doesn't eagerly participate in the class discussion regularly. That she's a lovely girl, very capable and her results are always good but they barely hear from her. The problem is, she's just not very confident with her ability in these subjects. These little snippets of information from her teachers are my reminder to build her confidence and excitement up in the areas she doesn't FEEL she does so well in, and to make the teachers aware that she has shaky confidence in these subjects so they can help us to build her back up. Then I get my moment with the Design and Multimedia and Visual art teachers...Oh my! are loved. D&M...nothing to discuss, except how the teacher wants to enter Bel's work into the Shaun Tan Art Award. That instead of 3 awesome designs in her portfolio, Bel can do a few more...please, just because! Then I saw her Visual Arts teacher...its hard to be humble as I write this post, but a mum is allowed to be proud. That Bel is possibly the most talented year 10 art student she has ever taught. WOW. We knew she was good at her art, but its great to hear it from someone else. It's great to hear comments not only from the subject teachers where she has struggles, but also where she understand how to keep her achieving and inspired and striving. All of the teachers had valid, workable ways of encouraging ongoing achievement. I love that they actually know and understand my daughter, that it's not just BLAH, BLAH, BLAH to fill in time but real knowledge of who Bel is and what makes her tick. That because it's not a huge school, that the teachers have the time and energy to get to know each child and therefore to teach them to the best of their ability. We know now to build, build, build her confidence in English and Social Science, to not let her 'rest on her laurels' in Science and Chemistry and Maths by getting her to put in extra study time and practise. To brainstorm more ideas for Design and push beyond her imagination barriers. And in Art, to break out of her very capable comfort zone and see if she can take her skills to the next bar. She has 2 and a half years left of high school, in a supportive, nurturing, encouraging environment before she finds her wings and flies beyond our nest. The big question and our next hurdle is to help her with subject selection for year 11 and 12. Maths and art? Curious as to where her multi faceted brain will take her! Parent Teacher speed dates...5 minutes of parent gold. Well done Bel, x Mum
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