Friday, April 23, 2010

Planting trees for the future

Have you scheduled your child’s student-led conference yet? I hope so because these conferences are important to your kids and to us. By way of explanation, the APS Board of Education directed all APS schools to have fall and spring conferences at which the student leads the conference. We had our first conferences in October. Our spring conferences will be next Thursday and Friday. Students will not attend classes these two days. Your child’s advisor should have already contacted you to arrange a convenient time on one of these two days.

During the conference your child will share with you his or her academic progress report, test scores, areas of career interest, and (for 8th graders only) the Next Step Plan. In addition, each child is asked to put two pieces of school work of which s/he is proud. Finally, we have asked teachers to write a personal letter to the child describing his or her strengths and an area that needs growth. Conferences will last 30 minutes and will be conducted in the advisor’s classroom.

Warren Buffet said “Someone’s sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago.” There are a lot of applications of this sage wisdom but I like to apply it to how we work with our kids and their education. Planting a tree could involve helping your child learn a difficulty math skill. Or planting a tree could be sharing a love for poetry or chemistry or geography.

I once heard a speaker say that love is spelled T...I…M…E…and this nowhere truer than with our kids. The time you devote to helping your children succeed in school is a tree that will shade your grand kids and beyond. So make time for your child’s student-led conference. You’ll be glad you did.

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