MS Head's Blog
In the Middle of It All
Middle School Musings by Trevor O’Driscoll, Bancroft's Head of Middle School
Most weeks, MS Head Trevor O’Driscoll writes a short note to parents and faculty about middle school, education, parenting, and other topics relevant to our community. We share these Middle School Musings here for the benefit and enjoyment of all who are interested. Read recent entries, browse the archives, and delight in Mr. O’Driscoll’s take on our Middle School and the amazing people who inhabit it.
On Friday, January 29, we will hold our annual Middle School Student-Led Conferences (SLCs). In contrast to our October parent/teacher conferences, when parents met with each child’s academic teacher, these 30-minute conferences are led by the student with the advisor and parent(s) present. Students will reflect about their strengths as learners across subject areas, as well as areas ripe for continued growth.
In the weeks leading up to the SLC, each child has been collecting a portfolio of work from across academic subjects that best represents their learning journey thus far. With help from their advisors, students will share what they’ve learned about their own learning style, what they are most proud of, and what they find challenging, as well as their goals for the remainder of the year.
We believe SLCs are a valuable component of our Middle School experience because they:
- Allow students to take pride in, ownership of, and accountability for their own learning.
- Address the student’s whole journey of learning, not just a final product, allowing us to take note of how much they have grown.
- Give students insight about their individual learning styles by reflecting on their academic successes and areas for further growth.
- Encourage students to honestly self-assess (and having examples of work to share facilitates that process).
- Provide valuable practice with leading a meeting and public speaking.
- Present a wonderful opportunity to set goals for the remainder of the school year and beyond.
While a Student-Led Conference serves many purposes, we realize that sometimes there are occasions when parents and teachers must have conversations without the student present. As always, advisors are available to talk with you about your children when you need us.
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