When students drive the process…

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve watched the conferencing process unfold. In particular, the Upper School conferences yesterday and today were opportunities for reflective conversations on progress and goals.  I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you for your involvement and for waiting at times while queuing up for some of your teachers.

I’m thoughtful of the real conversations that will now take place at home and hopeful that you find opportunities to celebrate the accomplishments in greater measure to the consideration of goals or plans.  A term was introduced at training during the weekend that might help guide you in these deliberations – feedforward!  Unlike its cousin, feedback, feedforward is about finding the way to build dialog around empowering your child to drive the process.  The ultimate goal of deep listening is to help your child become self-directed, taking the wheel and driving their learning journey.  Questions to consider that could be starters at home:

  • How do you think it went?
  • How are you feeling about…?
  • What might be the causes of…?
  • What are your hunches about…?
  • What do you want to stay mindful of from now on?
  • So, how might you apply what you’ve learned?

One of our key strategic themes this year is the full deployment of an inquiry based model that develops student agency.  It’s not just about motivation, but more about enabling action and assuring that “Our students define the way we all learn at ASW.”  In this instance, think of yourself as being a parent coach, helping your academic “athlete” to embrace a growth mindset and the idea that reaching further than you thought you could is the best part of learning!

Drills Continued

It’s that time of year and our first Lock Down Drill approaches.  Different from our fire drills, the lockdown drill is meant to be an exercise in Shelter in Place due to a perceived threat to students in the area or at the school.  We’ll have our first and only announced Lock Down Drill on Friday at around 10:00 a.m.  We will also be testing our SMS emergency broadcast system.  Hopefully you have all updated your contact information in PowerSchool so that you will receive our message.  We’ll have a survey afterwards to check if there were any problems.  Updating information in PowerSchool is easy – just login and click on “Demographic Change.”  You’ll see all the fields for your phone numbers.  (Note: Please enter all numbers in country code format, including the “+” at the beginning.)

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