Students Take the Lead
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As the third quarter comes to an end, Brashier students prepare for their quarterly Student-Led Conferences. These meetings, held with the students’ parents and enrichment teachers, is a chance for teachers to have an open conversation with both parents and students about numerous topics.
“We have Student-Led Conferences every quarter to have a forum for students, teachers, and parents to discuss progress and how to meet the academic goals of the student. One of the benefits of Student-Led Conferences is that it shifts responsibility for academic progress onto the students, and it helps parents understand from the students’ perspective why their grades are the way they are,” says government and economy teacher Jenna Griner.
Student-Led Conferences are one of the things that sets Brashier apart from other public high schools in the area. It gives parents the opportunity to be more involved in their child’s education.
“I think the purpose of Student-Led Conferences is to make sure that students that don’t necessarily communicate well with their parents have to talk about their grades, and the parents have some outlet to know what’s going on in their [child’s] school life,” says sophomore Jake Forstein.
The most important benefit of Student-Led Conferences is that it opens a dialogue about academic performance. It is the hope that, by having this dialogue, students are inspired to achieve higher goals and better themselves academically.
“Student-Led Conferences give teachers an opportunity to hold students accountable for their grades while their parents are present. However, it also gives students either the opportunity to defend their performance or admit that they need to work harder in the future,” says junior Adrienne Flower.
While these meetings are seen as beneficial by the school’s administration and faculty, some students do not think they benefit from them and that they should be made optional.
“I think that Student-Led Conferences are more of a hassle, especially for high-achieving students. It’s not a good use of time for the student, teacher, or for parents, especially those with jobs,” says Forstein.
However, some see Student-Led Conferences as more than just a talk about grades. They give the opportunity for students or parents to ask questions about any topic that worries them, such as senior project, service hours, or college applications.
“I think, depending on what is covered in the meeting, [Student-Led Conferences] can still be beneficial regardless of whether or not the student is performing well academically. It’s still a good opportunity to come face to face with the teacher and voice any issues or concerns you may have,” says Griner.