Student Parent Teacher Interviews (SPTs) Help Students Stay On Track!
In October, Vista Virtual School (VVS) students were able to visit their teachers face-to-face and get updates on their learning direction and courses. It was a valuable opportunity for students—and their parents/guardians—to establish strong working relationships with their teachers so they can achieve success throughout their courses this year.
“We have always gone to interviews (even when our kids were attending traditional schools); we like to get to know the teachers, be involved in the girls’ education, and it was no different with VVS,” said VVS parent, Brandi Dollman. “And being involved in the girls’ education, seeing where they can improve, and what things we need to watch for and help them with, is very important.”
Held in Edmonton and Calgary, many VVS students took the time to interact with their teachers, academic counsellors and administrative staff—these sessions are one of the key opportunities for students to learn more about their teacher(s), while also sitting down and letting their teacher(s) learn more about them.
“It was nice to meet them [the teachers] face-to-face and there is really good support from here [the school],” said VVS parent Robin Hillman. And her son Carter, a grade 11 student with VVS, attends the SPTs “to make sure I am on pace and my marks are still good.”
Meeting with teachers and putting a face to the name also helps students gain the confidence they need while working through courses—as knowing they have talked to their teacher in person or through Skype/Google Hangouts, and this gives them that extra support while working in the distance learning environment.
“The teachers are very positive, we really appreciate the feedback and guidance—it is very reinforcing,” said VVS parent, Dan Bessey.
It is valuable both for the student and the teacher.
“It’s of utmost importance to establish a strong rapport with students and their families,” said Kerry Smith, an English teacher with VVS. “SPTs allow bridges of communication and understanding to be built between students, teachers and parents/guardians face-to-face that are sometimes difficult to establish through other modes of communication.”
And taking this time to ensure they are on track helps establish a strong foundation, as well as a good checkpoint to see where students can improve or how they can increase their involvement with their courses, their teacher, and VVS.
“I like to interact with my teachers and be able to talk about the content, what to catch up on, and what I need to know,” said VVS grade 9 student, Hanna A.
SPTs are held each year in the fall, but teachers and staff are also available throughout the year through email, video chat and phone.