Student Parent Teacher interviews provide opportunities to stay on track
Students and parents/guardians used the opportunity to meet with their teachers—in both Calgary and Edmonton—as the spring Student Parent Teacher Interviews (SPTs) wrapped up this March.
“I think the teachers are really nice and very helpful,” says grade 12 student James H. “It’s a good way to build new strategies for the rest of the year.”
Held twice each year, SPTs are one opportunity for students and parents/guardians to meet with their teachers. The interviews help both the student and the teacher get to know each other better and establish personalized attention that helps determine how well the student is doing in their classes, as well as recognizing any academic challenges before these become difficult to overcome. Teachers also provide assistance when needed with a student’s schoolwork. All-in-all, a valuable resource for Vista Virtual School (VVS) students.
“It’s nice to see the interaction,” says Karen Campbell, a VVS teacher. “Often a parent or grandparent comes and then you can see the family units, and how interactions are and the supports.”
A major benefit of distance education is the undivided teacher attention that helps students throughout the year. Students can contact their teachers during normal school hours for assistance and support; however, SPTs are another opportunity for face-to-face, in-person discussions.
“It is always nice to see a person as opposed to just see a photo of them—you can ask questions, you can socialize, talk about hobbies,” says Campbell. “You just expand your knowledge base of the student and the family unit, and it’s a nice way to get to know the kids and where they’re coming from. And maybe they’re not afraid to ask questions they would not normally ask by email.”
These interactions are helpful for the student and teacher, especially when they need to ask questions or obtain additional support. It helps establish a level of comfort and familiarity.
“I really enjoy coming to the student-parent-teacher event,” says Margaret H. “It is a way to actually physically connect to the teachers and to see where James (her son) is at, and to get more of a feel for the online school.”
Students and their parents/guardians are encouraged to attend the SPTs twice each year (spring and fall) either in person; or if they cannot attend, by Skype as arranged with their teacher(s).