November 17, 2021

Parent Teacher Conference, Lower School Edition: Academic Performance

In this final episode drop in our Parent Teacher Conference season, we feature a conversation about the oh-so-fraught topic of academic performance, facilitated by Rachel Scott, our new Lower School Technology Integration Specialist.  Tune in to get some perspective-shifting wisdom from Rachel Rice (mom of five young saints spanning Foundations to fifth grade), real talk from Dalton Howard (third grade teacher and mom of two herself), and honest sharing from Abigail Shannon, third grader who (if she does say so herself) has some pretty great handwriting skills, even if she didn’t totally ace the last timed math test.

See timestamps below:

  • How academic performance is a fluid concept (3:03-3:55)
  • One parent’s changing definition of academic performance; the importance of meeting children where they are; and why what matters most is “mental health, love of learning, and not squashing that” (4:14-5:40)
  • Abigail’s academic performance goals: “I’m trying to be that kid, the kind of kid who knows how to get her stuff done, maybe not on time but she always gets it done.” (6:00-6:43)
  • Why high performers have a harder time dealing with mistakes and feedback than kids were more experience of struggle (7:10-9:05) 
  • Growing from mistakes and how to best advocate for your children by partnering with their teachers (9:07-11:45)  
  • Why the word “bored” isn’t a thing in Dalton Howard’s classroom, and the importance of demonstrating and modeling intellectual curiosity (12:25-13:51)
  • How a mom of five moved from “you need an A” to a focus on instilling good work habits; and a reminder that what your kids learn or what mistakes they make isn’t a reflection on you as a parent (15:00-18:15) 
  • Those dreaded timed math tests: from the perspective of a third grader and a third grade teacher (18:50-21:00)
  • Tips from a very astute third grader on studying (21:20-22:11)
  • Dalton’s plea to parents: “Let kids mess up, let them take responsibility, let them take ownership, let them remember their own library books.  They are old enough; they are ready.” (22:32-24:38)

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