Why have schools moved to mentoring systems rather than 5-minute parent meetings?
International ongoing research indicates that purposeful engagement with students and their families is critical to student success.
Such engagement involves regular two-way conversations between a student and a designated teacher (academic counselling/coaching/mentoring), and periodic, three-way, parent-student-teacher conversations, as well as data-based teacher core group meetings.
To be effective, academic conversations with students and their parents/whānau need to be data-based, individualised and responsive to each student’s personal situation, focussed on learning and achievement rather than behaviour, and be genuinely interactive, allowing students and parents as well as teachers to offer their views, ask questions, clarify understandings, and contribute to goal setting and planning.
Parental/whānau engagement initiated through parent-student-teacher conferences is critical to developing relationships that can support students in setting and achieving their academic goals.
In 2017 we trialed Mentoring with Year 10-12 students during the Option Choice process, this year we have extended the programme to cover Years 7-13. The feedback received after the 2017 sessions was overwhelmingly positive, we have refined some of our documentation, but most of the process has remained the same.
As part of our ongoing review of school practices, we'd like to ask some questions about our Mentoring system.