n week 9 of Term 1, 2017 Tamaki College held their first Student Achievement Conferences for the year. The week prior to the conferences I spent time contacting the homes of students in my Year 9 tutor class in order to confirm conference times.
Parents and caregivers had been sent letters home informing them of the “Teacher Only Day’s” and a time had been given for them to come in and meet with the tutor teachers of their children. In order to ensure as many parents and students turned up as possible I began making contact with home.
Of the 23 students in my tutor class I managed to get hold of 14 parents. This process was beneficial as it acted as a reminder to parents but it also notified a number of parents who for whatever reason had not received the letter notifying them of the time.
Furthermore, this second round of calls home allowed me the opportunity to continue to engage with parents, whanau and caregivers of students in my Year 9 tutor class. One particularly positive interaction that is worth noting was with one mother who took the opportunity to explain to me why her son’s attendance had been low lately. She explained that she was unable to afford a netbook for her son which meant that he often felt uncomfortable coming to school as he was unable to complete work. After this phone call I managed to talk to one of the DP’s about arranging for this student to borrow and old netbook from the school so he could have the correct equipment in class and hopefully would begin attending school more frequently.
After the conferences I realised the value of calling home prior to the interviews. ALL of the students whose parents or caregivers I had phoned prior to the conferences turned up to their time slot. However, only 2 students who I was unable to contact turned up on the day. While calling home in advance seems time consuming especially during the time leading up to the conferences with reports to write etc. The results show it is well worth taking the time to 1) continue building these relationships and 2) to ensure a better turn out on conference day!