08 Nov Cards, Colours, and Conversations
A Parents-Teacher Meeting with an exciting twist!
What if I told you parents-teacher meetings can be fascinating? Don’t believe me? This one was, I must say perhaps the most wholesome confab I’ve ever come across in so many years, thanks to the kids adding a dash of creativity to it!
A few weeks back, I approached the headmistress, requesting the school to conduct a parents-teacher meeting, so that parents could track their ward’s performance in class, ably support and equip them further to perform better, based on valuable feedback from teachers. I was pleasantly surprised to know that the school had already been organising such meetings periodically, but there was a small problem that had to be addressed. The headmistress opined that the purpose of these meetings was not being met, as hardly 10 to 15 parents turned up, making it an uninteresting session merely for the sake of formality. This made me think – there had to be a way out!
The task in hand was to get both students and parents willingly sign up and attend the meeting with involvement, and this was possible only by lighting a spark of initiative in the young minds. I observed that the kids had an innate potential to widen their boundaries of imagination and create art that could bring about a wave of change!
‘I will bring my mom, dad and grandma’ exclaimed a child as she happily stuck strips of colour paper on her card, her face beaming with excitement.
Thus, we embarked upon the idea of students ‘inviting’ their parents to visit their school, meet and interact with their teachers, and get to know more about their fun-filled lives in their classrooms – the happy space where they all learned and grew together! We asked kids from Class 3, 4 and 5 to make invitation cards addressed to their parents, inviting them to attend the parent-teacher meeting, and the response was nothing short of a celebration! The kids thoroughly involved themselves with their fellow mates and created beautiful pieces of art, and in the process, the bond between them had grown stronger!
By the end of the day, as the students gleefully smiled with bunches of colour pencils, pastels, sketches, confetti, charts and papers lying around them, every single card had bloomed into a masterpiece!
As for the parents, it was something that took them through happiness and pride as their children handed over their lovely cards and invited them to their schools. Previously, a normal note by the teacher in the ward’s handbook would either go unnoticed or simply ignored. But this was something interesting – which parent would turn down such a loving invitation, beautifully made by their little one?
The day of the meeting arrived. At 2 PM, parents happily walked in with their wards and began settling down; and this time, there was a buzz of inquisitiveness among the crowd. As the clock struck half-past 2, the meeting began with 37 parents, more than double the usual number – the change was clearly visible!
The headmistress began her speech, heartily welcoming the parents, and went on to talk about the students’ health and why parents need to invest more time towards their ward’s sound health. The meeting was planned in such a way that it would enable parents to realise and reflect upon their child’s performance and overall welfare and was implemented brilliantly by the headmistress’ gripping speech. The parents showed complete involvement, listening to the headmistress’ words in rapt attention; it gave parents several insights to take home, and groom their kids in a better manner. What was most interesting about the day, was the fact that students who lived in homes, had brought their wardens along too! Smiling faces of kids, happy parents expressing gratitude, and loads of positivity – the plan had clearly worked beyond what we had expected.
Once the meeting was done, the headmistress called on me and expressed her appreciation and thanks. She happily assured the school would henceforth continue to encourage kids to express their creativity and ask them to invite their parents to forthcoming meetings too. As I stepped out of her room, I felt a newfound satisfaction and happiness in myself, something that words can’t describe.
Well, there was always a sunny side up to everything!
Story by Sangeetha, Changedriver
Edited by Janini Hamsini
Bhumi’s School Transformation Programme supports low-income schools on their journey to becoming exemplary schools in their communities. Currently ongoing in 15 schools across Chennai, and supported by corporates like Qualcomm, FLEX, Greenergy, SEW Eurodrive, the programme also focuses on building the capacities of the teachers for improved content delivery.