COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted most of our regular chains of social and professional interactions. Views and ideas that we would previously share with our peers in person are now having to find alternate ways, keeping us mostly in question whether it is as fruitful as before. Education, especially, is one of the areas that has been severely affected by the pandemic. Although academic classes and other supportive training are still being held online by schools, a cloud of uncertainty still continues to hover over the parents’ minds as they familiarize themselves with the means of distant learning. To ease the situation, International School Dhaka (ISD) organized a unique get-together of their teachers, parents, and students, with its compelling ‘3-Way Conferences’.
Communication is the key to break the invisible barriers between individuals. Taking this into account, ISD stepped up to bridge the gaps between the teachers and the secondary-grade parents by arranging for them to meet online and communicate thoroughly in regards to the children’s growth status. Due to the novel coronavirus, we found ourselves at a loss in an inimitable scenario, where children are more prone to suffer from anxiety and discomfort. To mitigate such complications and lay a hand to the students to overcome all sorts of academic or personal problems they are facing, ISD decided to hold the virtual meetings on a scheduled basis. The principle of the 3-Way Conferences was to align the parents and the students with the teachers, and vice versa, so that all can be on the same page for the students’ optimum development.
The 3-Way Conferences took place in the virtual platform ‘Google Meet’, where teachers initially discussed the students’ progress amid the pandemic. Both the parents and students were required to sign-up for the meetings using Google Calendar and be present with videos side by side. Teachers highlighted the growth rate of individual students and also provided suggestions on areas for improvement. While parents gained deeper insights into their children’s academic statuses, teachers could also engage in more effective socializing and strengthen their relations with the disciples. This would ultimately boost the students’ confidence and help them express their difficulties more comfortably than before. Since the process of online learning is new to all, the 3-Way Conferences also shed light on its predicaments and how to overcome them together. Each session was held privately so that all the participants could open up and discuss their problems in total confidentiality. Securing a successful year-end result has been the final objective of the 3-Way Conferences organized by ISD.
ISD believes that every child is unique. Every student has his/her own way of receiving input. The differences in the children’s perspective require personalized nurturing. For this very reason, ISD declined the typical one-rule-for-all approach and ensured each student and their parents receive what they needed in these distressing hours. Conferences are a wonderful opportunity to connect members of our community in support of student success and learning. These deep, engaging conversations celebrate student success and validate the hard work of our fantastic teaching faculty.
The writer is Head of K- 12 Bengali Department of International School Dhaka