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How to use the SPTs to your advantage

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Two weeks ago was a nerve-racking time of the term where the students of IEGS had to face the reality of their academic endeavors: the student-parent-teacher talks.

The student-parent-teacher talks (also known as SPTs) are an opportunity for teachers to give feedback to students, as well for the parents to catch up with their son’s or daughter's progress in school. For some students, SPTs cause a lot of anxiety, not only because they have to uncomfortably drag their parents around the corridors, and expose the awkwardness to all their friends, but because of the grades discussion between mentor, parents and student. This can be very stressful for many students, but does it have to be? We tried to answer this question by conducting an interview with fellow students and also our Swedish teacher, Mr. Jansson.

One of the students stated, “My first year didn’t start out too well: I didn’t submit work on time, didn’t participate in discussions and lagged behind in general. But after being encouraged to take gymnasium seriously by my mentor I came to the realization that I had to change my attitude if I wanted to improve.”

Mr. Jansson emphasized that “students should focus on the acquisition of knowledge rather than focusing on grades alone. Us teachers are here to coach you guys and you should seize every opportunity to receive feedback.” This is something that a lot of students should learn to grasp, according to Mr. Jansson. “Continuous feedback is essential if you want to improve.”

So we should take the SPTs as an opportunity to reflectively think about our learning, rather than focusing so heavily on grades. If we do that we might find it more enjoyable to do school work and thus easier to achieve those grades we want as well.

[Authored by Fred Lindahl & Vidar Bjurström, of SP3A]

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