A brief timely post about student-led conferences.
As we are approaching parent-teacher conference time, a few bullet points to remember:
- Be prepared! You should always have a game plan for each and every conference. You should have a few specific things you would like to share to help the student reach their potential. Conferences should be Descriptive feedback (Growing Success – AFL) for the student and parents.
- Allow the parents/guardians the chance to speak! the majority of the speaking should come from the parent/guardian/student(when present).
- Conferences should never be a “surprise” for the parent/guardian/student. If you have major concerns, you shouldn’t wait for conferences to voice them.
- Keep the door closed during conferences to protect the child.
- You need to have evidence in the form of student work and anecdotal notes to support everything you plan to discuss. A student portfolio of work, whether paper based or electronic, is a good place to start!
- Have all necessary documents including a copy of the latest report and I.E.P. if applicable.
- Be sure to always use the asset model to discuss the student. Just think, “What if this were my child?”
- Be sure to begin with all the positive things you can share about their child.
- Have chairs in the hall for those waiting.
- Use the space in the hall by your door to display/share/educate the parents waiting!
- Have a clearly posted schedule on the wall outside your door. I’ve always found it beneficial to have a clock in the hallway by the instructions to represent the ‘official’ time. You should also have instructions for how/when the parent/guardian should enter the classroom. An example could be:
- Knock when it is your scheduled time to meet.
- Wait 30 seconds, then come right in!
- You should always conclude your comments with some measurable goals or areas of focus with some specific strategies to help the student.
- Ideally, conferences should involve the student. This aligns closely with Growing Success as we should be helping our students develop their metagognitive skills, internal motivation, and goal setting. They should be responsible for their learning.
- While it may be too late for this time, try to plan for Student-Led Conferences for the end of the first term in January.
Follow the following link to access 2 short videos showing one type of carousel student-led conferences.