3.05.2008

Student-Led Conferences: Teacher Observations

A few years ago in our middle school we began holding student- led conferences with parents instead of the traditional teacher/parent conference. I love observing our students discuss their progress with their family members, show work samples with pride, and explain data numbers in reading and math. The last two days we held student-led conferences in the afternoons. The staff is available to answer questions and at first it was hard for me to sit back and let students conduct the conferences. Now it is a favorite time for me. I loved these observations today:
A recently widowed father sitting patiently with his son at his first conference and saying, " It is going to take me awhile, but I am going to figure all this out."
A mother tearing up when her daughter read a poignant poem written about her grandpa.
Another mother beaming from ear to ear exclaiming, "I knew it would all come together one day!"
One student had her parents undivided attention as she explained a novel she had recently finished.

Every conference doesn't have a happy ending, but we had an excellent turnout and even had parents sit in for other students' absent parents. I have learned that students love to have undivided attention from family members. When given time and an audience, middle school students all find positive things to share about their school experiences.

8 comments :

  1. What a great idea! Isn't it great when parents show up for the conferences? I love to see the two worlds meet....school and home. What better way to boost a student's confidence?

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  2. That sounds like such a valuable experience, both for the students and the parents! How neat for students to get their parents' undivided attention for that time!

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  3. sallyacious5.3.08

    That is gorgeous. What a wonderful idea! How often do those kids get to be the sole focus of positive adult attention?

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  4. Sounds like a great way to get both the students and the parents involved.

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  5. What a GREAT idea! I remember dreading them back in my cave drawing days. LOL

    I just planted my red geraniums. ;)

    XXOO

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  6. Getting the parents involved along with the students HAS to be a good idea :)

    .. me being a parent and all.

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  7. What a wonderful idea --- innovative and a great way to eliminate the 'sulky student syndrome'.

    :) LaTeaDah

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  8. Thanks for all the great comments. It really was a good experience and I was glad we had the school carnival Friday so I could follow up with talking to parents again.

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