Sunday, 3 June 2012

Be a Risk-Taker! Do Student-Led Conferences!

Ground Breaking!
For the first time, ALL the teachers at our elementary campus have facilitated Student Led Conferences.  
This was a very new experience for many, but all approached it with that risk-taking attitude that we expect to see in our students.  And how did they reflect?

I used to think.... But now I think...
That there would be more parents asking for a conference with the teacherParents are starting to understand the value of letting their child shine through their learning.
That younger students would not be able to communicate their learning in this kind of model I was impressed that when given the opportunity the kids were able to share and easily talked 20-40 minutes
That students might find it challenging to celebrate their learning in specials without a structured model. Students will always amaze us with their creativity, ingenuity and initiative when sharing their learning
it will just be the students talking and demonstrating during specialsamazed to see how hands-on some of the parents were getting.
That it would be great if we all did student led conferences herewe will do it again next year this way
That bringing all the parents in for jungle gym would be 'crazy'........our students can 'manage' their the jungle.... wihout a problem
More parents would ask for a separate conference time  .... just a moment to talk with the teacherNone of them asked, and they were way more focused on their kid's presentations.
the kids would present the same as in class family dynamics, personality, and nerves play a definite role!
I would have to help the kids at some pointnope, I hardly spoke at all
portfolios and reflective thinking had to be PERFECT this is all part of the process of learning how to think about your learning and be reflective, all kids are in different places
I couldn't be in the room because parents would defer to me I can - I just need to look really busy.
that even after preparing well, fourth graders would need my support to present their portfolios successfully to their parents They were ready to do this independently. It was delightful!
Students would do an awesome job without me as long as we had prepped well beforehand and as always they did. Now I wonder what else students could do in my classroom with a bit less interference from me
Parents wanted to hear more information about their child from the teacher Students sharing their learning with parents is more meaningful
That I couldn't restrain myself from jumping in to save a child in a student led conference now I know they CAN do it on their own and BRILLIANTLY
Parents would not appreciate that they don't get to hear from the teacher about their child's progressParents were very satisfied after hearing their child discuss his/her learning that they did not find the need to ask any further questions from the teacher.


  1. Hi Lindy

    Here it goes again! I personally find SLC more beneficial that a report card. I like how you are holding it later in the year, we had ours 2 months ago. Id like to have them 2 weeks before school ends and have an annotated report card (not so much to report to parents but for when kids leave the school, for academic records etc. SLC much more effective for teaching and learning. Weve been using an SLC essential agreement which has worked well.

    1. Thanks, Jason, An essential agreement will probably be a next step for us too. Now everyone has experienced what a great way this is to conference.

  2. Hi Lindy,
    What a fantastic way to correlate all of the comments that we easy to read and all were so positive. Looks like it will definitely happen again next year! Hooray. And thank you for taking time to put this together in your blog.

    1. Thanks Margaret! Yes I think this will continue!

  3. We are just dipping a toe into the student-led conference pool by trying it with 5th graders this fall. I really appreciate you sharing the reflections from teachers at your school. It is very helpful as we begin to organize this.

    1. Andrea, I hope you will enjoy it. I just love the power it gives students to share their learning from their points of view!