We teach our kids that it is wrong to talk about people behind their backs…. So why do the parents and teachers do that to the students during conferences?
Having a conversation about their child’s education without their child just doesn’t make sense! The kids need to be involved in the conversations in order to be able to take accountability for their own learning. Or that’s what we realized this year when we decided to do Fall Student Led Conferences.
Now there were a lot of ways we could do student led conferences. Some of us have had past experience where the teacher isn’t really involved and the parents think, “why did I just waste my time?” We could have put together portfolios of student work, but that’s very time consuming and we don’t really see the benefits outweigh that. We could have skipped conferences all together and just had all the parents talk to their kids at home! (Not really, but some student led conferences feel like that.)
So we decided to focus our Student Led Conferences on goal setting and growth mindset.
We had students fill out a goal setting form in class that our new teammate Jason came up with (kudos, Jason!) You can see those forms by clicking here: Student Led Conference Forms. It focuses on what the students like about each of their subjects, what they think they’re good at, and what goals they set for themselves. I was super impressed with my students at how reflective and honest they were with what they needed to work on. For the majority of them I agreed with the goals they set.
Then I also had the students present one of their recent tests to their parents. I gave them the tests back the day before conferences to look at what they missed and make corrections. When they showed it to their parents the focus was on what they learned from their mistakes (growth mindset.)
Overall conferences went really well! I think we will definitely want to do student led again. 🙂
What is your favorite and least favorite part of parent teacher conferences?