Student-Led Conferences provide an opportunity to celebrate students’ learning so far and discuss learning goals for the rest of the year.
What are they?
A Student-Led Conference is similar to a Parent-Teacher Conference, but the student is present and in charge of leading the discussion. They give students an opportunity to share with their parents their growth as a learner.
What is discussed?
During the conference, students will discuss their learning, referencing samples of work from their digital portfolio. Each student shares reflections on their learning development in the deep learning competencies. They will review their strengths and challenges, as well as identified goals to work on for the rest of this semester. There are opportunities throughout this process for teachers and parents to ask questions and respond to the information presented.
We have provided some sentence starters and questions that may support your engagement in the conference discussions:
- It makes me proud to see that…
- Can you tell me more about…?
- I can tell that you have improved in…
- From your report, we can see that…has challenged you…
- We have seen improvements at home in…
- How do you see we can support you at home to address the challenge of…
Students: lead the conference with the support of the teacher.
Parents: listen, observe samples, provide home insights, commend and ask questions around how they can best support their child to meet their goals.
Teachers: take on the role of facilitator rather than that of leader. They may also act as advocates for their students.
What are the benefits of Student-Led Conferences?
Student Agency in their Learning: These conferences encourage the students to take responsibility for their own learning, actions, and decisions in an authentic way. They develop goal-setting and reflection skills which all help to strengthen their character as a learner.
These conferences demonstrate to the students that we positively support their learning and acknowledge the value we place on their views and opinions.
Making Learning Visible: Through this process, students develop a better understanding of their strengths and challenges and the correlation between their effort, progress and the resulting quality of work.
Affirmation of Partnerships: These conferences affirm the importance of a partnership between students, teachers and parents to support the student’s learning, celebrate their achievements and work to overcome their challenges.
Positives for teachers too!
Teachers see their students almost every day and obviously have a good idea of their academic strengths. Asking students to interact with their teachers and parents can give new insights that allow teachers to make the learning environment more effective. It also allows teachers to build relationships with parents and can also strengthen the relationship further between student and teacher.
Over the past term, students have been guided through the preparation process as they build their digital portfolios. We are excited to share this journey with your children and would encourage you all to come and attend with them. We guarantee they will make you very proud!
While we all lead busy lives, to show that we value your child’s efforts and learning, please allocate time and a suitable location for online conferences to happen. Please remember our comments need to remain positive, encouraging and constructive.