Today we planned our student-led conferencing. I had some students create a planning/organizer using Kidspiration. It was their choice to use the same graphics, or change them. A template was created by one of my wiz kids, then place in the handout folder on the Board’s server. Students saved it to their files.

During the conference they follow the plan, speaking of their learning modalities to demonstrate their intrapersonal intelligence. This is a hit with parents, to place their child in a leadership role. Part of the tour always involves a demonstration of their school web page. This, too, encourages families to give the child some one-on-one time. So lacking in our busy lives.

During LA classes student filled out their learning reflections sheets, which they I prepared previously:

  • What do I do well?
  • What must I improve upon?
  • Which good things do I continue to do?
Pages 1, 2 and 3 allow the kids to prepare their thoughts.
They didn’t understand why they needed “stories”, as I called them. I told them that it is better to confess to their errors, admit what they needed to fix and plan on fixing it! It is better that this message comes from them, rather than from me!
Some students are disappointed in their marks. This is an opportunity to discuss how to improve marks, what the marks mean and how to set goals.
Hopefully, it is a time for students to show off their best work. I like to have them show their rough work, too. I do not believe that presenting just their best work is an honest picture of who they are as learners. I like to collect all of the work, save tests, gather data on all of their activities in the school, including good and bad behaviour.

I try to call every family before the end of September. We usually have an Open House BBQ during which we meet. I ensure that each family has previously received a phone call, normally with good news about what they do well. It is important that kids rise to the challenge.
In past years, when I seemed to have more time, I used to send home an  affirmation letter. If parents can look at the positives then they will be spending more time reinforcing expected behaviours, rather than spending precious interview time disciplining their children. So often we go home to our own kids and try to correct all of their faults. We need to laud their good works!