How Student-Led Conferences Work
If you are a parent lucky enough to be working with a genuinely progressive teacher, they may tell you that instead of the traditional parent-teacher conference, your child will be facilitating a student-led conference, to bring you up to speed on their academic progress. For decades, student-led conferences have been getting rave reviews from teachers across the country. When juxtaposed against traditional parent-teacher conferences, most educators agree that student-led conferences win hands down. This is how student-led conferences usually work:
- At the beginning of the school year, the teacher helps each student create a physical or electronic portfolio. This portfolio contains the students’ class assignments, homework, quizzes, tests, etc.
- A week before the conference, a letter is sent home to parents informing them that their child will facilitate a student-teacher conference.
- About three days before the conference, the teacher helps the student prepare a portfolio of her work, including a project, quizzes, and their favorite assignment.
- The day before the conference, the student rehearses their presentation and makes any necessary changes.
- On the day of the conference, the student gives a presentation concerning their academic progress to their parents and teacher. Their successes, failures, and a plan for improvement are discussed.
One drawback to the student-led conference is that if the parent is a no show, the child may feel a great deal of disappointment. However, you can always reschedule the conference, as sometimes things just have a way of happening, despite our best efforts. Children bounce back quickly and will have no problem giving their parents a raincheck.