Just reflecting on Celina's list of great things about student-led conferencing, and absolutely agreeing about the amazing interactions that we had with our students and their families. First, our students shared a PowerPoint that they had created about themselves as learners, planners and learning community members. Their presentations showed a depth of thought and honesty that was exciting to see. The parents were impressed and the kids were able to celebrate and enjoy the limelight. Following their slides we moved over to check out their report card. Each student had the opportunity to share how their progress to targets and goals related to their standards based grades.
Student-led conferences are new to our district at the elementary level, although our Middle School has been using the model for some time. If I have learned anything from the experience it is that our kids can do this. They know how to self-assess their work, articulate their learning progress and set goals for future growth. They are comfortable with sharing where they are on the learning continuum and see that their hard work and courageous efforts make it happen. At the same time there are still students who are figuring the whole process out, that we will need to continue to support and help them recognize their potential and progress.
Student-led conferences felt like a natural complement to our multiage classroom. Plus this experience once again highlighted the power in putting the students first, meeting them where they are and helping them to shine. What a difference this year has made for all of us. ~Ann