Student Led Conferences

Why Student-Led Conferences?

Student involvement in the conferences makes learning active, provides opportunities for students to evaluate their performance, and encourages students to accept responsibility for their learning. Having students take charge of the conference makes them more accountable for what they are learning. In addition, this form of conferencing creates a partnership between the home and the school that is hard to get in any other way. Both research and experience have demonstrated that student-led conferences offer many benefits including the following:

stronger sense of pride in achievement among students;

more productive student-teacher relationships;

development of leadership skills among students;

greater parental participation in conferences; and

increased teacher focus on standards.

What Does a Student-Led Conference Look Like?

Prior to the conference, students will collect work that reflects what they have learned. Students will fill out an evaluation sheet to help determine their strengths and weaknesses which they will use to prompt them in their discussion of their work to parents. This work will usually be assembled in a portfolio or folder. As the students conduct the conference, they will explain skills they have learned and share goals they have set for themselves.

A block of time will be scheduled for you and your child to conference together. While a teacher serves as the conference facilitator, the student will lead the conference.

As your son or daughter shares his or her work, you may want to ask questions such as:

What can you tell me about this assignment?
What did you have to do to complete this assignment?
What skills did you have to use?
What would you do next time to improve your work?
What goals have you set?
How can I help you meet your goals?

What's the Role of the Parent in Student-Led Conferences?

We believe that student-led conferences are an important experience for all students and hope that all parents will be able to participate. Your role is critical to the success of the conference.

Your first role is as a listener. Having a parent audience for learning gives students a powerful reason to learn and work hard.

Your second role as a parent is to talk with the student about the work that will be presented. You will gain a better understanding of the academic expectations set for your child.

Your third role as a parent is to identify ways you can support the student to achieve goals that will be set for the next grading period.

What's the Role of the Student During Student-Led Conferences?

Students should be able to explain and discuss their assignments and classwork as well as their goals for improving performance during the next academic term. Students should be able to explain and reflect up on strengths and weaknesses. 

What's the Role of the Teacher in Student-Led Conferences?

Teachers have several roles in preparing and conducting student-led conferences. Critical to the success of the conferences are three major activities:

The teacher makes sure that all students know and can discuss the assignments and class content.That student reflections are accurate and reflective of their work habits, behavior and academic success. 
The teacher makes sure conference materials are available for students and parents.
The teacher schedules and organizes the conferences to ensure successful communication.

Articles about Student Led Conferences and the benefits to using them rather than the traditional parent teacher conferences. 

Education World -Article 1

National Middle School Association - Article 2 

Caity's Conference- Article 3