Thursday, December 20, 2007

Feedback on Student Led Conferences

Although we couldn’t include everything that we read (thank you to everyone who gave us feedback and took the time to share your thoughts with us), we want to share with you some of the ideas we learned through reading the feedback sheets. We are always looking to improve our process for Report Card night, and these comments and suggestions will help us make that happen. (Note: most comments were paraphrased for brevity)

Under, “What worked well for you tonight?”:
o It is reassuring to find that you are giving student the responsibility and opportunity to obtain a critical consciousness that is absolutely necessary …
o The opportunity for one-on-one conferencing with enough time to really talk about what is happening in school.
o No waiting on line, and that it was led by the child, not the teacher …
o The time of the meeting was based on when I could be here …
o I was able to ask questions and get them answered.
o Having the student speak for himself … Making decisions together for a plan of action.
o That students plan their own resolutions to problems.
o It feels more organized … and convenient (we did not have to wait).
o Being able to have a real conversation, not 3 minute chats.
o The time and purpose is suitable for everyone …
o It makes my child accountable for talking about his learning …
o I am able to see how my child feels about school and his work.
o The student understands, recognizes, and discusses her weaknesses and ways to improve.
o I heard the truth from my daughter … and got individual attention.
o It was great to hear the student’s point of view.
o I was pleased with the organization and the letter my daughter had to write.
o It helped me clarify my son’s progress and what he needs to do to improve.

Under, “What can we do to improve Student Led Conferences?”:
o Have a chance to meet more frequently, for struggling students.
o Advisor can give suggestions for how to help student influence their own grade.
o Giving the students more time and support to write letters and feel prepared.
o Provide some option to meet with teachers at some point as well.
o Encourage students to show evidence of improvements and digressions.
o Hold an evening session of regular parent-teacher conferences … or afternoon Student Led Conferences for those who can attend.
o Require that the conference include creating a plan of action for improvement.
o Ensure that students’ evidence folders are complete … and ask teachers to give input through the evidence folder (especially in struggling classes).
o Have the students be prepared with specific ways they will improve.
o Maybe show the Report Card before the folder.
o Make sure the student is prepared to lead the discussion, so the advisor doesn’t dominate the conversation.
o More time to get into the issues would be nice.
o Have a [grade-level] team report on the student included in the folder …
o Send a questionnaire to the parents before the evening to help them prepare …
o Let the kids see the report cards before they write their letter.
o Have the advisor have a break-down of how my child is doing in every class.

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