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Student-led Conferences

Empowering students to advocate for their learning during teacher conferences

Context

Student conferencing is a critical component of Lovett’s approach to personalization. Conferences not only open a dialogue between teachers and students, but also help create more self-aware students. Students take increased ownership of their learning as they are constantly aware of their progress. Teachers generally aim to conference with each student about every two weeks, and conferences can range from 5-25 minutes, depending on student need. Teachers also hold informal conferences, such as quick check-ins, more frequently throughout the day and week.

Student conferencing at Lovett is predominantly student-led, though it did not start out that way. Teacher-led conferences were common at the beginning, but Lovett staff recognized an opportunity to build student agency by transitioning to student-led conferences. The intent of this transition was to improve students’ abilities to articulate their learning goals and progress. Students and teachers rely on conferencing sheets to help track progress and ensure they are discussing the right topics during their time together.

(This Approach is Illustrative of LEAP's Learner Led Strategies)

Student Does

  • Identifies academic and social goals, which are foundational elements to the conference conversations.
  • Notes areas of progress and need on conference tracker.
  • Leads conferences with teachers, advocating for their own learning. Common topics students address include:  
    • Social, emotional, and behavioral issues
    • Areas where they may need additional support
    • Understanding of their academic data
    • Academic skills they need to work on

Teacher Does

  • Models student conferencing conversations in the beginning to help students understand how they work.
  • Empowers students to advocate for their own learning.

  • Checks student conference trackers to identify any areas of need for students, in case the student does not address these during the conference.

  • Aims to conference with students every two weeks, and checks in more frequently throughout the week.

Technology Does

  • Helps students and teachers track progress through the conference tracking sheet.