This is the first time my school has had learning conferences where the children have been present. Having experienced both the traditional parent/teacher and learner-led conferences, I much prefer the ones where the children are there talking about their learning.
The ones where the kids talked confidently with their parents, where they had come from and where they thought they were going without much help from me. Some needed more scaffolding and a few I had to redirect the conversation back to the learning.
Hearing families talking to each other in the language/s of their household.
One conference was conducted entirely in Korean with me translating a bit for my co-teacher. A humble reminder for me of school being in a different language for so many of the parents in my community.
Watching parents and children interact together with their learning environment. The children’s artwork served a purpose, to engage with their families in conversations about their learning.
My pre-learning conference freakout: “ZOMG! My class aren’t ‘opening the books’ for inspection but instead using blogfolios. Our art isn’t as pretty as the other classrooms and all of our activities have an element of ICT. Why did I take a day off for professional learning so close to conferences? I should have been back in school…”
I managed to talk myself back down off the ledge by reminding myself that if I’ve done my job properly, then I shouldn’t really be needed in the conversation.
Because ultimately a learning conference isn’t about my teaching but the kids’ learning.
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