Student-Led Conferences

  • What is a student-led conference?

    A student-led conference is a preplanned meeting in which students demonstrate responsibility for their academic performance by providing a review of their work for parents and teachers. The students lead the conference by presenting work samples and discussing their learning, strengths, weaknesses, and progress toward their goals.

    Student-led conferences differ from the traditional parent/teacher conferences.  

    • Students participate in all stages of the conference. They prepare and organize work samples, use checklists to demonstrate new learning, and plan next steps.  
    • Students lead the conversation to show what they have learned. They receive feedback from their parents and teachers about strengths and goals for improvement.

    Student-led conferences benefit students, parents, and teachers.  

    • Students take more ownership of their learning.  
    • Parents and students have open communication about school, after-school activities, and other important decisions in life.  
    • Teachers establish a stronger working relationship with parents and students.

    Parents are always welcome to schedule a meeting with their child’s teacher for additional discussions.

  • student

    Students are the leaders of the conference and discussions.

     Before the conference, students:  

    • Collect work samples to share with their parents.  
    • Review their work with the teacher and think about learning goals.  
    • Explain the benefit of the conference as a learning process to their parents.  

    During the conference, students:  

    • Share and discuss learning with their parents.  
    • Identify strengths and learning goals with parents and teachers.  
    • Connect their learning to long-term career goals.  
    • Determine next steps to improve learning.  
    • Agree on the date of the next conference to address progress or concerns.  

    After the conference, students:  

    • Discuss the benefits of the conference.  
    • Work on the next steps to improve learning.
  • parent

    Parents participate as active listeners and as advocates for their child.  

    Before the conference, parents:  

    • Encourage their child’s involvement in the learning process.  
    • Familiarize themselves with the conference process.  
    • Support their child’s review of learning goals for the student-led conference.  
    • Prepare a list of questions for discussion.

    During the conference, parents:  

    • Provide encouragement, praise, and reinforcement.  
    • Assist their child in identifying strengths and learning goals.  
    • Work with their child and teachers to determine the next steps for learning.  
    • Agree on the date of the next conference to address progress or concerns.

    After the conference, parents:  

    • Participate in the conference evaluation.
    • Discuss the long-term value of their child’s engagement in learning.
    • Continue to review new goals and the next steps for learning with their child
  • teacher

    Teachers help students prepare for the conference.  

     Before the conference, teachers:

    • Guide students in the collection of work samples and review of learning goals.  
    • Review learning goals.  
    • Explain the conference as a learning process to parents.  
    • Organize the conference area for successful communication.
    • Set up a conferencing schedule.  

    During the conference, teachers:  

    • Act as a guide and offer positive feedback.  
    • Identify new learning goals with students and parents.  
    • Inquire about students’ long-term career goals.  
    • Assist students and parents in determining the next steps for learning.  
    • Agree on the date of the next conference to address progress or concerns.  

    After the conference, teachers:  

    • Provide feedback to students and parents about the conference process.  
    • Review new goals and next steps for learning with students and parents

References & Research