The Power of Student-Led Conferences

The Leader in Me Product Development Team continually stays up to date on current research and trends in education because we never want to stop learning. I recently read an article about Student-Led Conferences in middle schools; however, the information applies to all grade levels.

Here is the link:

student engagementThree points of the article reinforced why Student-Led Conferences are part of The Leader in Me and have been since the beginning.

First, although students know the most about what they learn, how they learn, and the amount of effort they put forth, they have historically been excluded from conferences. Student-Led Conferences give students, families, and teachers the perfect opportunity to have a purposeful conversation about learning.

Second, the article addresses the importance of preparing students for the conferences so they have information to share. In Leader in Me Schools, Leadership Notebooks are used as the cornerstone of the Student-Led Conference, and students can report on their progress (or lack thereof) on academic or personal goals, scores, grades, or assignments, based on data they have collected throughout the year.

Third, the article mentions that one benefit of Student-Led Conferences is that students practice organization and communication skills. Selecting work samples and preparing Leadership Notebooks prior to conferences takes time, practice, and skill. Students hone their communication skills when they role-play conferences, anticipate questions, prepare answers, and conduct the conferences.

Engaging students in the educational process is an integral piece of student leadership and development. After all, the ultimate leadership role for students in a Leader in Me School is to be the leader of their own learning.

How have your students responded to Student-Led Conferences?

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Written by Judy Yauch
Judy has spent her entire career in the field of education in the roles of teacher, educational sales representative, education business co-owner, and writer. Her current position has enabled her to merge these past experiences and contribute to The Leader in Me process development since its inception. Since receiving 7 Habits training in 1998, Judy has been intrigued by the possibilities of the content. After experiencing the 7 Habits, Judy left the training with thoughts of the impact the principles could have had if she had learned them at younger age. When the opportunity came to help create The Leader in Me process and bring this content to children, Judy enthusiastically accepted the challenge. As a researcher and lead writer on the product-development team at FranklinCovey Education, Judy has turned her varied experiences in the education field and love of learning into content for The Leader in Me. Some of her contributions include the K–9 student materials, K–9 Teacher Editions, content for various training days, coaching content, The Leader in Me Online content, and numerous other facets of the process. Judy received her B.S. in emotional impairment and her M.A. in early childhood education, both from Central Michigan University. Judy lives in Milford, Michigan, with her husband Steve. She has the opportunity to see her two married children and three grandchildren often, as they all live within walking distance. Judy enjoys spending time in northern Michigan, flea markets, motorcycle rides, yoga, and long walks.  

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