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    Joined: Sep 2015
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    Originally Posted by mountainmom2011
    Sadly nothing really came of it, the teacher's answers were basically non-answers and I knew things wouldn't change. I felt so proud of dd but at the same time so sad for her because she didn't get any answers or the change she was hoping for.
    Really?? That makes me so sad . . . I was hoping that if the child was allowed to be in charge, and did take charge, the teachers would definitely listen and change follow. I suppose I forgot that most of the world sees a child as something less than a person where I see a full individual . . . Most concerning. I need ponder the matter more for an effective strategy that drives change.

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    Originally Posted by Nyaanyaa
    Originally Posted by mountainmom2011
    Sadly nothing really came of it, the teacher's answers were basically non-answers and I knew things wouldn't change. I felt so proud of dd but at the same time so sad for her because she didn't get any answers or the change she was hoping for.
    Really?? That makes me so sad . . . I was hoping that if the child was allowed to be in charge, and did take charge, the teachers would definitely listen and change follow. I suppose I forgot that most of the world sees a child as something less than a person where I see a full individual . . . Most concerning. I need ponder the matter more for an effective strategy that drives change.

    It was sad.

    Honestly it was just this teacher in particular. She really shouldn't be working with gifted students and that is all I'm going to say about that. Lol

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    I think there are some benefits to letting the child have a part of the conference, but in most schools, that one conference is all there is. We have a second scheduled, but it is near the end of the year and by then it's too late for any real changes to happen. I would guess that with the majority of students, either the parent or the teacher has some sort of concern, but it is left unaddressed when the conferences are structured this way. The parent probably walks away thinking things are fine when they are not. Even before we had these types of conferences, I felt like so much of it was scripted, where the teacher talked about things that so far down the priority list of concerns (like test scores), that there was no time for any questions at all after all of that. I guess it is up to the parent to schedule a separate, longer conference, but if every parent did that, the teacher would be swamped.

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    Thought I'd add.. We will have listening conferences next month but I've already scheduled a personal teacher-parent conference with the teacher to discuss how math is going for dd, even though dd isn't even complaining about math yet. Past experience has taught me not to wait and to be proactive earlier.

    Last edited by mountainmom2011; 10/05/15 07:59 AM.
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    You've received great thoughts already. I'll just add a few links to the Davidson Database as a roundup of resources for helping a child develop self-advocacy skills (some of which may be helpful for a student-led conference):

    1) Self-advocacy for gifted teens and tweens: How to help gifted teens take control of their classroom experience
    Archived on WayBack Machine -
    https://web.archive.org/web/20160507035437/http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10849.aspx

    2) Self-advocacy: The Power of Speaking Up
    Archived on the WayBack Machine -
    https://web.archive.org/web/20170919025332/http://www.mtagate.org/uploads/1/1/7/4/11741428/fisher_selfadvocacy.pdf

    3) Davidson Discussions (youtube video), Self Advocacy

    4) Four Simple Steps to Self-Advocacy
    Archived on WayBack Machine -
    https://web.archive.org/web/20160413004205/http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10458.aspx

    5) Other Resources listed on the Davidson Database
    Archived on WayBack Machine -
    https://web.archive.org/web/20150321123707/http://www.davidsongifted.org/db/Articles_id_10761.aspx

    6) Blog post July 2017, for parents
    Archived on WayBack Machine -
    https://web.archive.org/web/20171005170716/https://freespiritpublishingblog.com/2017/07/20/empower-gifted-learners-to-advocate-for-themselves/

    7) Blog post Sept 2017, for teachers
    Archived on WayBack Machine -
    https://web.archive.org/web/20180224153324/https://freespiritpublishingblog.com/2017/09/19/3-things-gifted-students-wish-their-teachers-knew/

    8) New Book, Oct 2017 - The Power of Self-Advocacy for Gifted Learners, Teaching the 4 Essential Steps to Success
    Archived on WayBack Machine -
    https://web.archive.org/web/20171005170718/https://www.freespirit.com/teaching-strategies-and-professional-development/power-of-self-advocacy-for-gifted-learners-deb-douglas

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    Our school does them, it's a TAG school. It's actually adorable. DD will sit in the teacher's seat and go through papers that she personally selected for each subject and tells us what she was learning and why she was proud of the work she had done. Once she had said her piece, she went into the hallway and we had a chance to speak to the teacher alone.
    We've had a couple of issues at the school. In third grade, dd was failing math and the school wanted her to move back a year in math to be on grade level. We did not find this to be acceptable after talking with dd and how she felt about the work. We hired a tutor and got her up to par pretty quickly. The school admitted they were wrong and apologized.
    We also had trouble with one of the specials teachers, half dd being stubborn and half the teacher being stubborn. This was never resolved.
    I find that conferences are a better place to sit and listen and that making appointments when we have longer than 15 minutes is best for real issues.

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    Originally Posted by mountainmom2011
    Originally Posted by Nyaanyaa
    Originally Posted by mountainmom2011
    Sadly nothing really came of it, the teacher's answers were basically non-answers and I knew things wouldn't change. I felt so proud of dd but at the same time so sad for her because she didn't get any answers or the change she was hoping for.
    Really?? That makes me so sad . . . I was hoping that if the child was allowed to be in charge, and did take charge, the teachers would definitely listen and change follow. I suppose I forgot that most of the world sees a child as something less than a person where I see a full individual . . . Most concerning. I need ponder the matter more for an effective strategy that drives change.
    It was sad.

    Honestly it was just this teacher in particular. She really shouldn't be working with gifted students and that is all I'm going to say about that. Lol
    That is good to hear. In such a situation it might be best to bypass the teacher and instead address their superior.

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    Many of the teachers at our schools do these - I hate them. I think that they should be optional. Teachers and parents are busy and it is so hard to find a good time to chat - I have waited for conferences only to leave with no opportunity to actually talk to the teacher. Most of what I would talk to the teacher about in private I will not say in front of my child (whether it be that they are very good at something or whether it is something I think that they need to work on).

    Honestly, they seem very easy for the teachers to do (when the student is expected to "run the show"), but are very hard on students who are shy or sensitive. Since I talk to my children quite a bit, I do not need to see a "show" about what they are doing at school.

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    We use The Leader in Me philosophy at our school. This is a Covey program that spins off of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Leaders and teaches 7 habits of leadership to kids to help them build better personal leadership skills and develop personal accountability (which in my opinion is strongly lacking in kids these days thanks to helicopter parenting). Student led conferences are an opportunity for the students at our school to record their data in their leadership notebooks and to sit with their parents and go over the information/charts/graphs to demonstrate what goals they set for themselves, the plant that they used to achieve the goals, and whether or not they had success in reaching their goals. If they were successful, it gives them the opportunity to decide if their goals should be expanded and if they did not meet them; then it gives them an opportunity to reflect on the reasons why and make the necessary adjustments, and it gives the parents the visual aids and data to understand why their student is receiving the grade that they are receiving. I enjoy student led conferences because I love the ownership that the student has to demonstrate over their own learning and grade. They are constantly logging results in the notebook, so if they are failing, they should be meeting with their teachers to come up with a plan to change the course. They have to bring the data notebooks home periodically for review with the parents so parents are informed and kept in the loop. If there was a serious concern or problem, the teachers are always available to meet and discuss issues in a private conference. It is great to see how confident and organized our young leaders can be!

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    Originally Posted by kelly0523
    Student led conferences are an opportunity for the students at our school to record their data in their leadership notebooks and to sit with their parents and go over the information/charts/graphs to demonstrate what goals they set for themselves, the plant that they used to achieve the goals, and whether or not they had success in reaching their goals. If they were successful, it gives them the opportunity to decide if their goals should be expanded and if they did not meet them; then it gives them an opportunity to reflect on the reasons why and make the necessary adjustments, and it gives the parents the visual aids and data to understand why their student is receiving the grade that they are receiving.

    This sounds exactly like annual performance reviews in industry.

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