This lesson introduces student-led conferences and how they are beneficial for educators, families, and students. Preparation methods for teachers/students and teachers/families are discussed.


What are student-led conferences?

Most folks are familiar with the term “parent-teacher conference” and likely remember their own experiences at these conferences, either as a student or a parent. We might picture meeting one-on-one with a teacher in a classroom, or maybe an “arena style” set up with teachers seated at multiple tables in a gym as parents and students rotate among them. My (Victoria) junior high school used the “arena style” approach, and I remember rotating with my parents among all six of my teachers in 15-minute intervals. It was overwhelming because there were many conferences happening simultaneously, and the conversations felt rushed because we had to keep up with the rotation schedule. My parents did not ask many questions, probably because, like many parents, they were unsure of what to ask, and we usually ran out of time after the teachers were finished sharing. The purpose of the conferences was for the teachers to report to parents about their children’s progress in the classroom and current course grade, and their vision for what the student outcomes should be at the end of the semester/year. These types of conferences are primarily school/teacher driven and allow families little opportunity to participate in the conversation. 

Teacher-led conferences have been utilized in schools for many decades in the US. However, there has been a growing shift away from these models to more fully include students and families (Mapp et al., 2017). One model is student-led conferences (SLC). SLCs are pre-planned meetings where students lead teacher-supported discussions with their families about their learning and progress by reviewing examples of their work and identifying academic goals. SLCs conclude with the teacher, student, and family sharing how they will support the student in meeting those goals (Cronin, 2016). Younger students may need more assistance than older students in preparing for SLCs, but students of all ages have the capacity to lead these conferences with support. SLCs deliver higher-impact family engagement because they (a) are more student/family focused, (b) create space and time to listen to family perspectives, (c) allow for higher accountability from teachers, families, and students, and (d) offer more opportunities for goal setting by all stakeholders. They can also strengthen two-way communication between home and school, which is important in establishing and maintaining trusting relationships with families. Students can practice self-reflection skills and have a voice in their educational experience. Additionally, it is a friendlier environment for families and allows teachers and families to come together as equal partners in supporting students’ school success. Extended family members can participate in the conference, which is especially relevant in Hawai‘i where there are many students who live in multigenerational households. SLC models can also better accommodate families for whom English is their second language. Interpretation and translation services can be arranged for families who need them.

Fall conferences can focus on goal-setting for the year, and spring conferences can focus on the culmination of students’ learning throughout the year and their future academic goals. Conferences should be offered at a variety of times, such as evenings and weekends, to accommodate families’ schedules (CSDE, 2018). There are different possible structures for SLCs. One example is the following three-part structure.

  1. In the three to four weeks before the conference, begin preparing students by describing the SLC and explaining the student’s role in leading the discussion. It may be helpful to watch videos of SLCs with your students (see links in the next section). Prepare students to lead the conference by:
    • Discussing the format of the conference and how students will facilitate the discussion with your support. Students may wish to create notes or a slideshow (e.g., PowerPoint or Google Slides) to help them organize their thoughts and prepare what they want to share. 
    • Assisting students with selecting examples of their work to share with their families and helping them prepare their explanation of how those examples show their learning progress. Students may wish to prepare notes about these examples so they are ready to share about them during the conference. Be sure to prepare your own notes on what information you want to share with the families as well. 
  2. When the student’s family arrives at the conference location, the student can take the lead by thanking their family for coming and inviting them to sit down. The student can then begin the conference by sharing his/her/their thoughts about how the school year is going, what is going well, and any concerns or questions they have. During this time, the student can share his/her/their work examples and slideshow with your support. After the student has shared, families can follow up with their own thoughts on these topics and ask questions about the student’s work examples. Although the student will lead the discussion, you can include your own thoughts about his/her/their progress and help answer any questions.
  3. As the conference concludes, the student can share two or three academic goals they identified, and then ask you and their family members how you and they can contribute to helping them meet these goals. Middle and high school students can also connect these goals with planning for what they want to pursue after high school graduation (e.g., attend trade school, enroll in a community college or university, enter the workforce, etc.). You and your students may want to record this information on a goal setting worksheet that everyone can sign. We have included a sample goal setting worksheet that you can adapt to meet your students’ needs (we’ll put a link to this here). Make a copy of this worksheet for families to take home as a reminder of what you are all working towards together. 

Conferences are important in building relationships with families that are centered on student learning. So how can teachers prepare for effective student-led conferences? We suggest several preparation methods in the following section.

Cronin, A. (2016, July 8). Student-led conferences: Resources for educators. Edutopia. https://www.edutopia.org/blog/student-led-conferences-resources-ashley-cronin 

Connecticut State Department of Education. (2022, May). Full, Equal and Equitable Partnerships with Families. https://portal.ct.gov/-/media/SDE/Publications/CT-Family-Engagement.pdf 

Mapp, K., Carver, I., & Lander, J. (2017). Powerful Partnerships: A Teacher’s Guide to Engaging Families for Student Success. Scholastic.

“Student-Led Conference Faculty Handbook” from Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School at https://images.template.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/13204219/student-council-agenda-template.pdf 

“Student Led Conferences Responsibilities and Protocol” at https://www.scholastic.com/content/dam/teachers/blogs/john-depasquale/migrated-files/student_led_conference_protocol.pdf 

Preparing elementary students for student-led conferences

In the three or four weeks leading up to SLCs, it is important for students and teachers to take an adequate amount of time to prepare. Collect examples of student work ahead of time, and discuss with students how the examples highlight their academic progress and how they relate to their future learning goals. Work with your student to identify what he/she/they would like to share with their families as their successes are areas for improvement, and be sure to prepare your goal-setting forms, should you choose to use them.

Elementary students need more time and support in preparing for student-led conferences compared to middle and high school students. Consider meeting with each of your students a few times to review their work samples and answer any questions they may have about the structure of the conference. Explain how the purpose of the conference is for students to share what they have learned with their families, and to discuss how you, the family, and the student can best support their learning goals throughout the school year. It may be helpful to watch a video of a student-led conference together with your students so they begin understanding what to expect, such as this one: https://vimeo.com/49170218 

Students can invite their families to attend the conference by writing letters or postcards. This could be part of an art project where students can decorate the invitations and help get them ready to be distributed. Alternatively, students could create short videos inviting their families to attend, and these videos could be shared with families through communication apps and/or social media. Creating these types of invitations can help students be excited for the conference and what they want to share with their families. 

“Student-Led Conferences” from Winchester Public Schools at https://www.wps.k12.va.us/Page/10975

“Leaders of Their Own Learning: Chapter 5: Student-Led Conferences” at https://eleducation.org/resources/chapter-5-student-led-conferences

“Student-Led Conferences: Resources for Educators” at https://www.edutopia.org/blog/student-led-conferences-resources-ashley-cronin


Preparing middle school students for student-led conferences

Middle school students still need some support in preparing for SLCs, but not as much as they needed in elementary school. By the time they have reached 6th grade, they may have had some experience with student-led conferences. However, it is still important to remind students that the purpose of the conference is to discuss how you as the teacher, their families, and they as students will work together to help them decide on and meet academic goals.

To begin preparing, help students collect examples of their work to be shared with families during the conference. At the middle school level, you and the students may select different samples you wish to share. Consider having students create a portfolio of their work that families can read through. These portfolios can also include self-reflections and teacher feedback that tell the story of how students have progressed throughout the year and how they plan to meet their future learning goals. After the conference, students can add their reflections on how the conference went. As you and your students put these portfolios together, some questions to consider are:

  1. What is the best way to organize these pieces?
  2. Why have we (the teacher and the student) chosen these pieces?
  3. What do we want to communicate to families through discussing these pieces?

As discussed earlier, there are several ways to structure student-led conferences. It may be helpful to watch video examples with your students, such as this one: https://vimeo.com/45140230?embedded=true&source=vimeo_logo&owner=2957133

Similarly to elementary students, middle school students can invite families to attend by writing letters home or creating videos. Older students may enjoy creating videos more than younger students, and this activity can help bolster their excitement to share their progress in school with their families!

“Leaders of Their Own Learning: Chapter 5: Student-Led Conferences” at https://eleducation.org/resources/chapter-5-student-led-conferences

Preparing high school students for student-led conferences

High school students can take on more responsibility in preparing for and leading SLCs. SLCs can also include conversations about students’ plans after graduating, although these ideas can also be discussed in middle school SLCs. Kampen (2022, “Student-led conferences in high school” section) suggested ways that students can focus the SLC conversations based on grade-level:

  • 9th grade: “Students can talk about how to succeed in a new academic setting and set goals for the next few years” (para. 2).
  • 10th-11th grade: “Conferences should focus on how students are meeting their academic goals, if they’re taking the right courses, and what their post-secondary options are” (para. 3).
  • 12th grade: “In their final year of high school, the teacher, student and parents should meet to make sure the student is on track with their academic goals” (para. 4). 

 High school SLCs can be a supportive environment for students to practice self-advocating skills and to take responsibility for meeting their goals, as they will need these skills as they enter a training program, college/university, or the workplace. 

To prepare for SLCs, similarly to the middle school model above, assist your students with selecting work examples to share with their families. These examples could be included in the Personal Transition Plan (PTP) that all high school students are required to complete to meet HiDOE graduation requirements: https://www.hawaiipublicschools.org/TeachingAndLearning/StudentLearning/GraduationRequirements/Pages/home.aspx It may be useful for 12th grade students to share with their families other required components of their PTP as well, such as their personal statement, career portfolio, and professional resume. Students in 9th-11th grades can share with families their potential career choices, education goals, and how they will prepare for the interview process. 

As you and your students prepare, you may find it helpful to watch the following example video of a high school SLC shared by Edutopia: https://vimeo.com/43992567 Students can invite their families to attend SLCs through sending invitations home, creating videos, and/or classroom social media platforms. 

“4 Ways Student-Led Conferences Can Impact Your School” at https://www.prodigygame.com/main-en/blog/student-led-conferences/

“Graduation Requirements” from the HiDOE at https://www.hawaiipublicschools.org/TeachingAndLearning/StudentLearning/GraduationRequirements/Pages/home.aspx

“Student-Led Conferences: Resources for Educators” at https://www.edutopia.org/blog/student-led-conferences-resources-ashley-cronin



Preparing students receiving special education services for student-led conferences

The above information on preparing elementary, middle, and high school students for SLCs is applicable to SPED students; however, some aspects may need to be adjusted to meet the specific needs of your individual students. The author of this TeachTastic article https://www.teachtasticiep.com/post/student-led-conferences-for-special-education suggested some areas in which students in SPED may need some additional coaching: 

  1. Help students reflect on their learning experiences so far this year. Ask students to write down what they think is going well, some challenges they have faced and how they have overcome or are working to overcome them, what they have learned from these experiences, and what challenges they see ahead of them. Keep these notes so that students can share them with their families during the SLC. 
  2. Teach students how to give and receive feedback. It is important for students to know that SLCs are an extension of their learning experience, and that everyone attending wants to know how they can help students be successful in school. Feedback should be given and received thoughtfully and respectfully. Schwartz (2017) suggested several ideas for teaching students how to give and receive feedback: https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/49243/developing-students-ability-to-give-and-take-effective-feedback 
  3. Help students develop self-advocacy and self determination skills. SLCs are a great opportunity for students to develop leadership skills, presentation skills, facilitation skills, and learn to organize information. They can also learn to identify and share their needs and interests. This (2019) article from The Center for Independent Futures includes several strategies for teaching self-advocacy skills to students with disabilities: https://independentfutures.com/teach-self-advocacy-skills/ 

“Student-Led Conferences for Special Education” from Teach Tastic at https://www.teachtasticiep.com/post/student-led-conferences-for-special-education

“Developing Students’ Ability to Give and Take Effective Feedback” at https://www.kqed.org/mindshift/49243/developing-students-ability-to-give-and-take-effective-feedback

“How to Teach Self-Advocacy Skills to Students with Disabilities” from the Center for Independent Futures at https://independentfutures.com/teach-self-advocacy-skills/

Teacher preparation for successful student-led conferences

How you prepare for an SLC can set the stage for a productive meeting or a disorganized and unproductive experience. As discussed in the previous section, SLCs are excellent opportunities for students to express their needs and goals so that teachers and their families can learn how to best support them. These conferences also allow teachers to share their thoughts about how the school year is going and provide their assessment of students’ progress. More importantly, SLCs can strengthen collaborative, trusting relationships between students, families, and teachers.

How you interact with families during SLCs, especially during fall conferences, can be instrumental in establishing rapport and communication lines that last throughout the school year. In this activity written for preservice teachers or new teachers, you will learn more about effective procedures and interaction strategies to help students facilitate SLCs. 

  1. Have you ever participated in a parent-teacher conference or an SLC? If so, think about the procedures for running the conference and the ways to interact with families that you found to be effective. Take 5 minutes and make a list of those items. If you have not participated in a parent-teacher conference or an SLC, try to attend one! If you cannot, think about what makes effective procedures and interactions when you are in different situations in your life (e.g., at the doctor’s office, with a colleague, with a teacher, or with a friend). List your ideas about what makes effective procedures and interactions to ensure a good conversation.
  2. After making your list, watch the following video. Think about how this teacher conducts his SLC. Take notes about his procedures and interaction strategies and compare them with your brainstorming list.
    • Since 1992, Waikiki Elementary School has adopted Dr. Art Costa’s Habits of Mind philosophy as a framework to prepare all students to be efficient and effective problem solvers by behaving intelligently. As part of this philosophy, all SLCs involve student input regarding their own goals and progress.
    • This video showcases a 4th grade SLC centered around the student’s presentation of her goals and celebrations. John, the teacher, had been teaching at Waikiki Elementary School for 11 years at the time this video was filmed, and is a graduate of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s College of Education MEdT program. Kalae is a 4th grader in his class. Her brother was a student of John’s two years ago. This conference took place in late October.

Reflection Guide

  1. What were the goals of the teacher for this SLC? What were the goals for the parents? For the student? How do the three sets of goals compare (align, misalign, overlap, etc.)?
  2. What was achieved through this conference for the teacher? For the parents? For the student? Were all achievements equally distributed?
  3. What questions and concerns did the parents have and how were they addressed?
  4. How did the student contribute to this SLC? How does having students prepare for and facilitate SLCs shape the process and outcome of the event?
  5. How did Kalae, her parents, and the teacher benefit from this SLC compared to what they may have experienced in a traditional parent-teacher conference? What were some positive points about this SLC?
  6. What are some areas that Kalae, her parents, and the teacher did not cover that they may have wanted to discuss? What are some areas that could be improved in this SLC?

Below are some helpful guidelines to review as you prepare to organize your SLCs. In the commentary video, below, Dr. Ratliffe comments on what worked well, and some ideas to improve the conference. Although she used the term parent-teacher conference, much of her commentary also applies to SLCs. 

Guidelines for preparing for effective SLCs

  1. Consultation with families: Send a brief survey home to learn about the best days and times for family members to meet with you. This survey can be distributed as a hard copy or electronically, depending on families’ communication preferences. 
  2. Parent/family letter: Write a letter to parents/families to inform them of the upcoming parent-teacher conference. This letter will be in addition to the letter or video your students will create inviting them to attend. Explain the purpose and importance of such a conference, as well as how their child will be facilitating the discussion. Provide them choices for the date and time depending on their availability. Ask them to indicate their 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices for date/time. Give parents contact information for you, such as a classroom phone number or a Google phone number, where they can reach you in case of last minute changes and ask families for a number in case you need to make any last minute changes to your appointment.
    • To find resources to provide families with regarding how they can prepare for the SLC, visit AFFECT Module 5, Lesson 5.6: Tools for Parent Preparation. Some of these resources use the term “parent-teacher conference,” but the information is still applicable as families prepare for SLCs.  
  3. Language needs: Find out if your students’ families require an interpreter or translator and make the necessary arrangements.
  4. Confirmation letter: After scheduling conferences with all the families, send a follow up letter or email confirming the date and time of the meeting. This can also be used as a reminder notice.
  5. Get the room ready: Clean and organize the classroom. Gather portfolios, report cards, and any other resources that will facilitate the conferences so they are readily available. Prepare an area of the classroom where you can all sit comfortably with all the materials and where there is ample room for the family members to sit. Try to find a quiet, comfortable, and private area in the classroom. Set up a few activities in case parents come with younger children (picture books, coloring, blocks, etc.). 
  6. Intro/overview note: As described in Section 1, prepare the main issues that your students and you plan on discussing and then include those as items in a note to the respective families before the conference. Doing this will encourage you to be well organized ahead of time and will help family members know what to expect in the SLC. This might include items such as (a) that students plan to summarize their progress and learning experience so far, (b) that students will ask families to share how they perceive the school year is going, (c) your assessment of how students are progressing so far, (d) a plan of action (such as a goal setting worksheet), and (e) time for Q&A.
  7. Learning samples: Assist students in preparing a portfolio of their work throughout the quarter/semester that is representative of the various subjects covered in your class and that clearly demonstrate the grade’s curricular goals (discussed in Section 1).
  8. Summarize your main points: When you begin sharing your assessment of a student’s progress, start by noting all the positive aspects you see in the child as a person and as a learner. Share anecdotes and work samples that convey to the parents how much you enjoy having their child in your class. Discuss what the student is doing well and then point out areas of improvement or any concerns. The main focus should be on performance, but this is also a good opportunity to talk with parents about one area of concern, such as attendance, behavior, homework, or another area that can affect student performance. Addressing more than one major area can overwhelm families and cause them to disengage with the conversation. Ask families for their input and suggestions about how to address these issues and remember to communicate your needs as a classroom teacher in a positive and constructive way.
  9. Teacherese: Consider how to talk with families. Think about how to modify your language to make it more accessible. You can audiotape yourself and/or revise your notes to check how much jargon, educational terminology, and inaccessible language you tend to use. In addition, note the strategies you use to make the information accessible! For example, did you paraphrase, use visuals, present student work, or utilize any other strategies to make the conversation concrete and understandable to parents?
  10. Learning resources: Considering the needs of each of your students, prepare some resources that you can send home with families at the end of the conference. This is your chance to communicate about how they can best support learning at home. For some ideas, visit Module 3, Lesson 2: Ways to Engage Families at Home.

Of the list above, which items have you tried? Which ones do you feel comfortable implementing? Are there any items you have not tried that you would like to try in your next conference? [Note: if you are student-teaching it is very important that you first observe your mentor teacher during the SLC or parent-teacher conference, and that you help that person prepare and conduct the conference before attempting to lead one yourself].

If you have the opportunity to conduct your own SLC or to observe a teacher in action, consider what worked, what you could do differently to improve the experience for all participants, and how the event met its goals of informing parents about their child’s performance, giving you additional information to help children improve their learning, and setting up a good partnership with parents and families.

Helping families prepare for student-led conferences

It is important to look at SLCs from families’ points of view. If you are a parent with school-age children, what have been your experiences with SLCs and/or parent-teacher conferences? If you are not a parent, maybe you can find friends or relatives who are parents with school-aged children and ask them about how they have felt in an SLC or a parent-teacher conference. What were they expecting? What did they experience? What would they like to be done differently by teachers?

Collaborate with the PTSA to hear family and student input about what families expect, like, and want during SLCs. What changes would families and students like to see?

Just as it is important for you as the teacher to prepare yourself and your students for SLCs, it is important to help families prepare as well. Families may need assistance with understanding the conference process, their role in the SLC, and what kinds of questions they could ask. When you send families your invitation to attend the conference (discussed in Section 2), include information regarding the components of the SLC and the order in which they will take place. Invite families to contact you through their preferred method of communication with any questions. Families may find the following page from Winchester Public Schools helpful in understanding the roles of teachers, families, and students in SLCs. https://www.wps.k12.va.us/Page/10975 

We have put together a list of resources that you can provide families with as they prepare for SLCs. Elementary, middle school, and high school families, as well as families with students in special education, may find aspects of all of these resources helpful. Preservice teachers can look through these resources as they begin considering how they will approach and organize their future SLCs. In-service teachers can identify which resources they think would be most helpful for their specific families. Although some of these resources use the term “parent-teacher conference,” they are still useful in helping families prepare for SLCs. 

“Tips for Parents: Parent-Teacher Conferences:” https://www.colorincolorado.org/article/tips-parents-parent-teacher-conferences 

“7 Tips for your Most Effective Parent-Teacher Conference Yet:” https://onevoice.pta.org/7-tips-for-your-most-effective-parent-teacher-conference-yet/ 

“Teacher Conferences – A Guide for Parents:” https://childmind.org/article/teacher-conferences-a-guide-for-parents/ 

“9 Tips to Make the Most of your Parent-Teacher Conference:” https://www.understood.org/en/articles/tips-successful-parent-teacher-conference 

“Parent-Teacher Conferences: A Tip Sheet for Parents:” https://www.saratogausd.org/cms/lib/CA01902749/Centricity/Domain/80/conferencetipsheetforparents.pdf 

“Parent-Teacher Conference Tips:” https://specialedresource.com/parent-teacher-conference-tips/ 

“The Difference Between IEP Meetings and Parent-Teacher Conferences:” https://www.understood.org/en/articles/the-difference-between-iep-meetings-and-parent-teacher-conferences 


In addition, you can send a note home that contains some information about the importance of SLCs and provides suggestions for how families can prepare for them. For example, the following are some questions parents may want to ask during their child’s conference.

  • “Does she finish what she starts?”
  • “Does he share?”
  • “Can he follow directions?”
  • “What are his strengths?”
  • “Whom does she play with?”
  • “How does my child work and play?”
  • “Does she raise her hand and express ideas?”

Answers to each of the questions can provide useful information about the child’s performance in the context of school. Parents should also be invited to ask any other questions they might have.

Another helpful way you as the teacher can prepare for SLCs is to role play to emphasize parent perspectives. Let’s apply what you have learned in an active and interactive way. 

Role Play Activity

Get together with a classmate or colleague and role-play a dialogue between a teacher, a parent, and a student during an SLC (a 4th classmate could participate as an observer).

  • Decide who is going to play each part (it would be best if you were all able to take a turn being the teacher, the parent, and the student)
  • This activity may be streamlined by preparing cards in advance with information about each participant. 
  • Talk in general about the “student” you will be discussing: grade level, personality, family situation, academic performance, behavior, etc.
  • Individually take a few minutes to decide the content of what you would like to say
  • If you are playing the role of a teacher, write down what you would like to talk about and how you are going to say it
  • If you’re playing the part of the parent, think about what you would like to ask and how you will participate in the discussion,
  • When you are all ready, role-play the dialog (it would be best if you can do this in front of your peers or an observer),
  • After the role-play, take notes on the content of the exchange, the verbal and non-verbal (body) language, and how each participant seemed to be feeling. (if you are part of an education class and have role-played this exchange in front of your peers, have your classmates or observer take notes),
  • Share your notes and reflect upon them: what did you learn about what this situation and experience might mean for parents and for students? How can you use that information to shape your future SLCs?

Important communication considerations for teachers - activity

  1. Verbal and non-verbal communication: Your verbal and non-verbal communication can signal your demeanor and willingness to establish a strong relationship between school and home. 
  2. Listening and speaking skills: Consider using the LAFF don’t CRY model, developed by McNaughton et al. (2008). Although their article is not publicly available for free, this article summarizes the LAFF framework: https://www.hanen.org/SiteAssets/Articles—Printer-Friendly/Research-in-your-Daily-Work/Printer-Friendly—Improving-our-Active-Listening-.aspx  This model uses a mnemonic phrase to remind educators about the effectiveness of key listening and speaking skills (a description of each of these components can be found in the link above):
    • Listen, empathize, and communicate respect
    • Ask questions
    • Focus on the issues
    • Find a first step
    • Don’t Criticize people who aren’t present
    • Donʻt React hastily and promise something you can’t deliver
    • Donʻt Yakety-yak-yak
  3. Communication with families for whom English is a second language: It is important to prepare strategies to communicate with family members whose primary language is not English. Brainstorm a list by yourself or with a classmate/colleague. Here is a list of possible strategies:
    • Ask parents if they would like a translator (for written materials) and/or interpreter (for oral conversations). Always arrange for an interpreter/translator when family members express a need for one, and do not schedule for one to be there if the parents have not asked for one, as they might feel uncomfortable.
    • When needed, send a translated letter home in advance explaining the procedures and purposes of the SLC.
    • Learn a basic greeting or welcome in the parents’ native language and display the home languages and cultures in your class along with student work samples.
    • Provide a handout outlining the procedures of the conference with a space for taking notes. Consider using a graphic organizer and visuals to make your handout accessible to parents and family members.
    • Have visual materials available during the conference that can be referred to in addition to oral explanations.
    • Allow sufficient time for questions, clarifications, and explanations by the parent/family member and/or the interpreter/translator.


In the following video, a teacher in Hawai‘i conducts a conference with a father of Japanese descent about his son’s progress in the classroom. 

Although this was not an SLC, consider your responses to the following questions:

  1. What do you think the teacher did well? What could be improved for next time?
  2. How did the father’s demeanor seem? Did he appear to feel comfortable? Did he appear to feel heard by the teacher and that he was able to share his perspectives? Why or why not?
  3. How could structuring this conference as an SLC have changed the conference? What do you think Fumi would share about his experience in the classroom so far?


Next, watch the following video in which Dr. Ratliffe provides feedback on this conference. Did she discuss positive aspects and areas for improvement that you also thought of?