The conference is something that I myself, as a teacher, find overwhelming about teaching writing to my students. I have read my students’ paper and I am overwhelmed by them. I am even more overwhelmed by their struggle to write. I am so ridiculously careful not to be harsh that I often times don’t say anything at all. This is not the way a good or decent teacher should teach writing and I would like to think that I fall into one of those categories. I have long understood that my students struggle with the school and learning environment, often times hating it and even being court ordered to attend. They have not had positive or successful experiences in the classroom and I don’t want to add to those negative learning experiences. The behavioral challenges are enough as it is. This does however bring up another challenge even “regular” teachers encounter…what do you do with the other students as you conference with one? I am open to suggestions.
I like the idea of the Collin’s writing program where only one to a few things are focused on. This truly reduces teacher and student anxiety. I also found the idea of a 2 minute conference to be less daunting. This, too, would reduce teacher and student anxiety. I think it could also be used to build a positive rapport between students and teacher. Through this process you could be honest, specific and help guide the student in how to fix what ails their writing without being harsh or negative or further damaging to their school experiences.