Meeting face to face

Published 5:13 pm Friday, February 25, 2005

By By ERIN VER BERKMOES / Niles Daily Star
NILES - Not your typical parent/teacher conferences.
Parents, students and teachers at Ring Lardner Middle school don't experience the parent teacher meeting which sometimes brought fear to the students, wondering what the teacher was saying.
Ring Lardner offers what is called student-led conferences. In this process, students as well as parents get to attend the conference and discuss what has been going on in the students' academic life.
Each of the students prepares for the conference by gathering up their work, writing a script and rehearsing their conference with a peer of theirs. Due to this, class time is given up, but the school believes that this process is instructional itself.
It teaches the students accountability, organization and communication, which is vital to their overall education.
This type of conferences also helps in the fact that it makes it possible for multiple conferences to be scheduled at once, which allows more time, 30 minutes instead of the usual 15 minutes, to review work, discuss goals and to talk about the student.
Ring Lardner has been doing these types of conferences for about the last three years.