The thing that struck me the most while observing Debbie Miller was her demeanor with children. She was genuine. Sweet. Kind. Responsive. After watching her in a second grade and first grade classroom, I was inspired to make the following list. These are little nuggets I’ve picked up over the years of listening to voices in the field, reading, and attempting to refine my ability as one who confers. It’s my first attempt at this kind of list.
Some Truths About Conferring
- Get down, close, beside the student.
- Use a gentle voice.
- Be genuine — when you ask questions, make sure you don’t already know the answers!
- Listen. All children are thinking powerful thoughts. Believe in them. Trust them. Help them find the power in literacy.
- Take your time — why rush?
- Stay focused . . . keep in mind the purpose of the conversation.
- Identify what the child is doing well. Affirm this to the child.
- Build on the strengths in order to push the student to become stronger.
- Smile. Then smile some more.
Unhurried. Finding the magic in the middle of living. Capturing a life of ridiculous grace + raw stories.