conferences · conferring · strategic conferring

Conferences are dialogues.

[Conferences] are not mini-lectures but the working talk of fellow writers sharing their experience with the writing process. At times, of course, they will be teacher and student, master and apprentice, if you want, but most of the time they will be remarkably close to peers, because each writer, no matter how experienced, begins again with each draft. –Don Murray

I’m getting ready to lead a presentation about conferring.  For the past three years I’ve been doing this presentation, I’ve had a quote from Don Murray’s A Writer Teaches Writing, 2nd Ed.  as a slide in my PowerPoint.  Yesterday I removed the slide.  Instead, I stuck the quote on the front page of the my handout packet since I think Murray’s message is so important.  For one, it reflects my belief teachers of writing must be writers themselves if they’re going to have a meaningful impact on students’ writing lives.  Second, Murray’s words make me think it’s okay if every conference isn’t by-the-book or “perfect.”  (It’s more important to be authentic.)  Finally, this quote reminds me of the importance of strategic conferring.

2 thoughts on “Conferences are dialogues.

  1. That quote reminds me of something I read in Notice and Note. It was about dialogic conversation, but it applies to conferring as well: “Neither is privileged and both are responsible for bringing clarification to the table.” Isn’t that great? Neither is privileged. 🙂


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