Reflection as Practice: Weekly One-on-Ones



Every week, students meet one-on-one with each of their teachers to review the week's material, and to look at the steps ahead. Over the course of the summer, there's a clear 'I/We/You' arc to the process--beginning with clear modeling & culminating in Student-Led Conferences involving faculty, staff, and family.

At the end of the first week of classes, the students' conferences with their teachers laid the foundation. The goals: to establish their Long-Term Learning Targets (LTTs) for the summer, and to make a plan for the week ahead, ensuring that each boy is set up to make progress toward their goals.

After week two, students had another round of one-on-one meetings with their teachers. They checked in on progress being made, and revisited the LTTs. If changes were called for in the short- or long-term targets, teacher & student adjusted the plan--together.

The end of week three found us thinking about the fast-approaching Student-Led Conferences (SLCs), and about the year ahead. The final round of one-on-ones offered another chance to review progress to date, and to identify areas of focus for the homestretch. 

In math, for instance, conferences typically begin with a student-led overview that emphasizes students' strengths--followed by a demonstration of the skills/concepts in question, offering yet another opportunity to check for understanding. Students are then encouraged to identity the area(s) where they need the most work in the final days. The last stage involves looking forward--in this case, to the upcoming SLCs, and toward the academic year as well... and Mr. Carter makes sure that the meetings end on a positive note:

The one-on-ones add a layer of mezzo-level reflection to the week (that is, at a level between daily formative assessments like Exit Tickets, and more structured, and sporadic, summative assessments). They're also an opportunity to continue habituating the boys to the practice of student-engaged assessment... and, every bit as important, the meetings let teachers & students continue building their relationship as partners in a process of learning that, in order to succeed, *has* to be owned by the students.


...of course, if it works for the students, it should work for us, too--and it does. Coming up: a reflection on how reflection-and-revision at the program-wide level helped us undertake a major course-correction, right in the middle of our time together. Stay tuned!