My Primary Passion, Cathy from Reflect & Refine, and Laura of Our Camp Read-A-Lot, for hosting this blog chat. What a great experience this is proving to be! I am anxious to read everyone's posts and continue the discussion,
"Conferring" is the right book at the right time. Patrick Allen reaffirms my priorities and beliefs as a teacher and gives me renewed determination to focus on what I know is best for the children in my classroom. I will be returning time and again for guidance as I hone my conferring skills and develop a recording system that works for me. It is "okay to experiment" and I am looking forward to adapting the RIP format as I meet the needs of my students.
Today's post must focus on the the portion of Part 2 that not only defines and clarifies my frustrations but gives me direction as I prepare for a new group of students. In Chapter 5 Allen discusses the relationship between the "D word, data" and the "C word, children". I know from years of communicating with parents that Allen is correct when he writes of what parents want when they sit down with their child's teacher. I think of how I cringe (and sometimes cry) when hours of mandated professional development time and teacher effort is directed into producing mammoth directories of data to present to parents. I understand, as Allen so eloquently states, that we have to show growth, evaluate effectiveness of instruction, document progress and focus on specific points of intervention. I applaud his qualifications of doing so with wisdom and purpose, keeping the individual child in mind. In reflecting on his conference with a student Allen writes, "Our conversation gave me some of the D word, but the most rewarding and long-lasting consequence of our conference was the focus on the C word." I am looking forward to cultivating those types of conferring conversations in my classroom - conversations that focus on the "C word"!