Today I am participating in Digital Learning Sunday with Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche. This week Margaret has encouraged us to share our thoughts on relationships.
I write many posts about my relationships with my students because I know they are key to student learning. Research overwhelmingly supports this, but many of us do not need research to affirm our beliefs.
We live and breathe it every...single...day. That is all the research we need.
I have been taking an online miniCourse from Ruth Ayres called Conferring Notes 101 Lite which is strengthening my beliefs about relationships. She believes that "conferring is the heart of teaching writers." But sitting right smack dab in the middle of conferring are relationships.
When we confer with students, we build relationships with them. Pulling up a chair, sitting alongside a student, and giving them our attention let's them know that we care not only about their writing, but about them.
Effective conferring is a weakness for me, which is why I am taking advantage of Ruth's free course. Regardless of how ineffective my conferring is, my students still need and want that one-on-one time with me. That short period of time that I spend with a student in a conference gives me a glimpse into their writing, but also helps me to build those relationships.
Ruth's key points in her first session are:
- Conferring connects us to students.
- Conferring builds confidence in student writers.
- Conferring tailors teaching to the point of need of every student.
Each one of these is the foundation of building those relationships, which is the key to learning.
|Infographic by Sylvia Duckworth|