When you meet with your students for conferences, it is easy to get wrapped up in your students' ideas! We encourage you to keep the following in mind as you take your time to meet with students:
- If you are meeting in a cube, be mindful of both the volume of your voices -- both to keep your conversation with the student a bit more private and out of respect for those working around you. If you know that you'll be meeting with a particularly emotional student or one writing on a sensitive issue, consult with the Associate Director about alternative meeting spaces that you might be able to use.
- If you are meeting in an office, it is always the best practice to meet with the door open unless you're trying to be sensitive to a student's desire for a more confidential conversation.
- Spend some time sitting in your student's seat - literally. Sit where in the spot in the office where you'll have the student sit. What is in his/her/their line of sight? Is the chair comfortable and positioned conveniently? Is there a place to rest a laptop or place a bag? Make the spot as student-friendly as you are.
- In the event that you feel your conversation could benefit from an additional perspective, ask a colleague or one of the directors to participate, even if it means bringing the student into someone else's office in the middle of the conference.
- Practice careful and active listening. Even if you think you have a great idea to add to your students' essay, make sure you're not cutting off your student's train of thought; pay close attention to their body language and the pauses they take so that you're giving them space to discuss their thoughts.
To learn more, check out the following related pages: