One-on-one conferences with my first year writers are a wrap. At the end of our convos I asked what most contributed to their learning and what if anything I should tweak going forward.
We ended up liking each other, so the feedback was almost universally positive. One recurring theme was, “We sat in a circle and you were part of the circle.”
When the classroom architecture makes it possible, it’s pretty simple isn’t it? Ditch rows. Ditch hierarchy. Ask challenging questions. Listen. And whenever possible, laugh.