Melanie’s post about building relationships reminded me of this Donald Graves’ quote in No Better Way to Teach Writing: “At the core of the conference is a teacher asking a child to teach her about the subject. The aim is to foster a bursting desire to inform. So the teacher never implies a greater knowledge of this topic than the child possesses, nor treats the child as an inferior learner. We are in the business of helping children to value what they know. Ideally, the poorer the writing the greater interest the teacher will show in it — or rather in what it might become.” This nugget of wisdom guided writing conferences with my former students and it guides my conversations with children today. Trust is absolutely essential to the effectiveness of the conference.