I took the book: How's It Going: A Practical Guide to Conferring with Student Writers by Carl Anderson and boiled it down to a 4-page crib sheet. I am hoping that having this shared document will help us focus on the instructional aspect of conferencing rather than just logging in meetings.
The guide can be found http://groups.yahoo.com/group/bronxguildstaff/files/Conferencing%20Guide.doc
Here's a thoughtful piece on freedom, when we find ourselves constrained by making commitments to instructional initiatives (to conferencing, for example)
“If a violin string is lying on a table loose and detached from any violin, some might suppose it “free” because it is unconstrained. But what, one should ask oneself, is it “free” to do or be? Certainly it cannot vibrate with beautiful music in such a condition of limpness. Yet if you fasten one end of it to the tailpiece of the violin and the other to a peg in the scroll, then tighten it to its allotted pitch, you have rendered it free to play. And you might say that spiritually the string has been liberated by being tied tightly at both ends. For this is one of the great paradoxes of the world to be seen and tested on every side: the principle of emancipation by discipline.”—Guy Murchie, The Seven Mysteries of Life