I smiled after almost every one of the student conferences on Monday. When I asked at the start what they think they need to focus on during the revision process, almost everyone wanted to discuss the same issues I had listed in my notes.
I read a few dozen essays over the weekend. This assignment asks students to analyze and synthesize a variety of sources on a topic. It's their biggest challenge of the semester and everyone was struggling with some aspect of the assignment - locating suitable sources, interpreting difficult texts, comparing opposing viewpoints, incorporating another's ideas into their own writing, and so on. I asked them to re-read their own work over the weekend, and come to the conference ready to discuss their revision plans. I love to see their metacognition at work. Most students read their essays with a critical eye and thought about ways to improve, or at least were able to ask for direct advice.
I am grateful for a generation of thoughtful learners, despite what we always say about "kids these days".