Years ago I was asked to take part in a community group looking to address the gap in activities for young adults after school in our town. I was quite impressed with the group that was assembled but I noticed a glaring exclusion. I raised my hand and was recognized by the chairperson. I said, “We are missing a very important element here.” She responded, “Jerry, we have the Superintendent, School Board members, all the principals, members of the clergy, the police captain of the local precinct, elected officials, presidents of all the PTA’s, members of the Chamber of Commerce and business community and of course you representing the library (I was the President of the Library Board of Trustees & VP of one of the areas HS PTAs.).” I replied: “How come we do not have any young members of the community here? We are here to make decisions about them and they should be heard.”
A lot of times when we are making important educational decisions we have a tendency to leave out the voices of the students (and parents). We should be listening more to what our children and parents have to say. When making the expectations or rules of your classroom include the students in the formulation of them. Learn to step aside and let the students take more of a role in their learning process. School improvement needs the voices of the students on what they would like to say. Make them a real part of the process.
What a great reminder! We have High School students involved in our strategic planning and accreditation discussions. The focus groups with younger students are especially interesting.
We also asked students to help us re-design the school library. The result is the 5th picture from the top on http://hkworkshop.wikispaces.com/Tanja's+Journal. Students asked for a loft (a slide comes down from the loft), bubble chairs, tables that double as chess sets…it’s amazing.
Students make great suggestions.
Janet | expateducator.com
Wow! Listening to children can really make a difference and create an environment that they will enjoy. Love the pictures and thank you for sharing them.