Student Voice Q&A
Why I chose this:
After seeing Dr. Russ open the day, I wanted to come hear him speak in a session. Plus, he will be one of the headliners for a program being held by the co-op where I work!
What we covered:
Examples of places they've been working. Called "demonstration sites" in differing areas. Make sure students have voice, but also make sure teachers have a voice. Providing training in aspirations and student voice. Sometimes you don't need a survey to hear what students are saying.
They do a study that is tailored to that specific district. Absence rates for teachers and students. Discipline and types of discipline. Students do teacher assessment pieces.
"I know my class" piece asks things like "does teacher know your name?" Is content related to me and/or other classes? Ask kids about themselves - Do you come prepared to learn? Do you respect your classmates?
This program does not modify curriculum etc because the states have their standards. The program addresses the core concepts of Student Voice and Aspirations
More than a paradigm shift, this is a movement. Every year, teachers have to do a research paper regarding 'promising practices.' Some are great, some are not. But, the point is they do it and they learn and examine.
This is about turning a school around and have them serve as the impetus for other schools.
Change at classroom level - teaching and learning environment
Change at building level - bell schedule may change, structure may change
Change at central office - Student voice data incorporated into staff evaluation
Change at state Level - rolling upward changes such as state-level agencies allowing/changing evals to include student voice data
Understand your student backgrounds, culture as a basis for helping those students grow and find their voice.
This does not dismantle and restructure, but rather how can this help you with what you are already using. Puts personalized learning 'on steroids.'
We have to work with parents and community to help them understand where we need to help our students go. We have to work together by building and using trust. Changing schools comes from the inside out - because we do not want the folks that went through the system keeping things "the old way." (my words)
What are some pitfalls?
Not using the information is the biggest mistake.
We did not have a Teacher's Voice, and that is being addressed and fixed.