Kicking off a new school year means empowering student’s voices from day one. Your students have a lot of opinions that are left unsaid year by year because they don’t get asked or they don’t think anyone cares. Little do they know how much their voice matters. Here’s three ideas to integrate student voice in your classroom!
Start the conversation in your classroom
1. Let students help write the syllabus.
This could help because instead of throwing ideas and rules at students, they could help make the ideas and make them understand why they are doing what they are doing.
2. Ask students how they learn best and show their learning.
This takes into consideration the individuality of students. Students will perform better in your class if they can see what things they can do to help themselves learn better. This comes in the form of having the choice of how they learn content for the class and how they display that learning. They might choose to learn by themselves and write a paper or work in a group and make a presentation – all while covering the same content material.
3. Create a Needs Assessment for your class/school.
Asking students questions such as “What’s something our school does well?” “What’s something our school should change?” “How would you go about making those changes?” “How do you learn best?” gives constructive feedback to make a student focused environment. This data can then incorporates student voice into the classroom/school.
Our Student Voice organization SILC, has learned a ton from watching the Iowa Student Leanrning Institute from afar. It is our hope to partner with them as we begin to grow and expand beyond the walls of South Hills High School in order to provide a platform for all students within our district to have a voice.