Sunday, October 25, 2015

Student Voice Groups #KidsDeserveIt

This week I was able to do something I haven't done before as a leader.  I listened to my students.

Now let me clarify.  I've done anonymous surveys, I've had kids write letters, and more.  But I have never really taken the time to just sit in their presence and listen.

I started with 3rd-5th graders.  I had each teacher select two students from their homerooms that they considered leaders.  I then took those 12 students from each grade and we sat and talked.

I asked them 4 questions:

1.  What is your favorite part of school?
2.  What is the best thing you've done this year in school?
3.  What do you WISH your school looked/performed/acted like?
4.  What is something you don't like that we do?

I provided no judgement.  I just listened.

And the responses were great!  I learned a few things.  And my students were honest.  Why were they as honest as they were?  Because I, even as the leader, have worked hard to make myself visible and build relationships with all of the students on our campus.

I learned that there is quite a bit we're doing that the kids enjoyed.  I also laughed at many of their wishes for what their dream school would look like (classrooms made of jello for one).

But most importantly, some of their ideas for things they wish we would change were very doable.  And I will be making some changes.

So why do I write this post?  Because as leaders I think we can easily get caught up in our every day things that we forget to do something as easy as listen to the little voices we're supposed to be serving.

We're now going to start meeting once a month, and I'm even going to rotate some new students in so we can get more and more voices heard.  And I'm even going to start leadership groups with our younger students too.

I can't wait to see where this leads, what get's changed, and the empowerment that our students will get to feel knowing that we're listening and taking some of their ideas! #KidsDeserveIt