Another word from a student.....

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This blog comes from a 17 year old high school senior. This is her view on Student Voice, I hope you learn as much as I did:

One of the most important things I value in my education is having a student voice. I find school to be so much more enjoyable when I have a close relationship with my teachers. While I understand that teachers are authoritative figures that are here to teach students and guide us through information, I appreciate when teachers consider our own ideas, opinions, and input. Having a say in ways I learn, how we spend time in the classroom, scheduling tests, etc. means a lot to me. It makes me feel like a teacher really wants us to succeed in our own ways by allowing us freedom and choice.

Having a voice in school allows students a lot more independence. Finally, we are not just being told what to do, how to do it, and when it’s due. Most of the time my math teacher will ask us which day we want our quiz to be on. This is much appreciated. It allows me to schedule out my studying and use my time more efficiently because my teacher will schedule the quiz on whichever day is better for us. When a teacher values the students input, it makes them seem a lot more approachable and relatable. I feel like I can talk to my math teacher much more easily than a lot of teachers. Instead of being an intimidating teacher, he is more of a mentor and guide for me.

Probably the way I most appreciate my voice being used is when teachers will ask us which method we learn by the best. It’s really helpful when we stray from the traditional lecturing or powerpoint. Sometimes teachers will pull up helpful online videos to help teach us a concept. If a student needs a visual or hands on demonstration, many of my teachers will try to make that happen. At my school, it really seems like the teachers want to help students in any way possible. I think that’s the main reason I actually don’t mind coming to school. The close relationship between teachers and students make it seems less like school, and more like just learning interesting information.

An example of when student voice was not used was the other day in biology. The whole class begged and begged our teacher to extend the deadlines for our labs to Monday, instead of being due Thursday. This would give us the weekend to perfect them, and allow more time to be put into them. Plus we all know our teacher wasn’t even going to look at them over the weekend. But she refused. This left the class feeling frustrated and overworked. It felt like our teacher was just being stubborn and saying no to Monday just to be mean. The whole class felt even more distanced from our teacher, because she did not take student voice into consideration.

Student voice is critical in order to feel valued as a student in your school. When authoritative figures listen to students, it brings on a closer relationship and understanding. Everyone can learn from each others ideas and opinions. Students may be more willing to learn and understand material better when it is taught in ways they want. If student voice is continued to be value at a school, I think there will be a lot more student participation is school activities, clubs, sports, etc. By allowing student voice at school, an environment of learning, understanding, happiness, and participation can be fulfilled.

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