My students have been at school for two months now and it is really important to me that I understand how it has been going for them. Ensuring my students have opportunities to share their honest thoughts and feelings about school and me plays a huge part in respecting and supporting both their agency and their humanness for the time they spend in my care.
This year I structured my questions around the qualities of establishing an inclusive classroom that I learned from an IB training.
I also included questions to find out what I have been doing well and what I can do to improve.
Here is a link to a copy of that form if you are interested in seeing it.
It’s always hard to put yourself out there and ask these types of questions. I get nervous every time I read their responses. But I also believe I get better every time I read their responses. So those temporary moments of a bruised ego are worth it because they lead to my growth both as a professional, and as a person.
So in the spirit of vulnerability and shared reflection, here is what I learned and the action I plan to take:
Looking at the quantitative data, I have built some professional goals that I will post in the classroom for students, parents and colleagues to see. I will invite constant feedback from my community to help me work towards these goals.
Looking at the qualitative data, I will reach out to specific students to find out more. I will invite the 6 students who said they didn’t feel challenged to have a focus group with me so I can dig a little deeper to discover what they need. I will invite the student who didn’t feel listened to or understood to have a one-on-one conference with me to hopefully help us get to know each other better. I will ask the 3 students who do not feel safe what changes we could make to our classroom to help them feel more safe.
I also plan to share this data and my action plan with the parent community. I think they deserve to be included in this process, to know how students are feeling about school as well as the steps I plan to take to address some of their concerns.
How do you encourage and respond to student voice?
What do you ask your students to help you grow as a teacher?