Should we care what our students think?
Of course we should care what our students think!
But, why do we need to care what students think?
Because, as Illinois 2018 Teacher of the Year Lindsey Jensen says, we are in the business of human beings.
We are NOT just presenters of information.
Building a positive culture, building positive relationships, in your organization (team or classroom) is a prerequisite to pursuing lofty goals.
Students need to know you care BEFORE you start expecting them to take action on what you want them to do.
How do we find out what kids think?
This probably sounds like a dumb question.
We ask. We listen.
We do this BEFORE we expect anything of them in return.
We give them our attention first.
We can use surveys, forms, pencil and paper, etc..
We can also listen in when they are talking to one another.
What are they interested in? What are they not interested in? What are they pursuing?
How can we steal that and make it part of what goes on in our classroom or on our team?
That is where our creativity comes in.
Include your student knowledge in upcoming activities, link it to lessons, bring it in to full class conversations, use it to help design your classroom experience.
Sure, you’ve got a million other things to do. Time is limited. You are pressured to make sure kids earn a certain grade. Achieve a certain test score.
But is listening to what they care about really preventing you from achieving those results?
We must care about students first and then our goals for the students to achieve athletically or academically are more likely to happen.
Do you agree? Leave me a comment below.