Students have finished their social issue piece that I posted about here in this post, Making Space for Students’ Voices. My goals for the unit were lofty but I am thrilled out of mind to share with all of you how it actually went. Students were able to share some personal things through a variety of methods – we used #INEED as entrance tickets one day, then the next used #IWISHMYTEACHERKNEW as entrance tickets. These were all posted, along with the post-its from the first day.
Students were incredibly engaged in this assignment from the research to the curation to the creation. Students asked in some classes to listen to the podcasts from Revisionist History as a whole class and we had a discussion about college costs. Students watched videos and tedtalks about prison and who ends up there and then asked a ton of questions about how they could make change with some of the policies. Students really loved being able to choose their research and their issue to dive into. They planned well and problem solved in order to figure out how to get viewer’s engaged – they posted work in the hallways and in the cafeteria in order to get a range of engagement. The range of issues were broad and it was incredible to watch them work and dive into the issues.
So I can’t continue describing the process or the outcomes, I have to share the work with you.
Over the past few days, I’ve conferenced with each student – to check in with them about their perceived strengths and areas of growth and ways I can support better. This has been such a valuable thing for me to do and as I’ve found through these conversations – students have felt empowered and their voices are being amplified. Students are feeling like artists and like they have something to say.
As I reflect on this unit and how I feel as an educator and as I’ve watched my students – I realize I need to do more of this somehow, I’m not sure how, but it’s valuable.
How do you connect to students lives? How do you empower students?