Ways Adults Can Support Student Voice

Are you an teacher who is concerned with how student voice is ignored in your school?
Are you a principal who wants students to be involved in making the decisions that affect them everyday? 

Here are some ways adults can support engaging student voice in school every day!

  • Make students’ concerns visible in your school by posting them in your classroom and sharing them at meetings where adults are.
  • Use participatory action research in your classroom for students to take action in your school.
  • Be an advocate for students at school meetings.
  • Make sure students are at the table whenever your school is making choices about students.
  • Create classroom lesson plans that actively engage students in critical thinking about education and action that changes schools.
  • Sponsor a letter with students to the building or district or state administration
  • about student issues.
  • Respect students as you do adults. Don’t expect more from students than you do adults and don’t interpret for students what they can say for themselves.
  • Listen specifically to students whose voices are seldom heard in schools.
  • Connect with other adult allies who want to involve students meaningfully, both in your school and others, and around the community.
  • Help students create a listing of all opportunities for their involvement in your school and community.
  • Join or form a community task force with students to address youth issues and coordinate responses in schools. 
  • Prepare students for multiple roles in your school, including learner, teacher, and leader.
  • Recognize student involvement. Don’t assume that just because someone is a student that they enjoy school. Help them appreciate it by giving class credit or through other meaningful recognition.
  • Hold students accountable for their mistakes and challenges. Be honest and forthright with young people and support their efforts to improve.
  • Speak to students with respect and avoid interrupting students.

You can learn more at http://www.soundout.org/article.101.html

Written by Adam Fletcher, this article was originally posted to http://commonaction.blogspot.com. Learn more at adamfletcher.net!

Published by Adam

For almost two decades, Adam F. C. Fletcher has led international outreach focused on engaging people successfully. Working with thousands of youth-serving nonprofits, K-12 schools, government agencies, international NGOs and other organizations around the world, his work spans the fields of education, public health, economic development and social services, and includes professional development, public speaking, publishing, social media and more. He founded the Freechild Institute for Youth Engagement, SoundOut and CommonAction, as well as writing more than 50 publications and 500 articles. He has also established 150-plus community empowerment projects.

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