Gathering Student Voices

Once we revisited our school statement about 'care' (we care about ourselves, we care about each other, and we care about this place), we decided that we needed to gather more of a student voice.

At a staff meeting, we discussed what the key questions might be and what the best way to address them would be. Surveys can be honourous to teachers, and students may need to speak less truth fully to avoid offending their teacher. With this in mind, the Speakers Corner was born. An idea to share student voices without involving the teachers. 

The Speakers Corner was set up at lunch over three days. Students could come and share their responses on an iPad behind the chalkboards so they felt it was private. We used a wicker chair and a stool, and we even had a plant to create a sense of calm. After the first few visitors, it became clear that we needed someone to ask the questions (read them) to the students who couldn't read. This removed the educator's influence from the scenario and relieved students from feeling pressure to respond in a specific way. 

A student volunteered to demonstrate how to manage the recording on the iPad to capture responses and asked the questions when needed. We wanted to eliminate as many barriers as possible. 

Updated: Thursday, July 6, 2023