Elevating the voices of students is vital for many reasons. The more of a voice and choice that students have has proven to raise student achievement substantially. When students have more of a voice in the classroom it encourages stronger relationships, creates a strong sense of belonging, and inform instruction. Here are a few ways you can do that in your classroom.
Begin the day with a classroom ritual
Many students come to class with anxiety about test results or uneasiness about what information they’re going to have to ingest for the day. It can be overwhelming for many. Spending the first few minutes of class to touch base with the students and let them talk about something that’s weighing on them or exciting them will help to ease any anxiety or tension in the classroom. It is also a great way to foster a good classroom relationship.
Find plenty of opportunities for students to use their voice
Allow students to work in groups and have a set of questions for students to discuss together. Have opportunities for them to speak in front of the classroom using the whiteboard. Find times for students to be able to write to people outside the classroom on certain topics. Give students choices on what they do and show them how what they’re learning relates to them in the real world.
Invite students to talk about their lives outside of school
It’s important to show students that teachers value their lives and want to understand them. Some students may be an open book while others may fade into the background if teachers let them. Encouraging them to share will encourage a better relationship.
Introduce student notes for feedback
This is a great way to encourage your students to use their voice. Use the downloadable and print it out. Pass them out to students and keep a secure box in the classroom where they can drop their notes.
“It only takes one voice, at the right pitch, to start an avalanche.” – Dianna Hardy