Yes, the words, “When will this be over?,” were ones that I heard from one of my students about 20 minutes after we started sharing our Passion Projects yesterday. Initially, I didn’t know how to respond. Students seemed so excited to share their projects with others and ask each other questions, and yet, here was one student that was expressing a very different opinion. I’ll admit, my initial thought was to say, “Now is the time that we’re sharing these projects! Let’s choose to enjoy it!” But the truth was, she didn’t want to do this, and she was sharing her voice with me. Now it was up to me to listen.
I decided to ask her why she wanted this sharing time to be over. She said that not many people were coming around to see her project, and when they did, they answered her written questions and moved on. She was bored. She wanted to see what the other students shared. And that’s when I decided to give her a job. I handed over my iPad, and told her she was now the Passion Project Tweeter. She went around to each of the projects, took photographs of them, and shared tidbits of information about each one. She even gave herself an official title (as you can see in the Storify Story below).
This student saw herself as a reporter, and she started asking other students some really hard questions. She got them thinking! Giving her a different job changed yesterday’s activity from “boring” to “awesome” (her words). Reflecting on this whole experience, I realized the importance of student voice and engagement (and how we can’t assume that all students will be engaged in the same way). How do you listen and respond to “student voices?” How do you ensure that students feel comfortable sharing their “voices” with you? I’d love to know your thoughts on this!
Pingback: This Week in Ontario Edublogs | doug --- off the record