- During a panel at a Teach for America (TFA) summer institute in Memphis, new participants in the program heard from four high school students, who shared experiences and advice for those entering the teaching profession, Chalkbeat reports.
- The teens want educators to mean it when they say that they won't put up with bullying, to open up and create bonds with students, and to expect the most out of students.
- Per student Detario Yancey, teachers must also "Be creative, be intuitive, be socially intelligent – and be woke."
Keeping student voice in mind is a key component for administrators, particularly when it comes to shaping school culture. Being attuned to what students want can, for example, supplement the recruitment and hiring process by informing the selection of teachers who are most likely to connect with their classrooms.
And based on what the students at the TFA Memphis event said, students want to learn from people who aren't just passionate about the material they're teaching and coming up with new, more engaging ways to present it, but who bring palpable compassion for them and who are socially aware. By being "woke," educators are more aware of the issues students are facing beyond the school walls, the issues that will impact students later in life, and their own biases. The latter can be particularly critical in adopting popular approaches like growth mindset.
Checking off all the boxes can be difficult, of course, and not all students and teachers are the best fits for each other, but awareness of these factors may help educators create a more productive learning environment.