- Teachers need to remember that the very core of their job is helping students, making the development of a classroom where pupils feel supported and respected crucial, wrote educator Beth Pandolpho writes for Edutopia.
- Pandolpho advocates that educators listen to students, ask what they’re thinking about during class discussions, and then refer to details from previous comments they’ve made so they know their teacher has heard them.
- While some students are easy to talk with and eager to connect, Pandolpho also makes a point of reaching out to those who may be a bit more withdrawn so that every child is heard, building a more inclusive classroom.
While teachers are the navigators of a classroom, children are hardly the workers below deck. The trend today is to empower students to find their own voice and give them some autonomy in the way they learn or how their school day is run. Students at Greece Central School District near Rochester, NY, for example, voiced their discomfort with changing into gym clothes every day, and the administration ended that requirement, as Education Dive reported last year.
While not every student who speaks up will grow into a leader, every child can be taught to find their voice through the curriculum, as The Hechinger Report recently wrote, describing a leadership program for elementary school children called the Bonstingl Leaders for the Future. The program helps students learn how to be active listeners while also looking for solutions to situations that are diplomatic and searching for a way to resolve issues that works for the betterment of all.