You know at the front of the student planner where we post 1 million rules that mainly refer to what students must and must not do? Yeah those ones.
Well how about we did a flip-a-roo and added some student created guidelines around what we adults and school should do? I started to make a list of things that I thought student’s would ask for and then thought that’s dumb, I should just ask my students!
So today I asked each of my 3 classes for their input; what would they like to see at school?; what matters most to them?;what do they wish they could change?;what are their pet-peeves? So below is what I got, most of the requests were not surprising. What did surprise me was how taken aback students were that I was asking them for their input. Keep in mind as you read that my students are grade 12 (17-18 year olds).
Lastly, I transcribed these and am just offering them up for discussion. I am not suggesting this list as is turn into hard-line school policy, nor as criticism; I was just curious to hear what students felt and thought.
Do you know what your student would say?
So here are the student requests unedited and in no particular order:
1. Toilet paper, soap, and hot water in all bathrooms.
2. A place to sit to eat lunch.
3. No name calling or animal sounds directed at them as they walk in the hall.
4. Tests returned to them in a reasonable amount of time.
5. Receive more notice prior to a major test (at least one week).
6. Receive a test outline that specifies the test format and topics.
7. Access to healthy and affordable food items.
8. Right to eat and drink in class for optimal brain function (and reminder to clean up after themselves).
9. No enforced seating plans.
10. No forced group activities or at least omit ones that involve getting a group mark.
11. No worksheets worth huge amounts of points that everyone copies from one another.
12. No enforced homework for marks.
13. Give students ownership of the learning. It is ours not yours!!
14. Tests returned to students to keep so they can review and study from them.
15. No bonus marks for dressing up for theme day or bringing food items for the food drive.
16. Provide meaningful feedback on written work (not just a mark).
17. Test what you teach.
18. Provide opportunities for re-tests (with parameters).
19. Common re-test policy among all teachers.
20. Follow outline, to avoid cramming large amount of material at the end of the semester.
21. Freedom to go to the bathroom when you need to.
22. Understand that social media is not all bad and can be used for learning.
23. Don’t extend deadlines for one student when everyone else has already handed the assignment in without providing a reasonable explanation.
24. Provide opportunity for 100% final so students can improve their final mark in a course.
25. Provide direct answers to student questions about class work and expectations.
26. Avoid placing student teachers in important senior classes (where mark relates to post-secondary entrance).
27. Don’t just emphasis university prep, some students might be headed into trades other.
28. Dress and act professionally.
29. Avoid quizzes that have a high percent value on the overall course percent.
30. Be sincere.