This week the children in my class wrote a quick paragraph for their yearbook. Aside from setting up some scaffolds with the class some sentence starters and helping with spelling and punctuation I left the children to it.
As I read over what the children’s highlights strong patterns emerged. What the kids said they’d remember from their time in my class was:
- The friendships they developed.
- The class photography trip into Singapore.
- Using technology in class.
- Developing independence in their learning.
- Having a strong relationship with me.
What’s not on this list?
The writing techniques we learned and, to my dismay, the books that we read together. The maths the kids learned or the concepts we explored in class. The crazy cardboard creativity day or the class party we had last year.
In the end, you can have a solid curriculum, plan the most amazing lessons, have the clearest learning intentions but if relationships aren’t there then you aren’t going anywhere.
What really struck me about the children’s list is the things that the kids really value, aren’t the things we spend the most time on in in schools.
- How much time do teachers spend helping each child in our class to form friendships with the other children in our classes?
- Making awesome and relevant field trips?
- Ensuring that we have a good relationship with every single child in our class?
What would happen if student voice really guided the learning we do in schools?