Student perspective: ‘I have a voice’


From the outside looking in, I can very clearly see how odd it seems that students would go into a professional development meeting for teachers and tell those teachers how they feel about their teaching styles. But from an insider’s perspective, I can also see why this happened and how effective it was.

To me, it just seems right that anyone should receive feedback from the people they are directly impacting daily. Now, this isn’t to say that the teachers within the walls of SHS do anywhere close to a bad job. In my experience, they don’t at all. SHS is full of some of the best mentors and teachers I’ve ever had. But allowing students to go in and tell their teachers their best learning experiences and what motivates them just makes sense.

My experience with the whole process of the leadership group going into professional development was very positive. Was I scared to talk in front of 50 plus teachers? Of course. But was I excited to get out of my comfort zone and get my opinion out there? Yes, extremely.

In order to be able to speak in front of the teachers, we had to prepare. The preparation was obviously a key part in all of this, compiling all of our thoughts and making a cohesive outline for the meeting. But I think this preparation had a greater impact on me than anything else has. Being able to hear what works best for my peers in a learning environment and comparing their ideals to mine allowed me to realize that I’m not the only one in the classroom. Not that I ever thought that, but it’s easy to feel like something is off in the classroom when it doesn’t work the best for me but could work well for another student.

The leadership group experiencing what happens in professional development meetings and sharing our opinions is something I am super grateful for. More than anything, though, knowing that I have a voice in my school and am able to impact my teachers in a positive and different way is so important to me.