I had the pleasure of spending time with The Innovative Educator blogger Lisa Nielsen at Education Nation conference in New York earlier this week. In addition to the insightful questions and comments she posted on her prolific Twitter stream, Nielsen wrote a great summary of the last panel of the two-day event. Here it is:
By Lisa Nielson
It's rare for education reformers, policymakers, and funders to listen to those at the heart of education reform work: the students. In fact Ann Curry, who hosted Education Nation's first *student panel, admitted that folks at NBC were a little nervous about putting kids on stage. In their "Voices of a Generation" discussion, young people provided insight into their own experiences with education and what they think needs to be done to ensure that every student receives a world-class education. After the discussion, Curry knew these students didn't disappoint. She told viewers: "Students wanted to say something that made a difference to you (adults) and they did. Now adults need to listen."
Below are the sentiments shared by these current and former students during the segment.
- I have to critically think in college, but your tests don't teach me that.
- We learn in different ways at different rates.
- I can't learn from you if you are not willing to connect with me.
- Teaching by the book is not teaching. It's just talking.
- Caring about each student is more important than teaching the class.
- Every young person has a dream. Your job is to help bring us closer to our dreams.
- We need more than teachers. We need life coaches.
- The community should become more involved in schools.
- Even if you don't want to be a teacher, you can offer a student an apprenticeship.
- Us youth love all the new technologies that come out. When you acknowledge this and use technology in your teaching it makes learning much more interesting.
- You should be trained not just in teaching but also in counseling.
- Tell me something good that I'm doing so that I can keep growing in that.
- When you can feel like a family member it helps so much.
- We appreciate when you connect with us in our worlds such as the teacher who provided us with extra help using Xbox and Skype.
- Our teachers have too many students to enable them to connect with us in they way we need them to.
- Bring the electives that we are actually interested in back to school. Things like drama, art, cooking, music.
- Education leaders, teachers, funders, and policy makers need to start listening to student voice in all areas including teacher evaluations.
- You need to use tools in the classroom that we use in the real world like Facebook, email, and other tools we use to connect and communicate.
- You need to love a student before you can teach a student.
- We do tests to make teachers look good and the school look good, but we know they don't help us to learn what's important to us.
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Ron Daldine - Auburn Hills, MI
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Stephanie Torres - New York, NY
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