#stuvoice is a movement and a chat I've been lurking around for awhile now. The hashtag began in the last year and is gaining momentum. Monday night, an Iowa student (not one of mine. I haven't met Jack--yet) who was co-moderating invited me to join in. So, of course, I did (you know how mucu I love Twitter chats!).
Jack and Ian are both Iowa students from different parts of the state. They join in ed chats, attend edcamps, and share their voices through blogs that they write on their own time. How cool is that? I have followed both of them for a few months and find that they challenge my thinking at times and I love that. Together, they organized the Iowa Student Learning Institute that took place last month (I swear, I'm getting a group together to go next year).
Zak and Clement are college students. I think it was Zak who started the #stuvoice movement, but Clement has joined the cause as the "Director of Community Engagement" (I love that title). There's also a website stuvoice.org These two really get things going with their questions and ideas.
With these four guys in charge, conversation and thinking never slowed down. Ideas were shared and challenged. Getting students involved in edcamps and PD (would you listen to a student during an inservice?). Asking for student voice on school committees. Letting students form their own ed committees. Think of all the ways that students could share their voice in education, after all, we always say "students first".
At the same time this chat was going on, my principal was presenting to the school board. Our high school received a large grant to participate in a study of Competency Based Learning. We'll be heading to Des Moines once a month and a trip to a high school in New Hampshire is in the works. I immediately thought about getting students on this committee. Here's our exchange:
This wasn't lip service. The next day he tweets a student and asks to see her. They meet. She and and maybe another will be joining the committee when we go to New Hampshire, and hopefully, local meetings. This is a good thing. Students should have this voice. Last year, students were instrumental on our 1to1 committee. I've worked with students on a Respect committee. Always they step up and amaze me.
I hope what I'm getting across is to get students involved in their education, because if we are really all about the students, we need to ask their opinions and we need to listen to their answers. They will challenge us, question us, and disagree with us, but who else knows what best for kids?
As for the young men I wrote about earlier, take the time to follow them on Twitter. I can't tell you how inspirational these young men are. They are taking charge of their learning. They question and push. And they will help you become a better educator.
Jack: @jackhostager listentostudents.blogspot.com
Ian: @IanCoon iancoon.blogspot.com
Zak: @zakmal stuvoice.org