Communication shows up on just about every school’s plans for self-improvement in one way or another. A school might work on newsletters, automated texts, or social media, all of which are worthwhile.
However, as I recently learned at an active transportation conference,
“Good solutions solve many problems; access to active transportation solves mobility, but it also addresses obesity, isolation & depression, and connecting with ‘the other'” (Tyler Norris).
Similarly, focusing primarily on student ownership is a good solution that can address many problems; it solves students feeling more invested in their learning, but it also strengthens the school/home connection, lifelong learning, and a more empowering school culture.
Here are some examples of how leveraging student ownership might help improve school communication in particular:
1. More transparent process. Ownership might look like students planning how to spend their learning time, leading workshops to teach peers, co-constructing success criteria, and more. All of these lend themselves to a tone of transparency that will most certainly make its way home to students’ families.
#Kindergarten Ss take #ownership of their own #learning by self-reflecting on their #skills & creating new #Math & #Literacy goals for 2018. #ATL #SelfAssessment #Kinderchat #Kchatap #agency #ibpyp pic.twitter.com/Cf0Dbd4oh1
— Nicholas K Garvin (@NicholasKGarvin) November 22, 2017
2. Authentic audience. Rather than waiting for that unproductive “what did you learn at school” conversation, students can provide their families with a window into their learning as it unfolds. Tools like Seesaw, student blogging, and more make this doable even for young students.
— paul tomizawa (@mrtomizawa) May 9, 2018
3. Students’ ability to identify and develop learning goals can grow in ways they can articulate to parents…
— Michele Baisey (@MicheleBaisey) October 12, 2018
Students use this rubric to reflect on their level of mastery in #MrsChilton’s 1st grade math class! Love the accountability! Then, they are able to track and reflect on their data. #datatracking #cmspdl #studentownership pic.twitter.com/wviCMMaylo
— Erica Tackett (@MrsStanczuk_PDL) October 17, 2018
4. …which also lends itself to more meaningful conferences.
It is conference time!!!! These third grade conferences are being lead by students instead of teachers! Students talking about their data, learning style, and goals! #cmspdl #studentownership #washamhawks @principaljvwe pic.twitter.com/5Ijq4wxM9Y
— Courtney Whittaker (@whittsbits) October 18, 2018
5. Students learn how to take more meaningful action that often carries over to their local community.
How might #primary #students take real #action that addresses their concerns about issues that matter to them? This list from @jessohanley has some great suggestions #studentagency #k6 #empowerment pic.twitter.com/fY5qRpyBZK
— AISNSW Primary (@AISNSWPrimary) October 12, 2018
Student ownership has so much potential to strengthen our students and our schools. Putting more of the planning and decisions in their hands can yield astonishing results if we are courageous enough to control less and share more.
featured image: DeathToTheStockPhoto