Schedule building

Have your students join the conversation with staff when designing the school's schedule to include their needs and perspective.

Photo of Liam Gallagher
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It's important to remember that the schedule should seek to serve the students' needs as well as the staff.  Their input and perspective is critical in creating an atmosphere where the students feel included.  

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Photo of Liam Gallagher
Team

Thanks for the feedback everyone! I like the fishbowl idea and will try to implement in some form or fashion. This is my first year at this particular school so I'm doing a lot of listening and observing. I've mostly just opened up the conversation to students and listened to their feedback regarding schedule. We did an activity where they tried to design an experience for Middle Schoolers that would bring back a Kindergarten-esque element to their current daily lives. They eventually landed on remaking the schedule to include more field trips, outdoor experiences, student choice projects and less homework. It certainly opened up my eyes to their priorities and now I need to figure out how to connect staff with those students to build upon that conversation.

Photo of Megan McMahon
Team

Getting student input for school scheduling is so critical and so often over looked! An interesting activity that your staff could try would be a "fishbowl" discussion--staff could listen to students discuss their opinions about the schedule and vice versa. It might be really interesting for students to learn the challenges the staff faces when setting the schedule too. We did a student/teacher fishbowl at a staff meeting a few years ago and it was very powerful for teachers and students.

This link might help to learn more:
https://www.facinghistory.org/resource-library/teaching-strategies/fishbowl

Photo of Erin Quinn
Team

I love this idea. How do you think you might go about doing this? What questions would you ask them? How would you gain empathy for what a student might experience during a school day?

Photo of Michael Schurr
Team

Yes, Erin Quinn is asking some great questions. Erin's question. Makes me think of the Shadow a Student challenge. http://shadowastudent.org I love that you are questioning the schedule. How often do our students complain about the schedule? Or what time they have certain classes. It would be interesting to see what they propose. I wonder if what the students say, will match their actions. For example, if a kid says they wish they had more time to read in the morning but never picks up a book when given the chance. Maybe we could interview students, gain insights about the schedule, suspend the schedule for one day and see what they do. Compare what they said, to what they did. Just spitballing ideas. I'd love to see how you evolve this idea! Happy to support!