Let students define what they want to change

Use a post-it wall to let students suggest situations they encounter that could be improved by innovation.

Photo of Sam Cottrell
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From struggling to find quiet places to think, to disagreements with friends, let students identify the things that regularly frustrate them so that they have a mission to focus on and improve as a team. 


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Photo of Elsa Fridman Randolph

Hi Sam,

Wonderful suggestion! Seems like a great system to really focus on listening to student needs and empathizing with their experience. I also like the implicit assumption behind the exercise that frustrations are opportunities for owning one's experience by creating improvements oneself. How would the implementation work with this? is this something you’ve tried before?

Photo of Sam Cottrell

Hi Elsa,
I remember hearing from a teacher friend that they were encouraging children to own their emotions and be part of creating the solution when they were caught up in arguments / disagreements with their peers - as part of mediation. But I think it could work in a wider sense too. As for implementation, it'd be nice to offer a 'free wall' that any student could attach a post-it to. I guess then you need a process for creating mini-teams from those who have added to the wall to look at creating solutions to some of the issues raised. Basically a physical version of what is happening here on teacher's guild, but owned by students. It'd be amazing to change the theme too regularly. For example, students could use it one week to talk about who they look up to (who inspires them).