Attending the University Laboratory School for thirteen years has really proven to me the importance of student voice and why teachers’ actions have such a strong effect on the learning environment. I believe the student voice the teachers allow us to have helps build confidence in our work and causes us to be more eager to learn. Most of the teachers at my school have always allowed me to have a voice in my learning process. Whether it is working with our class on when a test should take place, letting us engage with group projects, or letting us share our work publicly.
When a teacher listens to what you have to say, it creates a great relationship between them. For example, the teachers that I have been taught by throughout my thirteen years at University Lab, always work with our class on what day a test would work best on, within reason. When our teachers listen to us, the class gains respect for them and it makes it more enjoyable to listen and learn from them. For example, when my physics teacher asked which day of the week the test would work best, we explained that Wednesday would be ideal so that we would not be bombarded from other subjects. This caused us to want to study much harder for this test and learn more because he was willing to work with us. Always being able to communicate with my teachers at this school no matter what grade, it causes me to have extreme respect and be grateful for the amazing teachers at our school.
Also, when teachers let us choose our groups or do group projects in general, it helps develop stronger work ethics and share our work more confidently. I love having the ability to share with group members and voice my opinion in the topic. When the teacher gives us the ability to select our groups, it makes the environment more enjoyable and I believe it helps me grasp the skills and knowledge from the subject. Whenever our class had exhibition in fifth grade (a project that took months to prepare), being able to choose which group members we had made the months and the topic we researched much more enjoyable, and I learned many life skills and information from this.
By sharing our work publicly, our unique ideas are shared. I could not imagine attending a school that did not let me express my own ideas and have a voice in the classroom. Not only does student voice help me build skills to work well with others and causes me to always feel included which makes the learning environment much more enjoyable to learn in. I am forever grateful for such wonderful teachers in my school. I now feel like I have grasped complex topics and partner skills along with a strong work ethic and confidence because of the way all of my teachers have always allowed me to have a voice.
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