The sketchy memories that I have of my elementary days don’t include my voice. They don’t include me evaluating my learning and setting goals. They don’t include open and constructive discussion of strategies with adults to help me improve. They include report card comments such as “Requires improvement” and “Good effort”. The vague meaning of those comments and the mood of my parents when they came home from a parent-teacher night were important for me because they directly correlated to my happiness in the form of play time or punishment.
We have recently completed our Student-Led Learning Reviews.
Educational paradigms are and should be changing.
Our students know this. Do their parents?
I hope the elementary school memories of my students last longer and are more vivid than mine. I hope they remember their active involvement in preparing for their review, in directing their parents through a variety of centers; where they could talk openly and frankly about how they are working to reach their learning goals established earlier in the school year. I hope they see the feedback I have provided them over the school year as being constructive and designed to promote their success. I hope they don’t see this process as a way of reaping an external reward but instead a way of taking more ownership over their learning and directing themselves as independent and responsible learners. I hope they see complexity in their learning journeys. I hope they realize they have a voice.