Updated 24 September 2019
As teachers, you hear the term student voice all the time. It’s a concept that is at the heart of teaching both in concept and practice – it’s the reason you do what you do. In particular, striving to educate IB learners requires an understanding not only of how to recognize opportunities for student voice in your classroom, but also a need to empower students to actualize this voice.
What students have to say matters in how learning happens.
– Bill Palmer, Science Teacher & Contributor for Edutopia
At 100mentors, student voice is part of our mission, and we believe inquiry supports its development best of all. So, when students ask questions, we should recognize that they are using their own voice. They are becoming proactive participants in their learning journey. And, when students tell us what helps them to take control in their learning, we should listen.
Let’s take the example of a Shakespeare class. Caitlin Q, a teacher, invited mentor Michael Dobson to enhance her student’s understanding of their reading assignment of Twelfth Night.
What happened? Not only did students receive insights from a literature expert by receiving answers to their questions, they also responded by identifying the parts of the experience that made a difference to their learning outcomes.
Here’s what four students had to say about how the inclusion of a mentor in their classroom enhanced their learning experience, and our key takeaways for teachers:
Student Testimonial: The ideas we were presented with were very interesting and enhanced our knowledge of the play. It was also very intriguing to hear about the actual staging and roles of actors when putting on a Shakespeare production. – Anna M.
Key takeaway: Real-life relevance of staging and acting roles explained by an industry expert can take Shakespeare off the page and onto the stage, without ever leaving the classroom.
Student Testimonial: The fact that the speaker provided interesting and insightful alternative views served as a great help for my understanding of the subject of discussion. – Polina I.
Key takeaway: A fresh, new perspective on a millennia-old text opens students’ minds on current class topics.
Student Testimonial: I feel like the speaker had very good insight and helped us understand our topic a lot better by answering our questions clearly and effectively. – Hadi H.
Key takeaway: When students get to set the question for themselves, receiving answers from a trusted source validates their ability for critical thought, and the answer itself offers clarity in response to their curiosity.
Student Testimonial: Mr.Dobson was a great speaker, he spoke very clearly and the content was magnificent, we learned a lot from him. – Nikolay S.
Key takeaway: A mentor offers more than just what a textbook or Google can provide. In the process of listening to answers, students gain soft skills like what makes an effective public speaker, such as confidence and proper articulation.
Empower your students to set the question, vocalize their most profound curiosities, and express how they learn best by bringing 100mentors to your classroom today. Connect your students to a world of experts ready to answer and enhance your lesson plan.