In the words of one of the VicSRC Student Executive Advisory Committee members, we’re all a bit down in the gutters at the moment. And when you’re down in the gutter it can be hard to think about anything other than getting through it and getting out. Especially if you’re a teacher trying to get through this second round of remote learning.
It’s important to remember that we are all in this together and it’s a great opportunity for students and teachers to work together to make sure this strange time in education is as good as it can be.
Everyone benefits from strong student voice practices
When schools have good student voice and agency practices, everyone benefits! VicSRC believe that effective student voice is really about students, teachers, school leadership and parents/carers working together to make education work.
During this period of remote learning and as we all deal with whatever happens afterwards, building positive, trusting relationships in education based on the needs of students should be our collective priority. VicSRC’s flagship training program Teach the Teacher focuses on just that – creating positive communities through student led conversation.
Teach the Teacher
Through the Teach the Teacher program, VicSRC work with students to collect and analyse data to identify the top challenges students are facing at school – Pivot surveys are a great tool to support this! Students are then supported through VicSRC-run workshops to develop a professional development session for teachers and present the analysed data as a starting point to discuss collaborative solutions to the challenges.
Teach the Teacher was developed by students through the 2011 student-led annual VicSRC Congress as a solution to improve student-teacher relationships. Since then, the program has been implemented in over 200 schools across Victoria and nationally and featured as one of 100 global innovations in education by Finnish education organisation HundrED.
“Our Teach the Teacher journey began in 2015, after a group of students heard about it at VicSRC Congress in 2014. At Mount Waverley Secondary College, Teach the Teacher provided a framework to support our school-wide goal of enhancing student voice across the college. Teach the Teacher created a platform for students to lead change within the school community, and work with teachers to improve teaching and learning. In its first year, the Teach the Teacher students focused on feedback from students to teachers. They co-created a survey with teachers, and that survey is now used by all teachers and is incorporated into our teachers’ performance and development plans. Each year the new Teach the Teacher group focus on an area for improvement. Teach the Teacher inspired many of the other student voice initiatives at the school, including our Mount Matters program. VicSRC has provided incredible opportunities, and support, for students at our college, and for that we are very grateful!”
– Hayley Dureau, Victorian Education Excellence Award winner 2016 and Leading Teacher of Student Voice Mount Waverly Secondary College.
Try it in your school
Teach the Teacher empowers students to take the lead in conversations about education and provides a safe and inclusive platform for authentic student-teacher partnerships. Look to encourage students to be actively involved in their own learning experience with Teach the Teacher. For more information, please visit http://www.teachtheteacher.org.au/.