As we approach the holidays and end of the year celebrations, it is befitting to share how educators participating in the Student Voice webinar series have been enriched by the valuable information shared during the workshops. This article reflects on some of these learnings while encouraging your participation in the virtual Student Voice Panel taking place Wednesday, December 15, 2021 at 3:30pm with Dr. Fallon Dodson, Ed.D. Dr. Dodson a longtime school counseling practitioner and researcher within the District of Columbia Public Schools, and Dr. Jamylah Jones principal of the Wellspring school who opened the Student Voice series last August.
In the webinar, “Welcoming Students Back In Ways That They Feel Engaged and Empowered”, Dr. Jones creatively illustrated how educators can “amplify” the student voice in academic, social, and community engagement frameworks. She advocated facilitating a space for students’ based research and discussions around curriculum themes to develop their confidence, practice public speaking, and develop an appreciation for learning. (excerpt from Teachers’ Spotlight, PDRC Newsletter, September 2021).
Each workshop builds on the previous one and together they provide a creative perspective that positively influences the way educators can interact and connect with their student population. For example, educators have learned how to design student advisory committees, coordinate grade wide assemblies, develop student led civic programs, and incorporate technology into learning experiences.
The focus of Dr. Dodson is on the power of SEL and student voice as tools for advancing educational equity and academic excellence. Throughout Dr. Dodson’s career, she has served students and teaching professionals from a strengths based perspective that intersects student voice and teaching pedagogy, and her expertise and extensive experience is evident in how she presents the importance of SEL and student voice and how this understanding can build students’ success.
The classroom strategies described are effective but as Dr. Dodson explains it is limiting unless there is support from the community and the school a tool for systemic transformation. Student voice has become an important focus on student voice as a tool for student success is in today’s teaching practice, but schools need to seek the partnership of the school and family community in order to make real progress. And in order to make sustainable change, schools need to use SEL as a driver of systems-wide transformation by making it a priority, training their staff, celebrating students’ cultural assets and voices and building and equitable learning environment for all (Schlund, Jagers & Schlinger, 2020).
Through the Fordham PDRC webinar series, educators have learned how student voice is directly linked to educators becoming more culturally responsive and inclusive teaching professionals.Thus, we are excited to have Dr. Dodson as a facilitator for our student Voice panel as well as the participation of Dr. Jamiylah Jones. During the session and with the expert support of our panelists, educators will interact, exchanged ideas and be able to address their questions and thoughts on Social Emotional Learning, Equity & Excellence, Digital Literacy and related issues. We know that this exchange will equip you with the necessary language and skills to support your school community. Student voice is a valuable resource within all schools that must be used to advance and sustain a high performance learning environment.
We look forward to seeing you on: Wednesday, December 15 at 3:30 pm
You will find the details and registration link in the Upcoming Events section.
Dr. Shana Eutsay, Ed.D.
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