Student-Led Meetings: Empowering Student Voice

>>Alec: When I get in arguments with mypeers, it's really hard for me to like, say I'm wrong or apologize.

That's why I was like, wondering if youguys have any tips, because like, it's– >>Dan St.

Louis: Because our studentsparticipate in student-led meetings, they have a sense ofagency in their own life.

They gain the skillsto make good decisions in school and outside of school.

>>Alec: So I think I needto improve in this area.

>>Lynnel Reed: So often, in anythingthat you do in education, in life, students always feel like, “Oh, adultsare always saying their opinion.

I don't have a voice.

I never have any say.

” So part of what we do withthe student-led meetings is, they get a chance to say what theirconcerns are, how they see things.

>>Alec: Welcome, everyone.

>>Dan St.

Louis: Alec led hisown meeting today and we bring in all the teachers, me, parents, tosay, here are some strengths of mine and here are some challengesthat I need help with.

>>Alec: I'm very happy that they decidedto have everybody in the same room, because it allows all of usto get all on the same page.

>>Like my schoolwork and tests andstuff is pretty good, but when it comes to homework, it's really bad.

>>Homework really hurtmy grades this quarter, so that's something Ireally need to improve.

>>The second I get home, I don't feel like doing anything elseinvolving school.

>>Kaitlin Kelley: They're notmaking up what's going to happen in this meeting on the spot, right.

That's intimidating.

Instead, he's got this structureddocument, with things he's proud of, things he needs to work on, specificsteps that he's going to take.

>>Lynnel Reed: So they come upwith their steps and their goals, and what they want to work on andwhat they may need support with.

>>Alec: For me, it's actually beingable to sit down and get it done, because once I sit down and getit done, it's going to get done.

Getting started is the hardestpart for me, so I could stay after and do my homework before I go home.

>>Kathy Murphy: For mom and dad, whena student stays with me, I write a note and I say, “Alec stayedtoday until three thirty.

He did a great job working on his PAL.

” So that way, there's goodcommunication back and forth.

>>Jennifer: I think it's about himhaving to set goals for himself and for us to give him thebest tools to work with so that he can accomplish those goals.

>>Chad: And then you'd be ableto see yourself in a new light, which only gives youmore of that confidence.

>>The fact that he has, you know, eightor nine, ten adults for these meetings to actually get on the same page andsay, “Look, we recognize you're here.

We see where you've come from and wewant you to tell us where you want to go, ” and just having thatcollaboration, it's wonderful.

>>Alec: I just wanted to thank Mr.

St.

Louis real quick and all of you for being such good teachers.

I think I improved morejust because I've got, like a personal relationshipwith all of you.

>>Dan St.

Louis: As students geta little older and especially in their junior year, we havethese meetings called PEP meetings, which is planning foreducational progress.

>>Kaitlin Kelley: SoJocelyn's meeting is different.

She too will lead hers, but hersis more focused on her future.

>>Jocelyn: I went to Holy Cross, I've been around Clark a lot, but those are the only twocolleges I've really seen, I guess.

>>Lynnel Reed: Duringjunior PEPs we like to find out what their future collegeideas, goals, aspirations are.

>>Jocelyn: The medical field, like is very fascinating for me but I haven't really gonemore in depth with it.

>>This meeting was basically to evaluatewhere I should be looking for colleges and to see what are my strengthsand what I need to work on more.

>>Lynnel Reed: A lot of our students arethe first generation to go to college, so they don't have any experiencein the process and sometimes because they don't, theythink that it's out of reach.

It's really an opportunity forthem to get that support from us.

>>Dan St.

Louis: I wrote my collegeessay actually around this idea that I had of perhapsbeing a physical therapist.

I know, I know, you look at me now.

Then I got to college and I saw, oh, it's like all scienceclasses all the time, which I hadn't really realized that.

So do you find yourself interestedin the sciences like that, like taking that amount on? >>Jocelyn: I know that science isnot that of my highest strengths but if I apply myself, I think I could.

>>Lynnel Reed: Student-ledmeetings allow our students to feel like they have a chance to talk to staffon another level as humans with a life and an experience that can be shared.

>>Jocelyn: My meeting helped meunderstand that you don't really need to know your passion right away, but it's really good to have an idea of what kind of college is right for me.

>>Dan St.

Louis: At the centerof any meeting like this, especially since thestudents are leading them, is just a baseline of real respect.

You're in the driver'sseat, it's your life.

Love yourself, respectyourself, we're here to help.

>>Teacher: You know, be patientwith yourself and as you said in the last line, take ita day at a time, right?.

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