Featured From the team May 9

Building connections to amplify student voice

Grace Kuo

Along Marketing Manager

How can inputs from students help educators understand what is or isn’t resonating in their classroom instruction? 

This key question centered discussion at a workshop moderated by Along leaders at the recent ASU + GSV Summit. Educators say that student inputs are a critical component to building engagement and motivation in their classrooms, which ultimately also affects academic performance. However, they are finding it a challenge to implement the right resources to help integrate student voices in their classrooms.

Imagine how a school environment would feel when there’s widespread teacher-student feedback loops. Both educators and students would benefit from making relationship building and honest inputs a part of the DNA of a school.

The starting point is to focus on building strong teacher-student connections throughout a school. When a school’s culture establishes the importance of these relationships as a foundation, students are more likely to share honest inputs because their teachers have created an environment of ongoing trust. 

Once students feel comfortable enough to be open with their teachers, schools have to be prepared to accept and respond to their inputs. Students will feel empowered to share when channels of communication are easy to access, and will also feel like they have more agency and ownership in their learning. 

What’s critical is that educators don’t just take in student feedback, but that they follow up with real actions to show that they are listening. Showing students that their inputs actually matter by modeling behaviors around feedback can directly lead to more engaged classrooms with more active participation. 

Educators say that while they want to prioritize student feedback and relationship building at their schools, there are often real constraints to doing so. Current tools such as student surveys typically aren’t administered regularly, and there’s often little context provided to students to make the results actionable for their teachers and school leaders. Educators also struggle with having the time to prioritize connection building and student inputs.

With Along, educators have access to a free teacher-student connection builder that can be easily integrated into their weekly schedule. Built by teachers, for teachers, Along offers research-informed reflection questions meant to generate strong relationships and to allow students to share honest feedback. Check out how Along works or reach out to support@along.org today!


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