That seems like such an empowering question to ask students.
As in, “What is it you’re interested in, and what would you like to spend time, at school, learning about?”
Telling a student that her voice matters, that what she thinks and knows has value in this (or that, or your) classroom, is important. It’s at the heart of everything I do as a teacher.
But when we empower them to speak their minds, we’re not always going to like what they have to say.
“This doesn’t matter. You’re boring. Why are we even learning this? Just tell me how to get an A.”
Worse, they may get it in their heads that what WE have to say isn’t all that important.
The balancing act that has to happen in this space is a delicate and difficult one. Assuring them that they can take on greater responsibility for their own learning while convincing them that we, their teachers, still have a lot to offer them on their journey.
The sweeping generalizations and highlight reel videos that characterize the current transformation taking place in education aren’t helping.