Students and faculty can come together to discuss what everyone needs to feel their best at school.
Everyone deserves a positive experience at school. Students and faculty may have very different experiences throughout the day, and through this project, they will have the opportunity to share their wants and needs at school.
Form a focus group of diverse representatives from the students and staff, and facilitate discussions around the wants and needs they have in common, as well as the wants and needs that are unique to each group.
Decide how often this group should meet, and whether members should remain constant or rotate. Build an environment where everyone can share their emotions safely.
Tips & Suggestions:
- Consider having group members present their findings and progress at faculty/staff meetings, as well as at student organization meetings like student government or student council.
- Share information about the group as broadly as possible to recruit a diverse group with many different perspectives.
- Build empathy between faculty and students through conversation and engaged listening. Remember, both groups’ concerns are valid and important.
- In a 2017 poll, only 38% of students strongly agreed that the adults in their school cared about them (Gallup, 2017).
- Positive student-teacher relationships lead to higher levels of student engagement and better learning outcomes (Skinner & Belmont, 1993).
- Empathy-building within the classroom allows for stronger, more productive relationships between students and teachers (Jennings & Greenberg, 2009).