Baby Steps

I often blog about student voice but have yet to include an actual student’s voice in any of my pieces.

Until today!

I have kicked around ideas about developing some type of podcast involving student voice but that is as far as I’ve gotten. To be quite honest, it seems like quite a daunting task. The crew at EduAllStars (Todd Nesloney, Chris Kessler and Keegan Waid) pull it off with ease, as do many others. And just have recently I have begun to take in the Panther Podcast that is hosted by Ben Gilpin and Colby Sharp.

But then I thought to myself:

I have an Ipad (that has a video recorder)


I have a student (my 8 year-old daughter)

So I decided today to start small, but I started. I found a few questions from this week’s Twitter chats and I developed a few of my own that I thought may be relevant for an 8-year old in 2nd grade. I told my daughter that I was going to interview her, but I did not have her prepare for any of the questions. What you will see are her honest reflections. I had to shorten a couple of the clips because they were too long to be compressed. I’m not quite sure what that means, but I will learn.

As you watch the short video clips please excuse the mess in the playroom and please excuse the cameraman’s shaky hand.

What can we do to promote positive cultures in schools? (question is from #satchatoc)

What comes to mind 1st? Name leadership traits that are important to you. (question is from #nbtchat)

What could make your classroom a better place? (my question)

What can we, the adults, do that would help kids to learn better? (my question)

Why is school important? (my question)

Who is the most important person in your school? (my question)

My daughter did begin by saying the principal, the vice principal and her mother, who teaches at her school, were the most important people. Then she continued on to talk about children and I think summarized in 30 seconds why we do what we do.

If you could talk to Arne Duncan, what would you say? (my question)

I am a little worried that she is pointing at the camera as if she is going to get Arne. She better get that pool and skating rink.


So that was it. I had fun and so did my daughter. I had no idea how she was going to answer these questions, but to be quite honest, I think she gets it.

She knows that we need to help kids who feel alone.

She knows that great leaders are nice and don’t give up on things they believe in.

She knows that some kids need more attention than others, and that’s okay.

Finally, like all kids, she knows that fun is important.

While I realize that my pseudo podcast will probably not earn me a Bammy, I do think it may be my first baby-step towards something bigger. Yesterday I actually kicked around some ideas with Barry Saide, a highly valued member of my PLN, regarding getting student voice “out there”. It just may happen. If not I’ve always got my Ipad and my 8-year-old.



1 Comment »

  1. Jon,

    I really like the idea of getting more student voice out there. I thought Bailey was super cute in these clips. I’m with her…every school needs a nice pool! : )

    I believe you are definitely on to a breaking idea. I’ve read a few posts by Angela Maiers and she often discusses student voice, but typically this is at the secondary level. To give elementary students more voice would be a good thing.

    Thanks Jon!

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