Listening to Center Student Experience

on Jan 28, 2021

After embarking on creating a “framework” that centers the experience of students, the CEL team learned that the adults at school really need to listen hard.

What does listening hard look like in action? What characteristics should a leader who’s embraced deep listening to students look for as evidence in their practice?

In this short video, Jenn McDermott, director of innovative initiatives, reflects on the times when these questions surfaced during the creation of the Student Experience Story Guide, and how she responded to the challenges moment-to-moment.

Watch as Jenn shares:

  • What came easily and what didn’t in the course of listening
  • The tension she experienced as a facilitator
  • The student-centered processes she and colleague Rumi Tsuchihashi, marketing and communications manager, devised to give the students agency to shape the outcome

Her story — accompanied by student-made artifacts — illustrates what’s possible when the adults at school are open to ceding some control and hearing exactly what the students are saying.

The video is 3-minutes long.

Are you interested in diving deeper into the connection between centering students and equitable leadership practices?

We have three options for you.

1) Mark February 25, 2021, noon PST, on your calendar. Registration opens soon for a free webinar designed to help school and district leaders learn more and to name actionable steps.

2) A recording of How We Lead for Equity is available now (and it’s free). This webinar was the first place that Max Silverman, executive director, publicly introduced the Student Experience Story Guide.

3) Download the Four Dimensions of School LeadershipTM (4DTM). This framework includes vision statements and guiding questions — and you can try using it in advance of the Feb 25 webinar.

About the author

At the Center for Educational Leadership we partner with courageous leaders in classrooms, schools and the systems that support them to eliminate educational inequities by creating cultures of rigorous teaching, learning and leading. Our vision is transformed schools empowering all students regardless of background to create limitless futures for themselves, their families, their communities, and the world.
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