The Principal's Principles

A Middle School Principal, striving to make the world a better place, one day at a time.

Getting Feedback from our Students

Next week when our Assistant Principal and I sit down and begin our year of work, one of the ideas we are going to brainstorm about is a way to get feedback from our students. The idea is one that I have experimented with in small segments in the past, but next year, we will take some steps forward to better define and implement our plan.

We’re going to take advantage of time that we have with students, in the cafeteria during student lunches. We’re going to be intentional and develop questions, then move around to different tables and seek feedback from students. Our goal will be to spend about 15 minutes at a table, maybe even taking our own food along to eat with the students. A lunch period in our school is 30 minutes, and our plan will allow us to talk with students, provide social time for our students to still talk with one another, and give us time to do our administrative, supervisory tasks.

To open, we will start with some basic getting to know you and relationship building questions. From there, we will move into questions about schedules, classes, homework, buses, hallways, and other topics related to our day to day operations. Next week, we will develop specific topics and questions for the year. It goes without saying that should something come up during the year that warrants a change, our plan will remain flexible.

The benefits of this work will be two-fold. First, it will give us feedback and let us know important details about student’s experiences at our school. Second, it will be a clear, visible sign that the administrators at our school listen, are interested, and will take action to improve the everyday experience for students.

By working together and staying intentional, I can see no reason that we cannot make it to every table of students one time per month for a 15 minute conversation, while still leaving days for the casual conversations that make student lunch periods so enjoyable.

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