Last year a student approached me and said that he had a concern. His concern was that none of his classmates seem to know about what is happening in the world, no one followed current events. He asked if we could start a club to talk about current events.
His request intersected with a misgiving I'd been having about the frequency with which I had direct contact with my students in a teaching and learning context. I spend a good deal of time with our kids in the hallways and in the cafeterias but I do not often enough engage with them as a teacher. As a principal, it’s important to me that kids see me as a learner and as a teacher. With this in mind, along with the district curriculum associate for social studies, we started a student-led current events forum at our school.
The forum meets once a month and a dedicated group of kids faithfully attend to talk about topics in the news that grab their attention. A core group of passionate and socially active students plan the meetings, publicize them, creates fliers, and identify articles and videos for the group to examine. It is a terrific example of student voice in action.
Recently Long Island experienced a heavy, snowy blizzard so we had a snow day. Everybody loves snow days! After a huge breakfast of pancakes and bacon (a snow day tradition at our house) I decided we would have a digital version of the current events forum....