Listening to Students
I just finished up lunch with a 9/10th-grade advisory group. Over pizza, the nine students told me about what their day-to-day is like; what they love about BUA; what’s hard; and what they wish was different. A few pieces were news to me. Most were things I had heard about before, and the conversation gave me a chance to tell them about exciting new things that are already in the works and for us to brainstorm about how, working together, we can make BUA better. I’ll meet with all 9/10 advisories this spring and will set up open sessions for juniors and seniors as well – like I do every year.
We are a better school for giving students a chance to tell us about their lived experiences; they are, after all, the experts! And we are better when we give them agency – the permission and power to make change by working in partnership with the adults in the community. This year, one of our seniors led a senior-experience working group made up of students, faculty, and staff; the group was charged with suggesting ways to enhance the 12th-grade year. Our standing DEIB committee is a collaboration between BUA adults and students; the topic at yesterday’s DEIB meeting was how we recognize, commemorate, and celebrate different traditions and cultural heritages at BUA throughout the year and what specific initiatives we can put in place for next year. Our Student Council is perhaps the most important and visible force for student-led change at BUA – sponsoring events, recommending policy changes, and generally advocating ways to improve this school they love so much. And the list goes on. We talk a great deal about how capable, passionate, and thoughtful our students are. What a shame it would be if we did not hear what’s on their minds and work alongside them to make BUA better.