Valuing Our Students’ Voices

In This Edition:

Kids still love learning: Watch student speak about AISB and what they appreciate — Step into our Classroom: Amazing photography projects & a project in G5 that highlights how students thrive when they are able to pursue individualized pathways.

It’s Wednesday, Vampires! 🦇

Through these pandemic times, we learned to constantly adjust and cope with last-minute changes, but the lingering effects of these shifts have also left us wondering about our impact and purpose as educators.

Yet, in spite of all the uncertainty and burnout, it’s good to be reminded that kids still love learning, especially when the learning is meaningful to them

It’s this feeling of meaning and purpose that lingers with us after last week’s Student-Led Conference, when our team got to spend the day with student-leaders from the entire CEESA region and beyond. 
While we were not able to record the conference for GDPR reasons, we want to share two videos made for the conference by fellow Vampires, which, we hope, will also leave you feeling inspired.
Watch What Students Have to Say
G10 students Pilar and Carla, who also happen to be staff members at The Bite, shared a video where they interviewed AISB to collect their thoughts on school.

In their own words, “our aim was to provide students with a space for their voices to be heard about school and what they want their teachers to know.”
Come Drum With Us!
You may also remember all the exciting drumming at day’s start in the atrium a few weeks ago. Elementary Music teachers Josh Lacher and Eric Murray put out instruments and invited anyone who was willing to join to drum along. 

Here is a short video highlighting moments of that awesome week of music in the atrium.
With the same intention to value our student voices and interests, we want to highlight two classroom projects today.

Grade 9 Photography students, in a class led by Peter Stanley, are invited to choose themes they are passionate about to produce photo essays. Here are a few examples of what matters to them via photographs.
“My theme is different types of hats with different people in Romania/Bucharest. It also shows diversity, that everyone is different and also wears different hats.”
– Lenn
“I want to bring people’s attention to public transportation in Bucharest in order to support it and hopefully create opportunities for it to improve.”
– Nichita
“My photo essay focuses on an abandoned train yard in the suburbs of Warsaw. I was inspired by photo essays about abandoned buildings and I thought that it was a great idea that conveyed an amazing and touching story….This is a guard for the entire abandoned train yard and is the only person that stays on the site.” 
– Tom
“With my photography piece, I intended to show examples of how people who deal with S.A.D. can look like, although I also wanted to show different stages of a mental breakdown. This photo to me would be like a kind of ‘peak.’ The subject has been overwhelmed by stress/anxiety/depression and everything has just hit them all at once. When I have these kinds of ‘peaks’ I feel very alone and isolated, which are the feelings I intended to create through the blacked out background.”
– Kira
After learning a great deal about fiction writing moves through a literacy unit that was teacher-led in the beginning of the year, students in Ashley Reinhardt’s G5 class begged her to allow them to write another story with a partner.

Ashley says: “It was completely initiated by them, and for the past six weeks, they have been enthusiastically engaged in creative writing without ever thinking of it as ‘work.’
The reality is that kids love learning when they have a voice, a say, and an interest in it. If we constantly tell them what to do, how to think, how to plan, that’s where the learning gets lost.”

Bravo, Grade 5! Here are some snapshots of the stories they have written thus far: