MTS High School Student Voices
I’ve enjoyed having two lunch meetings with a table full of secondary students in the past couple months. The purpose is to listen and hear what they are thinking about regarding their hopes and dreams for the school as well as their future. Over sandwiches and plenty of gooey pizza, students opened up to share about who they are and their ideas for making an even better school.
Our students are gifts to MTCS and the world we live in. Their thoughts, ideas, curiosity, and willingness to engage are inspiring to those fortunate enough to hear their voices. Once again, I am reminded of the value of honoring the voice of each and every student. At MTCS we are privileged to serve all students as a public charter school. In listening to the voices of the students we serve, we are privileged to learn from them and charged with the responsibility to make each and every day better. I firmly believe that education is the means to a better, more fulfilling, compassionate, and empowered society. In listening to students throughout MTCS, I am reassured that the students we serve will most certainly make a difference, for the better, throughout our communities and the world we live in.
Activities and Opportunities
Secondary Principal Becky Juntunen and Dean, Brian Lloyd, joined our most recent lunch. Lloyd listened for awhile, and then said, “Do you want to hear some ideas we have for next year?” And he proceeded to share how teachers and administrators have been listening to them, and have some new ideas to implement, like:
- Monthly and summer movie nights with popcorn
- Sports camps and open gyms
- Homework help after school
- Revamped Advisory period with interest area club options (music, art, digital media, sports, and more)
All students were interested in growing more activities to build the school’s sense of community even further. “I will help lead the activities!” Students were not only interested in being part of new activities at the school, they are interested in taking the reins and leading some of them.
“I am interested in more ways to learn at school, and more fun ways to learn,” one student shared.
“In one of my classes I developed a personal plan, what I want for myself and my life. I really like that,” said one student who is putting together a plan for life after high school. And this is exactly what MTCS is working on in all of its schools–to meet with students, listen to their hopes, dreams, interests, challenges and helping them map out their school career to take them into the future they are excited about.
Students teaching teachers
Principal Becky Juntunen has provided students with opportunities to provide feedback to teachers. Students willingly participated and teachers bravely stepped up to listen. The experience was rewarding for all involved and students shared that they really valued the fact that teachers took the time to listen and learn. In return, teachers were positive about what was shared and willingly reflected upon their practices. In engaging in this process, both students and teachers were modeling the value of continuous improvement, reflection, and collaboration with others to achieve greatness.
Keeping fellow students connected was also something students were interested in doing an even better job of, brainstorming newsletters, school channels, apps for school information and more ideas. Students will be involved in exciting changes to school communications.
Students were also interested in participating in a community service project–working together to do something important, give back, and actively play a role at the local level. Whether it creating scholarships for fellow students, working together to solve community problems, giving back was important.
From Superintendent Brian Erlandson