This year, I am going to be using the lessons in our book, Unleashing Student Superpowers, to focus on student empowerment and on shifting the focus away from me and onto my students.
I started in each of my first classes by having the students identify what they saw as the challenges of the coming school year. I told them that they didn’t have to be ones related to my class specifically but to any part of their school experience, from homework to friends to sports. Whatever was making them nervous qualified as a challenge. I gave them time to think and then, if they wanted to, they could share.
I then had them imagine that they were going to be given Student Superpowers, powers that would help them successfully tackle the challenges that they had identified. I gave each of them three post-it notes and had them write each power on a note. Then they went and put them up on the bulletin board.
Their choices were so wonderful and even written anonymously, they taught me so much about who they are and what they want.
It was a great way to start the year!