STEP 3: CONSULTING
Decide on the structure for Student Consulting and begin the work! Student Consultants can work in pairs with a cooperating teacher all year to do a series of classroom observations followed by debrief conversations. Student Consultants can also facilitate project tunings for teachers to offer their unique insights to curriculum creation.
How can you see Student Consultants coaching teachers in your environment? Where can you make space for the work within your schedule? How will Student Consultants be assigned together and with cooperating teachers?
At High Tech Middle Chula Vista, I sent a spreadsheet to teachers with dates when they could sign up for project tunings. Once they sign up, I arrange coverage for their X Block on the selected date and assign them a team of 5-6 Student Consultants of varying grade levels. I notify the Student Consultants that they have been assigned to a panel via email, and remind everyone of the tuning once the date arrives.
The Student Consultants facilitate the project tuning in addition to filming it, photographing it, and recording notes. They also provide the teacher with an evaluation form so that we can collect data on our performance. After the tuning, the Student Consultants send out the artifacts (video, photo, notes) to the presenting teacher. As new tunings are scheduled, I assign the panels such that they include some students who have experience participating in tunings and others who are new to the process.
At High Tech High Media Arts, two Student Consultants are paired with each faculty participant. They set up a formal meeting to introduce themselves, establish a safe and respectful relationship, and engage the teacher about areas of focus. They then observe their cooperating teacher for up to an hour each week independently or together, and have a debrief meeting with their cooperating teacher once every two weeks to discuss warm feedback and ideas for change. During the work, they meet with other Student Consultants all together twice a week during X Block to discuss dilemmas, share their experiences, and facilitate project tunings and dilemma consultancies for teachers.
observation note-catchers, debrief conversation protocols, project tuning protocols, evaluation forms, and a video example of a student-led project tuning.