More students than ever have signed up for the Student Council Kulturband/Elective this year. With almost 30 kids having signed up for 2019/20, that is a 300% increase compared to the 9 students last year.
Working with so many students from different grade levels, language sections, interests, and friendship groups is challenging, but what all these students share is the willingness to communicate and cooperate with each other to help shape and improve life at school for themselves and their fellow students.
As the teacher responsible for the Student Council elective, I see it as my primary task to support the students in realizing their own ideas and vision. "Student Led" is a term that I take seriously in this class. After all, democracy is about participation and the realization that, if planned and executed well, your actions and initiatives can bring about change.
So when a student brings up a (seemingly) silly or even outrageous suggestion for a project during Student Council, I do not judge and I try my best to not just simply dismiss the idea for being nonsense from an adult or educational point of view. Instead, the project proposal is discussed with the whole group, and the group decides whether or not the proposed project should move forward. These sometimes lively discussions circle around "what the world is and what it could be" which involves ethics and morals, school culture, pop culture, media... just to name a few. It is in these discussions that students have the opportunity to put their ideas into words and flesh out their beliefs, to confront different perspectives and values, to challenge their way of thinking and to consider their idea as part of a bigger picture.
The planning and executing stage of a project is the most challenging for the students at the moment. How do you write a proposal? How do you structure a request letter and use appropriate form and language? Who is your target audience? Which interest groups have to be considered? What is the work to be done and what is needed? ...are just a few of the questions that the students are confronted with when planning their project.
I hope this gives our GESM Learning Community a little insight on what happens during Student Council on Monday afternoons. I have included pictures of the last Student Council session on February 10.
Ms. Christina Bärtges