Principals and teachers in all the schools I visit lately are wrestling with the WA State Teacher/Principal Evaluation Program (TPEP). TPEP is transforming our schools and I think that student leaders have a part to play in this transformation. According to the Association of Washington State Principals (AWSP), “The role of student leaders has evolved from being willing participants in their school to being partners in educational outcomes.”
Becoming a student leader provides the perfect opportunity for many students to grow.
K-12 education requires more of students than ever before. It is no longer acceptable to be passive about one’s education. Students must be part of their educational choices, creating their own goals, and guiding their own learning.
Student leaders are a major part of the development of the prevailing culture and climate of schools. As student leaders they influence the whole of the student experience on a campus. And as adults leaders on campus increasingly focus on school safety, improved instruction and high student achievement, student leaders support their efforts and act as important connections between students and adults.
So, every year in the fall, when I hear the “exuberance of youth” echoing in the large conference room downstairs at NWESD, I remember it as the sound of the NWESD Student Leadership Conference. Middle and high school students are setting goals, thinking about the climates in their schools, encouraging each other and becoming partners in educational outcomes. Student Leaders are growing.
For more information about student leadership programs at NWESD, visit https://www.nwesd.org/student_leadership.