Why We Listen to Student Voices and What We Hear

Posted by Templeton Academy

learning community, inclusive school environment

When we ask our students to give feedback about their experiences at Blyth Templeton Academy, we listen carefully. We want to know how teens relate to our school – how our approach challenges and inspires them. Our goal is to nurture students who will grow into independent, confident learners, with a deeper understanding of the world around them. Their student voices are an important factor in how we determine if we are on the right track.


A small group of students recently participated in a question and answer session. Here are some of their responses:

Q: How is BTA different?

A: “Teachers are really interesting to be around; you don’t just leave class right when it ends; you can talk to the teacher about things not related to the class.”

A: “ Very accepting and flexible. Inclusive…you have a lot of freedom here.”

A: “ BTA is open to your ideas…if there’s a discussion about something you have an opinion about, you can state it without experiencing any backlash.”

Q: How does BTA prepare you for the future?

A: “For all the work we do, the work is tough, but we’re doing it for a reason and we’re actually benefitting.”

A: “We ask how does this work in the real world?”

A: “ You learn how to use the facts and why they are important – knowledge rather than information”

Q: What have you learned from the City as a Classroom?

A: “I never really had gone places on my own and taken the metro by myself. But now, I’ve been back to museums – I go just to explore without a great reason.”

A: “Some experiences help me think about the future…I’ll connect the information from this class.”

A: “Our teacher picks a leader for the day…she has everyone do it and pushes people outside their comfort zone. Because of these trips I actually enjoy learning. We tie the past back to current events.”

We have found that, when we listen to student voices, we are encouraging student engagement and participation in issues that matter to learning. At BTA, by embracing  a culture of student voice, our teachers are setting the foundation for students to take responsibility for their own education. Young people have unique perspectives on learning, teaching, and schooling and, when given the opportunity to become decision-makers, are eager to engage.

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About Templeton Academy

Temp Keller
Templeton Academy is an experiential micro school with locations on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. and in Nashville, TN. It offers an academically rigorous curriculum designed to foster intellectual curiosity through active learning and community exploration. The small class sizes ensure that each student has a front row seat in classes with an average size of 10. Our model combines a warm, inviting atmosphere with great teaching that allows our students to flourish. Schedule a visit soon.

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