You are here


9 December, 2015 - 15:53
Available under Creative Commons-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Download for free at

Moving from disciplining to teaching requires the cooperation of the students. It will be the students who are solving problems, accepting more responsibility, and working to learn and use more appropriate behaviors. Will the system you have designed meet the students' needs? Will the students be able to perform successfully with their new role? Will the methods that you use be effective? Observing and gathering feedback from the students is the only way to find the answers to these and other questions.

Many principals and teachers do not like using student evaluations or surveys. This is because the questions usually involve a rating system that turns the survey into a popularity contest. When using student input, ensure that you are asking for information about the students and that your questions require constructive feedback. Notice that the four questions below do not ask the students to rate the principal or teacher. They do ask what the principal or teacher did and its effect on them. They are not experts on educators, but do have meaningful knowledge of what works for them and what does not.

Making decisions is always easy if you have all the correct information. With using student input in the process, you will come much closer to having the information you need. The older the students get, the better the information, but even Pre-K students can surprise you with some profound recommendation or bits of information about themselves. Some experts say that leaders should include in the decision-making process everyone affected by the decision. Your use of problem solving, defining roles, setting expectations, etc. affect your students. They deserve to have input.