1. Every student needs self-knowledge.
Who am I and how do I relate to the world around me? What is required of me? How can I provide value to those memberships I value? Where have I been, and where am I going?
And part of a sense of self is a sense of place the places and communities the student is embedded within and choose for themselves.
2. Every student needs inspiring models and modeling.
Models offer ideas, can act as scaffolding, illuminate possibility, provide a pathway, and give students something to anchor their thinking to when everything else seems abstract and academic. The more creative, authentic, inspiring, and diverse, the better the chance every student can be reached.
Modeling–showing how, when, where, and most importantly why matters too, bringing lessons from ideas to action.
3. Every student needs to know how to learn.
Every student needs to know how to learn learning strategies. And they need to know those strategies as well or better than the content.
And they need ones that make sense to them. That they understand and can grow into. Don’t tell them to ‘use analogies’ because ‘research’ says so. They need smart, intelligent, useful, flexible learning strategies that they can and will use unprompted because they know they need them.
And part of this is both the ability and tendency to think critically.
4. Every student needs feedback, not judgment.
Feedback helps acts as guidance. It’s corrective and can even be comforting.
Judgment is personal and emotional and hurts.
You won’t always get this part perfect, but if you can at least try to hear yourself and know the difference, you’re better of than you would be otherwise. We often can’t tell how our ‘learning feedback‘ sounds no matter how we mean for it to sound.
5. Every student needs creative spaces and tools.
This could physical or digital, alone or in a group, with apps or saws, robotics or paintbrushes, maker learning or academic, self-directed, or outcomes-based. Creativity isn’t something that’s added on it’s an honoring of a basic human need for self-expression and self-direction.
6. Every student needs ideas or the chance to share their own.
See 1. Students are infinitely more clever than the design of most schools and curriculum seems to suggest they are, but they’re still growing, with widely varying backgrounds of knowledge and schema. Sometimes they need ideas and that’s all they need: an idea, and for you to get out of the way.
7. Every student needs a reason.
If no one is really, truly listening barring exceptional natural ambition why bother? Every student needs a purpose a reason to do what they do.
8. Every student needs a champion.
Every student needs a champion someone to believe in them when their own conviction falters.
9. Every student needs a chance to practice.
And not only practice, but with a variety of support none, a little, and a lot, with a variety of collaborators, with and without technology, with and without an audience, with and without prescription and instruction, and both ends but still within their Zone of Proximal Development.
10. Every student deserves as many chances as it takes.
Because what else are you going to do? Tell them this is real life and that they’ve used all of their chances? That they should’ve listened the first 12 times? That you’re done with them?
11. Every student needs to play.
Not at recess with ideas. With collaboration partners. With apps. With digital media. With networks. With their own thinking. With possibility. With models.
12. Every student needs a sense of agency and choice self efficacy.
This one’s a bit of a bugger because it’s not a teacher action but an outcome from a bunch of stuff you may have nothing to do with. But without the belief they can which often is preceded by complicated notions of self-worth everything else is less.
13. Every student needs to be able to read and write.
And it’d be fair to say read and write exceptionally. No, they all won’t be professors or lawyers, but literacy struggles can be a lifetime struggle and many they’ll form all kinds of painful and often damaging self-defense mechanisms to protect it.
14. Every student needs hope.
Every student needs hope a sense that they have a future and some degree of agency and affection in choosing how that future might work out.