When I visited the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C., recently, I truly felt that my thoughts and opinions made a difference. Joined with students from across the nation and Secretary Arne Duncan, I was able to discuss my thoughts about what makes an effective teacher.
The teacher who brought me to Washington, Ms. Coates, has instilled in me that I play an important role in my education. All the work that she and other teachers do on a daily basis is for the future of our country. This year, I have been more involved with my own education and talk more about what’s going on in my school, and about which teachers or programs I enjoy.
The Student Voice Series was an opportunity for me to share with other students who care about their education. I was excited to hear that other students just like me are talking to their friends, teachers and other people in their communities, about why education is so important to them. Moving into high school next year, I feel I have a better sense of why an education is one of the most valuable things I can earn.
All students across the nation should have the same opportunity I have been able to have, which is to talk about their thoughts and opinions. As a student, I have been given the tools from my teacher to share ideas and talk about how school and teachers are most important to me. Having had this opportunity to engage in educational decision-making has taught me the responsibility of making choices about learning, schooling, and the education system. I better understand that what affects me affects an entire student body, and student perspectives need to be considered when changes in education are made!
RaQuan is an 8th grader at S.O.A.R. Academy in Ashland, Va. His teacher, Lisa Coates, is a Teaching Ambassador Fellow who brought RaQuan to the Department of Education to participate in a monthly conversation series between students and Secretary Duncan.