Pre-Congress Workshop

Student Engagement: Enhancing Student Achievement and Well-being in Our Schools

Dr. Wendy James (Facilitator), Cheryl Kalev (Principal), Martin Johnson (Principal), Erin Furgala (Principal) & Jennifer Williamson (Superintendent)

PROGRAM SUMMARY: Student engagement in learning occurs when students are motivated, active, and invested in the educative process. In order to foster student engagement, educational stakeholders must attend to the holistic development of our students. In this workshop, you will learn about current student engagement research along with innovative school-based initiatives that have created highly engaging classrooms (academic/cognitive), fostered healthy relationships (social-emotional), nurtured healthy lifestyle choices (physical), and responded to students’ needs to belong (spiritual/cultural). Small group discussions focused on each of these dimensions help participants explore their understandings of the components of student engagement, consider innovative practices, discuss opportunities and challenges, and develop national networks in support of enhancing student achievement and well-being in rural schools.


STUDENT RESPONSE

By: DANIELL SUNSHINE, ELI REN, ZACH DIGOUT & DOMINIC HOFFERT


At the Pre-Congress Workshop, I was asked to sit at a table with complete strangers and discuss issues I had never heard of before. Our discussions were guided by speeches from four different groups from four different places. The topics ranged from intellectual engagement to non-traditional physical learning to emotional connections with students.

When we were first asked to talk within our tables, my group introduced ourselves and we set off into conversation. I found it surprisingly easy to follow our dialogue and even contribute. I felt listened to, I felt like my voice was considered. By the middle of the session, my group was even asking me questions. All in all, I found the session enlightening and I was surprised by the collective engagement of my table members.

By: DOMINIC HOFFERT