Voices to be Heard


Some of my closest friends and I have this big group text. Half of us are in ID, the other half is not. To say the least, let me say that not everyone in the high school thinks ID is great. Lately, as I predicted over the summer actually, I have found that there has been more tension between ID people and non ID people.

One example from our group text is how they have started using the term “supremacist” to describe ID members sometimes. I know they care about us still, and they aren’t trying to be mean about it, but they  (and not just people in this text, I have sensed these beliefs from other non ID students too, but this is also somewhat of an assumption so keep that in mind) believe ID members think they are better than everyone else because we are always separate from everyone else and many things haven’t really applied to us lately. Now a typical teacher response to this would be that every student had the opportunity to be a part of ID, but I don’t think students think of it that way. It isn’t that they want to be in ID necessarily, but more that they think ID people think less of them for not being in it. I don’t think ID people think this way, but I guess we have done a poor job expressing that. This could partially be due to the fact that I don’t think the student population really hears about the ID story much, which is really on us and I would like to chance this perception.

There have often been conversations on our text about ID, innovation, design thinking, and MVPS in general. Today was one of those ranting days for some people.

Typically, I play the devils advocate to these conversations, but I tried something different today, I stayed out of it. I let them rant. I realized that when I rant, the last thing I want is for someone to argue with me or even just offer other ideas. When you are in the “ranting state of mind” as I call it, you don’t really want to hear other opinions because it is  a time you just need to be upset in without interruption. I do honestly want to hear their thoughts, because I think it is important to understand their opinions as a friend and fellow student, and it finally occurred to me that by responding I am not hearing their full thoughts unaltered by my presence.

This was a lightbulb moment. I finally have experienced the importance of being a fly on the wall at the right time.

I debated doing this, because I don’t know how they will respond to it, but I want to share the conversation from students that do well in school and don’t tend to complain (without naming anyone), so that the true opinions from students are told. Sometimes students feel that they can’t share these things with teachers especially, but I’ve learned that people are people no matter how old and if their is a story to be told, someone will listen. Even if it is chosen to be ignored, I don’t want to say I sat back without attempting to help their voices be heard, so even if you don’t necessarily agree with the statements made below, promise to listen, because if this is how students feel and think what does that reflect about the present and future of schooling?

I think conceptually what mount vernon does has some good ideas and parts, but a lot of it I think is highly questionable but if i say anything the powers-that-be and others are like “NO SHUT UP WE ARE THE SUPERIOR SYSTEM RESISTANCE IS FUTILE WEAKLING”

I like mount Vernon ideologies just not the student body or execution. Sometimes it feels like many faculty don’t agree on what the school is doing and why we are doing some things. The system is pretty corrupt if you ask me.  

Agreed. It’s just like “we are going to listen to your opinions” but then they only listen to the ones they like because they believe the system is currently the best it can be, and that they are changing and tweaking it but only in ways they see fit. Plus, we need more actual class time. it’s really taking a toll.

Rule #1 to improvement: acknowledge that you are able to improve and identify where you have to improve in order to succeed. 

(Better than starting with questions)

I feel like we are like “design thinking” and “think freely” and whatever but then we have to follow all these stupid protocols and processes that, while help facilitate ideas and whatever, don’t allow for people to do and think what they want to (which is why I hate the DEEP processes).

We should vent our complaints at someone. We should also get round tables in the cafeteria.

agreed on both, but venting doesn’t really do much. I’ve tried. 

I just have more complaints now than I did the last time I vented, and none of them are going to change so it’s just easier to do what I can to wiggle out of whatever box I am at the time being confined to.

Why not load the box with explosives and blow it up?

because that is what gets students a) put in detention b) put in detention, or c) just told they are wrong.


I wish. 

But alas, our resistance is futile.

Because if you tried to use metaphoric explsoives to blow a real box, it wouldn’t work. But if you tried to use real explosives on a metaphoric box, then you would get a detention. It’s simpler to make everything a metaphor. Moreover, how might we (see what I did there) work around the mount Vernon box? Surely there must be loopholes.

I don’t know. The way its set up it’s like “think outside the box” and break outside the box, but we aren’t outside any boxes- they are just more deceivingly shaped. For my (i)Project its just been that they have worked so hard at separating everyone up (into boxes by grade and advisory and such) that they just haven’t payed any attention to the fact I have been a) working outside my grade b) only really using another grade’s teacher as my mentor and c) not really doing much of what they’ve told me to.

I too enjoy the thug life.

and the supremacists can’t tell us we are just looking at it wrong because they’re not even doing (i)project


3 thoughts on “Voices to be Heard

  1. While I understand the occasional need to “vent,” I also accept that it’s only helpful in certain ways. If the people in this big chat would like to move beyond venting at some point, and if I can be helpful in any way, I would be happy to try to help. As I read the capture, I feel both “understanding” and “sadness” at various points in the exchange. Perhaps some of what is voiced in the exchange is some misunderstanding or lack of perspective (from various points of view). Maybe I have a lack of perspective. Yet, I am very willing to listen and to seek understanding about the various points of view here.

    Often, I believe, we have to stretch to understand what things are like from others’ points of view. We have to want to do so. Well, I want to do so, and these types of conversations are 99 times out of 100 better had face to face and not in text/email.

    So, let me know if I can help/listen. I believe people at a school – students, faculty, parents – should all feel empowered and positively engaged in their community. In our case, it’s a community that has CHOICE built in, in so many ways. And I choose to try to help make things better. In whatever ways I can.

  2. Has your group decided to actively get involved to try to change something? I wonder who the “powers that be” are that are stifling your voices. I’d love to know more and help you or your friends feel heard. I wonder if you all have heard of an incredibly powerful movement called #stuvoice. It is something entirely different than “ranting” or “venting” or “complaining,” and it is a much needed focus on the students who want things to change and are willing to DO something to make the change(s) themselves. I wonder if anyone in your group has considered making THAT their iProject. You don’t like iProject? Why not change it? I would love to hear what you or your friends have to say to make the project, the schedule, or the school a better place. Check out this link: http://blogs.kqed.org/mindshift/2014/10/how-can-students-have-more-say-in-school-decisions/

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