Students as Coaches Q&A with Surf Coast Secondary College

Surf Coast Secondary College

Tell us about your Students as Coaches program in three sentences.

  • The Students as Coaches program is a program where students review their corresponded teachers class for a week. The program is designed to help guide teachers in the right direction, to keep classes fun and engaging for students. This also helps teachers know what students will enjoy about their teaching.
  • Student voice allows for lots of opportunities to change things in the school. It gives younger people a gateway for change.
  • We meet with our teachers regularly to provide feedback (negative and positive) on how they can improve their teaching to help us.

It’s pretty different to how most schools do things. How do the teachers and students feel about it?

  • The students give feedback to teachers which makes learning environments more positive which then makes people more positive towards the program and their work.
  • Sometimes its awkward because the teachers might not want to hear what we want to say so we have to say it in a supportive way.
  • Throughout the leadership groups students liked how we did it and the teachers seemed to enjoy the extra time with students and the feedback they received.

What do you think the students and teachers who are part of the program have learned?

How to work in teams and synergise amongst each other.
How to give feedback, how to receive feedback, how to use data to support our feedback.
The teachers have been given a handful of new ways to make classes enjoyable and the students have gained more knowledge on how to deliver feedback.

Do you think this is something that all schools in Victoria should try?

Definitely – It is a great experience that rewards you with new relations with peers and teachers alike.

Absolutely; we need to have a voice.
I think Student Voice is a thing all Victorian schools should have because it increases confidence in students and gives students a voice in what they learn.
What would you tell another school trying to set up a Students as Coaches system in their own school?

Try a lot of different strategies and see what sticks. You never know what work until you try it.
Focus on relationships. Start with teachers who want to be part of it and are willing to listen to us.

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