Students & teachers making lasting positive impacts

Student-led professional development for teachers is an exciting opportunity for all to engage in constructive conversations.

Teach the Teacher is an innovative program designed and run by students. It provides a space to create positive change in your school community by engaging students and teachers in conversations.

By creating this space, students and teachers have a safe facilitated discussion within a positive framework about matters affecting their lives at school. Students and teachers work together to discuss changes and develop solutions for whole school community engagement and improvement.

By giving students a greater say in their education, Teach the Teacher helps to develop, engage and clarify student voice to enhance teaching, learning, communication, trust and respect.

The Teach the Teacher program starts with conversations, but is not just ‘all talk’. It involves a commitment to listen to the voices of students, to taking their concerns seriously, and to build student-teacher partnerships for school improvement.

How it all began

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“Students have different learning needs and students understand best how they learn. If teachers understand this, students will learn better.”

At the 2011 VicSRC Congress, students decided to develop a student-run professional development course for teachers about learning styles. They decided that the VicSRC should establish a ‘Teach the Teacher’ training course for individual SRCs to enact at their schools.

The VicSRC Executive team looked at the Teach the Teacher idea and extended the concept to not only cover learning styles, but also learning environments and wider school communities.

The training course has become a series of in-school professional development sessions, where students and teachers work to find solutions that affect students’ learning and the ways they learn. The VicSRC Executive initiated and tested this approach over a year, addressing

  • what the course would include
  • how to pitch it to the school decision makers
  • what to do with the outcomes of the discussions
  • how to document results to ensure all schools can utilise the resources and adapt it to their own school

The first official Teach the Teacher was held at Melbourne Girls’ College, in 2011. All teachers participated and their responses were very positive and have continued to run further sessions every year since. Teach the Teacher is now an integral part of Melbourne Girls’ College’s strategic planning. Students at Bundoora Secondary College soon followed in offering their own Teach the Teacher session in 2012.

Dozens of schools have now come on board, and we aim to have Teach the Teacher running all across Victoria by 2017.

Edison Ponari, SRC, Bundoora Secondary College
Denara Amat, SRC, Melbourne Girls’ College

Now it’s up to you

Teach the Teacher is a flexible program that you can adapt to your own school.

We have put together resources to help you understand ideas behind the program and the steps you can take. Learn more about how it works, so you too can run Teach the Teacher at your school and make a difference.

See how to get started

Designed by students. Run by students

Ready to make a difference? See how it works