Hippocampus Academy strives to help each student find their own unique voice, but also knows that teenagers don’t always want to shout their opinion from the rooftops. They told me to say that they don’t either, regardless of what people say about teachers, but…do we really believe that? Anyway, to allow everyone the chance to feel safe expressing their opinions we have a virtual “suggestion box” that students can contribute to anonymously. Once a term, they also beg for pity and ask what they might be doing right, during what we like to call the “Hippo Campus” Best-in-Class campaign. Here’s what one student had to say:
My school is best-in-class because they encourage inclusivity.
At the beginning of this term they announced that we partnered with Hidden Disabilities Sunflower to give students and teachers with hidden disabilities more visibility in live classes and irl, and to open dialogue about hidden disabilities. At first this made me really nervous, and I didn’t want to send for a lanyard. Then I saw a couple of younger students wearing theirs in a town hall meeting I thought that was cool and really brave. Then a friend wore one to class, and talked about her struggle with Autism, Anxiety, & Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I was so surprised. I didn’t know that anyone else in school had the same diagnosis as me. I wear one now, and even if I don’t always feel like going into detail when people ask, they seem to be more patient with me because they know I’m struggling in some way. It’s really cool.
- (signed) Veronika, 14, Sophomore