Our Class, Our Voice

  • Title:Our Class, Our Voice: Creating Choice and Amplifying Autonomy in the Elementary & Middle School Classroom
  • Author:Gina Ruffcorn
  • Publication Date:April 2022
  • ISBN:9781956306194
  • Publisher:Dave Burgess Consulting

Students are our future. Our world will be in their hands very soon. What can we do today to prepare them for that responsibility?

Let them practice having autonomy and choice. Now. In our classes.

Our Class, Our Voice shares practical ideas to help students make decisions and own responsibility by practicing it daily in small ways. Veteran teacher Gina Ruffcorn shares tips, ideas, strategies and stories from her own classroom where her students run the show. Classroom jobs. Surveys. Voting. They're all small steps toward the ambitious goal of prepared citizens of the future.

You can do it together. You and your students. Our class. Our voice.

For everybody who just started fifth grade, it may not seem like that much of a difference, going from fifth to sixth grade, but it is a massive change. Every time I have a chance for a class in her room, I’m extremely happy. The way Ms. Ruffcorn brings fun and games into learning is incredible. It’s not as silent and serious as my other classes. The room has a genuine child-like feeling. Like no matter how old or mature you are, it will always, and I mean always, bring out the child in you. So to sum up my answer, Ms. Ruffcorn’s room is a place you can go to if you feel stressed or pressured no matter what grade. Shawn F. Class of 2025 West Harrison CSD

The way to describe Ms. Gina Ruffcorn’s room isn’t with words. Experiencing the positivity, style, and teachings in that room will be sure to leave one speechless. She sets up her room not as a traditional classroom but in a way where people of all walks of life can feel accepted, heard, or even just present. She makes anyone feel accomplished and valuable with every obstacle that may come his/her way. The room itself was filled with colors, scents, decorations, music, laughter, and fun. Walking into that room, one can just feel that the energy of the space shifts so stress and negativity are not promoted. The seats are not a regular desk and chair; no, they are fitness balls, cushions, bean bags. It felt as if that room could withstand every crazy idea, every off-the-wall plan, any dance party, and especially the wind-down time. Although students love to get up and have fun, there were still many times when we would sit to read an empowering novel. Everyone had a role in that room. Not one person was ever excluded from the incredible lessons Ms. Gina Ruffcorn had to share. Riley A. Class of 2023 West Harrison CSD

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