Ethan Testified in both 2020 and 2022 before the Massachusetts State Legislature

Ethan’s 2022 Statement

My name is Ethan and I’m in the 8th grade.
Today I want to talk about some really positive improvements I’ve experienced in school.

When teachers create a positive—emotionally safe classroom—I see that I learn best: this is the optimal learning environment for students.  Emotions have an impact on learning. When I’m in an emotionally safe classroom I’m better at processing information and I have more openness to understanding what’s being taught. Communication is an essential piece of this successful environment. Teachers have to communicate with students to be able to achieve an emotionally safe environment.

Ethan’s 2020 Statement

When I think about times I have felt safe or unsafe at school, it is the teachers I remember very vividly. Teachers play a very important role in how we feel as students.

I remember two teachers especially well. One was my science teacher and one was my math teacher. Both were similar in certain ways and yet very different. Both were relatively strict. My science teacher was strict in the sense that he was there to bring order to the chaos of the classroom. However, he also knew how to communicate with his students. He would talk with us one on one to resolve problems rather than yelling at students and making a big deal about it.