Meet Aviance Cobb, SVC Facilitator

June 29, 2021

Tags: Student Voice SVC Bronzeville

Aviance Cobb has been a Student Voice Committee (SVC) Facilitator at Bronzeville High School for the past 3 years. She teaches 9th-12th graders in French during school and works with SVC members on issues they care about after school.

She admits starting off facilitating the SVC “completely lost,” but what guided her was the professional development support provided by the Department of Social Science and Civic Engagement. With that PD, she learned more about the purpose and capabilities of an SVC, as well as learning more at the systemic structures of CPS.

Cobb describes feeling a part of a community, among CPS and other SVC Facilitators in PDs, as well as with the SVC members. Learning more about civic engagement and student voice has caused her to shift her thinking on her role as an educator and her students’ roles. Cobb has always participated in acts of service outside of school, but never saw that as being “under the umbrella of civic engagement and civic life.” This has not only led to her embracing civic engagement in her own personal life, but also has opened her eyes to the capabilities of teaching through facilitation.

She now describes her teaching style as “just first listening and then taking what they’ve told me, and creating ways to help [her students] navigate through certain situations.” She went from being the one creating the signs, bringing the materials, believing that if she didn’t get it done, it wouldn’t get done. However, she now sees that “it was there all along, they [just] need the opportunities to do it”--it being creating change. Through and through, she is a listener first, which has opened her eyes to students’ knowledge, skills, values, and motivation.