It is important to hear your students, but that does not mean they know what is best about teaching a class of 28 students. It’s important to hear students to know what bothers them or what sets them off. Just like it is important to know how they learn best. I use real talk time with my students as a chance for both of us to explain our reasoning. I want to know what bothers them to help teach them better, but I cannot always do exactly what they want. Am I going to stop taking up phones because they asked me not to, of course not. What I can do though is explain why I take it up. One of the most important things as a teacher, or any person in authority, is to explain your reasoning. Why do you have the policies you do. Yea, students will push back. When I wait for 100% of the class to be quiet and listen, many students tell me to move on. The more I explain that the expectation is we all learn, and it is rude to them when others talk, the more this becomes a norm in my class. The other day I got extremely frustrated with a student that had been misbehaving for days and told him he was getting a zero for the day. The next day I went to talk to him outside class and we both explained what was going on. After listening to each other, we both agreed that things needed to be different in class and understood each other better.
Asking your students about class does not mean you have to change everything, but it does provide the opportunity to connect with your students. Sometimes there could also be a small change that is easy for you to make, but has a huge impact on students.