Being a teacher during a pandemic may seem challenging enough without taking on potentially divisive political and social issues, but for three teachers who were recently named the Teacher of the Year in their states, working on equity issues with their students is a crucial part of the job and well worth the effort.
edWeb.net has just released its 2021 Professional Learning Survey at a time when supporting educators with current and effective professional learning has never been more important with the COVID-19 pandemic. Educators had to pivot instantly to remote learning and make unprecedented changes in the delivery of instruction and support for students and families.
The disruptions and changes during the past year have made a return to the industrial education model of the 19th and 20th centuries problematic for school districts committed to preparing diverse students for 21st century careers. Instead, a more innovative and agile approach is needed to help today’s wide range of students recover from the pandemic and achieve more equitable outcomes.
It’s been a rough year, especially for students. Virtual and hybrid learning, schools opening and closing, struggles with technology and access, sickness and restrictions. Who wouldn’t be anxious, scared and out of sorts with this level of disruption?
About one in five kids will exhibit some type of severe social-emotional behavioral symptoms that would qualify for some level of support. And yet, very early since the pandemic began, there has been over a 20% increase of kids experiencing depression or anxiety after one month of lockdown with a disproportionate impact on students from minoritized populations.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, blended learning is a style of education in which students learn via electronic and online media and traditional face-to-face teaching. As stated by Ann McMullan, Project Director for CoSN’s EmpowerED Superintendents Initiative, the world that we have been living in for over the last year or so looks very much like a combination of both.
“How are the children?” That’s how Dr. Baron R. Davis, Superintendent of Richland School District Two (SC), starts every meeting. He isn’t just asking, though, if they are physically well. Like the traditional Maasai greeting, he’s asking if the people in his district are making the children their priority every day and making sure they are doing everything to take care of the children on every level.
Using data to determine the needs of economically disadvantaged students and make good decisions about them has helped one school district provide more equitable outcomes, meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, and increase opportunities for high school graduates to succeed in college and their careers.
Elbow bumps and smiles. Affirmations. Recognizing that everyone matters. Sounds like a lovefest, right? It is, but in school, hope-building and life-affirming practices can grow students’ self-pride and resilience. Such strategies support students as they navigate challenging times (like the pandemic), and build their social-emotional strength to pursue a future rich with possibility, explained educational leaders in the edLeader Panel “Hope, Mattering, and Moving Forward,” sponsored by Gaggle. The panelists shared ways they make students feel they genuinely matter and propel their forward movement with hopefulness.
What skills and training do businesses want from the next generation of workers? That’s the question leaders in the Foster-Glocester Regional School District (RI) asked as they reimagined education for the 21st century. More important—how do they make sure students are succeeding with this new plan? During an edLeader Panel, sponsored by CatchOn, An ENA Affiliate, Eric Butash, Director of Education Technology and Data Integration for the district, discussed how they used data analytics to build their personalized student learning pathways.