Equity—making sure each student receives the specific resources, support, and opportunities they need to succeed—is a process. It can neither be planned for nor achieved all at once, and the target keeps moving, as was discussed during the edWebinar, “How to Improve Equity: One Step, One Goal at a Time.”
Everyone in the United States speaks a dialect—not a different language, but a variation of American English. Yet when children come to school, the expectation is that they will automatically understand that they need to read, write, and speak in the academic English of the classroom.
Students are grappling with greater complexity these days. Their struggles often become apparent in school and in the form of trauma. It’s hard for them to cope, and it’s difficult for teachers, who are typically not trauma informed, to help them.
The conversation about equity is spreading in classrooms all across the United States. Ask any educator and they will tell you how important it is to ensure equal access to opportunity for all students. But converting this conversation into action in order to close the existing gaps is not always a straightforward process. In fact, many schools don’t know where to begin.
While schools are wrapping up the 2021-22 school year, presenters on the edLeader Panel, “Finishing Strong: Top Issues for District Leaders as Summer Approaches,” urged administrators to look forward. During their discussion, they identified three key areas district and school leaders should focus on for the 2022-23 school year.
Over the past two years, America’s children have experienced historic challenges due to the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 pandemic. For children entering second grade this academic year, it is highly likely that it was their first time in school as they spent kindergarten and first grade learning via Zoom.
For years, educators were talking about social-emotional learning (SEL) and how to boost students’ skills. But after the lockdown and a year out of the classroom, SEL has become the favorite buzzword outside of school walls. SEL isn’t mental health services for students or a one-time fix to help with learning loss, though.
Students are using video daily—creating, watching, and reviewing. It’s one of the key ways they’re communicating with each other and consuming information outside school, so why wouldn’t schools want to use it in the classroom?
Changing the reading instruction provided by a school or district is a complex, multi-step process that can take years to accomplish, but as one presenter noted during the edLeader Panel, “Leadership and the Science of Reading: An Honest Look at the Joys and Challenges of School Transformation,” it can transform students’ lives as well as significantly increase their academic achievement.
The last two school years have been a challenging time for many students who were learning English while speaking a different language at home. First, they needed to access and use remote learning technologies, and then they needed to continue developing their language and literacy skills despite the pandemic-related disruptions and other difficulties they and their families faced.