How to talk to your students about trauma and school violence

It is an unacceptable reality that educators, parents, and caregivers must talk to children about gun violence in schools, repeatedly, in the wake of school shootings.

At the same time as stakeholders once again demand that lawmakers take action and protect the nation’s children while they are in classrooms–classrooms that are supposed to be safe–educators and caregivers are left with the heavy burden of addressing students’ anxieties and responses to trauma.

Conversations around school violence may feel uncomfortable, but many experts say open and clear communication can help students process what happened and feel safe in their classrooms, homes, and communities.…Read More

Ripple Effects Offers Access to Its Educator Ally Program to Support Teachers’ Social Emotional Needs

SEATTLE – May 26, 2022 – As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, educators found themselves in unfamiliar territory as they dealt with new technology and concerns over in-person learning while also caring for their own children. These anxieties served to heighten an already stressful profession. According to the 2021 State of the U.S. Teacher Survey conducted by The RAND Corporation, teachers were almost three times more likely to report symptoms of depression than adults in other professions. Additional independent research indicates that 54 percent feel unprepared or very unprepared to respond to students’ behavior problems.

To give educators much-needed support in the classroom, social emotional learning pioneer Ripple Effects, today announced that through June 30, 2022, it is offering complimentary access to its staff professional development wellness program, Educator Ally. This solution equips educators with the tools they need to address their own stressors as well as students emotional and behavior problems more effectively.

“When educators have the proper tools, their stress levels decrease,” said Heidi Johnecheck, chief impact officer for Ripple Effects. “As they continue to deal with the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it is more crucial than ever to give educators the infrastructure they need to help build their classroom management skills and manage student behaviors in a personalized, supportive and non-judgmental manner. We want to extend as much help as possible to educators and we hope that using Educator Ally will give them the vital tools they need to be their best in the classroom.”  …Read More

Whole child learning paves a path to success, teachers say

An overwhelming majority of educators polled in a new survey say they believe students achieve success when schools make whole child learning a priority.

Ninety-one percent of teachers participating in education nonprofit Gradient Learning’s national survey, say they believe students perform better when schools prioritize whole child learning.

Conducted in partnership with Project Tomorrow, the Gradient Learning Poll surveyed 1,418 teachers, of grades 4-12, across the country to better understand their views on the state of education. …Read More

3 keys to supporting students during a mental health crisis

A January 2022 study published in JAMA Pediatrics confirmed what many educators, administrators, and support staff already knew: School closures, disrupted learning, and a pandemic year have coalesced to create an alarming mental health crisis among teenagers.

The study found that up to 60 percent of students are experiencing “strong distress,” including anxiety and depression. The results echoed a recent American Psychological Association (APA) report, which found that more than 80 percent of teenagers experienced “more intense stress” during the pandemic.

In other words, as Dr. Vivek Murthy, the U.S. Surgeon General, notes, “Mental health challenges in children, adolescents, and young adults are real and widespread. Even before the pandemic, an alarming number of young people struggled with feelings of helplessness, depression, and thoughts of suicide — and rates have increased over the past decade.”…Read More

Student well-being is critical–here’s how to support it

Student well-being has a direct impact on student motivation, engagement, and learning. In short, their social and emotional well-being has a long-term impact. It is absolutely critical that educators learn to support student well-being.

Skills such as self-awareness and self-management are also critical for effective collaboration and learning. And when school leaders support overall student and educator well-being, creates a foundation for equitable education environments.

During an eSchool News webinar featuring edtech educators and district mental health experts, attendees will learn how to:…Read More

5 tips to retain your educators during school staff shortages

The past two years of pandemic-related stresses and uncertainty have left educators exhausted, even as school districts are returning to a sense of normalcy. A recent National Education Association (NEA) survey found that teachers are burned out, with 67 percent of members reporting it as a very serious issue and 90 percent a very serious or somewhat serious issue.

A majority of schools are completely open for in-person learning, but pandemic-related educator and school staff absences, coupled with continued teacher turnover, are resulting in school staff shortages. In fact, 74 percent of the NEA study respondents reported that they have had to fill in for colleagues or take on other duties at their school or in their district due to school staff shortages.

This is the first time in my career that I have faced the daily struggle to fill school staff shortages caused by teacher turnover or by employees who are sick or quarantining. As school leaders, it is crucial that we work together to lessen the educator turnover issue to help mitigate staff shortages.…Read More

How to ignite the fire of student engagement

Recently, a co-worker of mine shared a story from when he was in high school. During one chemistry class his teacher happened to light a small fire within a dish and began stirring in different compounds. First the fire turned green, then purple, and then finally blue. The students, who normally struggled to engage with the coursework, were completely enthralled. They began asking questions, forming hypotheses, and started investigating the subject themselves. A fire had been lit in that classroom – both literally and metaphorically.

Stories like these remind educators about the power of student engagement. Teaching, in many ways, is like building a fire. You simply gather the kindling (tools and strategies), create a spark (curiosity), and then add some logs to the fire (content). Still, many of us can have trouble striking that match. All too often, our students’ attitudes can feel dampened by apathy or outside distractions.

Building the blaze …Read More

4 innovative online learning practices educators should keep

Over the past two years, education systems across the nation have been challenged with oscillating shifts, from classroom learning to remote and online learning, and even hybrid approaches, due to COVID-19 precautions and responsiveness. Amid these ongoing changes, educators reimagined the ways they engaged with their students, and many turned to museums and other community organizations for support to better understand how to leverage our collections, educational resources, and expertise creatively for their students.

For the community of more than 300 museum educators at the Smithsonian, the sudden urgency to scrap our traditional modus operandi unleashed new levels of innovation. We reimagined how to share a vast library of artifacts, artworks, specimens, and content expertise with our audiences to best meet their teaching and learning needs.

As teachers and students return to schools and museums searching for a “new normal,” below are some practices from the past two years I know we’ll keep.…Read More

School Superintendents of Alabama and Curriculum Associates Recognize Students and Educators with $12,000 in Scholarships

NORTH BILLERICA, Mass., May 11, 2022—Curriculum Associates recently sponsored the 2022 School Superintendents of Alabama (SSA) scholarship program to help recognize and support students and educators throughout the state. The 12 scholarship recipients—eight high school seniors who intend to pursue a degree in education from one of Alabama’s public colleges or universities as well as four educators who plan to pursue a degree in school administration from one of the state’s public colleges or universities—will each receive $1,000.

“One of SSA’s top priorities is to promote high-quality public education throughout our state. This has become even more critical as we face a teacher shortage crisis not only in Alabama but across our nation,” said SSA Executive Director Ryan Hollingsworth. “It is our hope and belief that these scholarships will aid in the process of rebuilding our workforce by assisting these qualified students and educational leaders in achieving their career goals. These recipients have demonstrated a commitment to quality in our schools and we, alongside Curriculum Associates, are proud to be able to assist them as they pursue their degrees.”

Selected by superintendents who were chosen as district finalists for the SSA/Schneider Electric Superintendent of the Year Award, this year’s SSA Student Scholarship recipients are:…Read More