4 engaging strategies that promote student SEL

In 2020, the World Economic Forum released a list of the most sought-after skills for the jobs of tomorrow. Among them were a number of surprising entries such as creativity, coordinating with others, emotional intelligence, and service orientation. At least, they were surprising if you weren’t an educator. For those of us who spent the last year teaching through a pandemic, the necessity of social-emotional learning (SEL) has been only too apparent. After all, what good is a knowledge of STEM if you don’t have the ability to recognize and manage your own emotions?       

As educators, we know all too well how important social-emotional learning is to a student’s overall development. Science, math, and reading are vital subjects, but empathy, self-awareness, and responsible-decision-making are what allow someone to apply those subjects in ways that make the world a better place.

But with so many standards and subjects competing for our attention, how do we make space for effective SEL in the classroom? Well, it starts with the right activities. Here are just a few engaging lessons that can make a huge impact on students’ emotional growth:…Read More

5 ways technology can help you combat teacher burnout

Teachers are balancing a lot every day, and that pressure has increased since the start of the pandemic. According to the National Education Association, 55 percent of the teachers in a recent poll said they “will leave teaching sooner than they had originally planned” and 90 percent of members who responded said “feeling burned out is a serious problem.”  

Finding ways to ease the stress experienced by teachers and prevent teacher burnout is critical to teacher morale and ultimately, student outcomes. While no one area alone can prevent teacher burnout, tools that are designed with teachers’ needs in mind can play a big role in supporting teachers and making their jobs less stressful.

This is where technology – and specifically the right technology – can make a huge difference in lessening workload, promoting more productive communication, and boosting morale. Choosing the right technology tools can help give teachers more time and support for doing what they love – teaching and impacting students.…Read More

National Study Finds High Schoolers Keenly Aware of Current In-Demand Jobs, Impacting Education Choices After Graduation

MINNEAPOLIS (May 20, 2022)—Today’s high schoolers are keenly aware of the impact the pandemic had on the job market and are evaluating their options as they forge their path to a career, according to the latest Question The Quo Education Pulse survey. The most recent national study of 14-18-year-olds in the United States, fielded in January, found three-quarters have heard about worker shortages, and more than one-third are more likely to pursue an education or career in an in-demand field.

“The most stunning finding for me has been how insightful, intuitive and engaged this demographic is when it comes to understanding the career landscape, the impact of student debt and the options available to them in the current environment,” said Jeremy Wheaton, president and CEO of ECMC Group. “Today’s students have experienced the pandemic’s impact, and they want to forge their own path—a path that is shorter in duration, more affordable and connects directly to a career—especially a career in a field that needs workers.”

According to this survey, two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, half of high schoolers are no longer considering four-year college and less than half believe a four-year degree will make them successful. More than half are open to a path other than four-year college, and because of the pandemic, one-third say they’re more comfortable with following a shorter pathway. Despite that, 85% feel pressure to pursue a four-year degree.…Read More

How to implement a districtwide K-12 computer science program

With recent research showcasing the growing number of STEM-related jobs that will be available to our graduates in Indiana in the coming years, teaching computer science skills has become as important as teaching students how to read or do math. The state has recognized this importance by mandating that all schools incorporate computer science for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

As the career and STEM academy director for Barr-Reeve Community Schools, I helped our district integrate computer science into our K-12 students’ school days. Our program helps students develop essential skills for academic and professional success. I’ve learned a number of lessons along the way and hope districts across the nation can benefit from my experience.

Starting small…Read More

Creatorup Raises Additional Investment To Disrupt The Video Creation Sector

CreatorUp has raised an additional round of financing from Gaingels and JFF (Jobs for the Future) to expand its first-of-its-kind video marketplace – that helps organizations of all sizes create professional video content easily and affordably anywhere in the world – while simultaneously providing training and opportunities for its creative workforce. 

Funds will be used to expand operations of the CreatorUp marketplace, which features more than 650 proven video solutions, in a multitude of styles and formats, that give clients the ability to choose, purchase, and create bespoke media with just a click.

“Powering the production of CreatorUp’s content is a network of almost 7,000 creative professionals, who bring a wealth of diversity and creativity to our projects,” said Mike Tringe, CreatorUp’s Co-founder and CEO. “We’re thrilled to be able to offer these opportunities in this new creative landscape.”…Read More

How human connection calms teacher burnout

The power of human connection is a transformative element that is deeply wired into our collective DNA. With so many teachers experiencing burnout, I can’t help but recognize a strong link between human connection and the challenges facing teachers today.

Teachers care immensely for their students and cherish the in-person connection that exists in the classroom. But the stresses of the job are taking them away from connecting with students more meaningfully. Teachers feel exhausted and underappreciated, causing them to consider leaving their jobs altogether. A recent National Education Association survey found that “55% of educators are thinking about leaving the profession earlier than they had planned.”

While the NEA survey identifies staffing shortages and emotional fatigue as contributing factors, it also mentions that educators are requesting more mental support for their students than is presently available.…Read More

4 ways to enrich CTE programs

Right now, there’s a labor shortage. The U.S. has more jobs available than there are people to work them. This means individuals who are just starting their careers can more easily snag positions in trade occupations, such as construction, cosmetology, HVAC, and more. But in order to take advantage of these opportunities, students first need to know that they are available.

StrataTech Education Group’s survey found that while 70 percent of students attend high schools that offer career and technical education programs, only 32 percent promote the trades as a potential post-graduation path. Despite this, 51 percent of students consider pursuing trade school. What holds them back? A lack of support, confidence, or knowledge–challenges that high schools can solve with enriched CTE programs.

If more schools enhanced their CTE programs, more students would feel comfortable pursuing the trades. The good news is that boosting program participation is not a huge investment. In fact, bringing in passionate professionals could be enough to get students excited about their career options. Here are four ways to get started:…Read More

5 lesson planning resources for educators

Teachers’ jobs are about much more than teaching in the classroom or online. Finding the right learning resources for students is critical–and that’s where the right lesson planning tool can be invaluable.

Customized resources, small group activities, and resource organization are all made a bit easier with a little help from lesson planning tools, leaving teachers to spend more active time teaching, giving real-time feedback, and supporting students on an individual basis.

Lesson planning doesn’t have to be daunting. In fact, it can be downright fun with these resources.…Read More

Focusing on safety can help schools mitigate teacher stress

A defining feature of the COVID-19 pandemic is the haze of uncertainty in which we now live. Are cases rising or falling? Which activities are deemed “safe” for the vaccinated? And now that most U.S. schools have re-opened in person, will they stay open, and can they keep COVID-19 at bay?

This uncertainty has landed heavily on teachers and contributed to teacher stress. For several reasons, the jobs to which they returned in fall 2021 are more challenging than what they faced in the pre-COVID world.

First, at a time in which vaccines remain unapproved for children under 12, and in which many older children remain unvaccinated, teachers worry about students’ health and their own. They recognize that social distancing is at odds with many student-centered teaching techniques, and they don’t want to spend their days as mask enforcers, but they also want to stay safe. In a nationally representative survey of teachers conducted by RAND earlier this year, 16 percent of teachers ranked concern for their own health as their top source of job-related stress, and 17 percent said their top concern was for the health of loved ones at home with high COVID risk.…Read More

3 ways STEM learning supports the future of work

To succeed in college and the workplace, students require a solid foundation in STEM learning. Experience in these subjects does not only benefit aspiring scientists and engineers–it’s essential for all students.

In fact, between 2017 and 2027, the number of STEM jobs will grow 13 percent. Even positions in traditionally non-STEM fields (estimated to grow by 9 percent) will require some sort of technological knowledge.

STEM learning is all about designing creative solutions for real-world problems. Problem-based STEM curriculum allows students to see the impact of their learning. That kind of authenticity builds engagement. Students progress from asking “When will I ever use this?” to connecting skills and applications.…Read More