For educators, a brighter outlook on confidence and classroom AI

Key points:

  • Educators report seeing positive impacts from technology integration and anticipate more AI use
  • More teachers have been able to devote direct attention to students’ needs
  • See related article: 5 ways AI can help teachers in the classroom

Teachers have expressed “cautious optimism” around the use of generative AI in K-12 classrooms, and many more plan to integrate AI tools into their instruction this school year, according to part one of the 2023 Educator Confidence Report from learning technology company HMH

Outlook on Teaching and AI, the first of three focused reports to be released over the course of the back-to-school season, found an improvement in both educator confidence in the K-12 education industry and sentiment toward the state of the teaching profession, offering some early signs of stabilization. The Educator Confidence Report series reveals findings from HMH’s annual barometer for how educators in schools across the country are feeling about the state of teaching and learning.…Read More

Unfinished learning concerns still plague educators

Key points:

Concerns over unfinished learning continue to occupy educators’ minds, with only teacher shortages and burnout ranked higher, according to a national survey conducted by The Harris Poll and commissioned by Lexia, a part of Cambium Learning Group.

Just 43 percent of parents strongly agree that their child’s school has done a good job addressing unfinished learning from the 2021-22 school year, according to the survey.…Read More

Catholic Schools Continue Long-Time Partnerships with VHS Learning to Give Students Hundreds of Course Options

Boston – U.S. Catholic schools have renewed their partnerships with VHS Learning to provide their students with continued access to high-quality, teacher-led online classes. Through these partnerships, many of which began 10 to 25 years ago, Catholic high schools are expanding their curricula and providing students with collaborative, engaging learning opportunities.

Catholic schools that have extended their long-time partnerships with VHS Learning for the 2023-24 school year, include:  

  • Pope Francis Preparatory School in Springfield, Mass., began its partnership with VHS Learning 10 years ago.

  • Immaculate High School in Danbury, Conn.; Lowell Catholic High School in Lowell, Mass.; and Nativity B.V.M. High School in Pottsville, Pa., launched their partnerships with VHS Learning 15 years ago.

  • Saint Paul Diocesan Jr. Sr. High School in Worcester, Mass., and Berks Catholic High School in Reading, Pa., started with VHS Learning 20 years ago.

  • Bishop Fenwick High School in Peabody, Mass., first partnered with VHS Learning 25 years ago.

“These long-time partnerships speak volumes about the relationships VHS Learning forms with Catholic schools and students,” said President & CEO of VHS Learning Carol DeFuria. “We value each of our partner schools and are thrilled to help them expand their curriculum and give their students extensive course options that rival those found at public schools, all without sacrificing quality. Working together, we help Catholic schools resolve scheduling issues, combat teacher shortages, and stay competitive.”…Read More

Creativity in the classroom reduces burnout and improves well-being

Key points:

This article originally appeared on Adobe’s blog and is reposted here with permission.

Teacher burnout is, unfortunately, not a new phenomenon. Even 15 years ago, when I was teaching middle and high school, it was always a question of when (not if) my colleagues and I would reach burnout towards the end of the year. On a good year, with ideal conditions, some teachers would make it until around April. But, of course, we always looked out for teachers who showed signs of burnout as early as mid-year.…Read More

4 ways to implement mental performance coaching in schools

Key points:

Picture this: Empowered educators are equipped with the insights and strategies of mental performance coaching in schools. They possess the transformative ability–well-established in athletics but yet to be fully realized in the classroom–to help students meet the challenges of life with greater resilience, self-esteem, and focus. Teachers, school coaches, and education leaders are catalysts that propel students towards this emotional and mental strength, using approaches that have benefited thousands of athletes at all levels.

To the cynic, “mental performance coaching” may sound like a passing trend. But in reality, mental performance coaching in schools holds immense value as an integral component of developing student well-being. …Read More

3 strategies to optimize virtual learning in special education

Key points:

  • Teachers shortages abound, but special education is grappling with even higher vacancies
  • Virtual learning options are growing in popularity as a way to offer high-quality instructional options to students with special needs
  • See related article: 3 ways telepractice helps combat burnout in special education

According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), K-12 public schools faced significant teacher shortages in 2022, with nearly half reporting vacancies. Special education was one of the areas hit hardest, with 45 percent of schools needing to fill positions. Unfortunately, this trend is expected to continue, as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates 37,600 yearly openings for special education teachers over the next decade.

As the demand for special education teachers outpaces supply, school districts are seeking innovative solutions to bridge the gap and provide high-quality education to students with special needs. Teleservice solutions have gained widespread adoption in recent years, enabling schools to cast a wider net and tap into a pool of highly-qualified professionals beyond their immediate geographic area.…Read More

I didn’t learn how to teach reading in my teacher prep program

Key points:

  • As students continue to struggle with reading, it is critical that teachers receive structured literacy training in teacher preparation programs
  • Literacy serves as the foundation of learning, and families should be involved in this learning process
  • See related article: How to support reluctant readers with literacy strategies

After 14 years in education, I consider myself to be a good reading teacher. Unfortunately, the path to getting where I am today was a long, frustrating journey.

Growing up, as the child of two teachers, education was in my blood.…Read More

This key strategy can help boost teacher well-being immediately

Key points:

  • Teachers have juggled so much during the pandemic and the return to school–it’s no wonder they’re burnt out
  • High-quality substitutes are key to teachers’ ability to take breaks, and technology can aid in recruiting subs
  • See related article: Survey highlights troubling teacher morale issues

In the wake of the pandemic, student mental health is a top concern for K-12 leaders, as it should be. But teacher wellness is also at crisis levels, and this has important implications for the quality of education that students receive.

When education shifted online in spring 2020, teachers had to learn new technologies and instructional strategies in a very short amount of time. Many endured the loss of friends and family members to COVID-related illness. When school districts returned to in-person learning, several teachers worried about their own safety. Teachers have had to deal with a sharp rise in behavioral issues and address a growing number of social-emotional needs among their students. They’ve worked long hours to facilitate learning recovery.…Read More