It’s not just about the books and grades anymore. It’s about shaping the person as a whole and building a healthy and strong school community. It’s about the softer skills. But you knew that.
What were recently trends have cemented themselves in the education environment. And if you’re not doing these, you risk leaving kids behind and missing opportunities to positively impact the future of your school.
1. Technology-Enhanced Environment
We no longer rely on paper hand-outs to share messages and schedules. Digital communication is a must to connect students, parents, staff, and the community on school happenings. We are reshaping how students engage with their teachers and their school community. And we are digitally sharing events, stories, and memorable moments as layers on top of the classroom base.
The bonus here is the ability for the entire school community to help create, educate, and guide our students on digital citizenship – an invaluable skill as they move forward.
2. Improvements in School Climate and Culture
Considerate attention has been given to improving school climate and culture. And we continue to do so. But what does that mean?
It means improving education and offerings around mental health. It means approaching school communication very differently. It means being intentional, authentic and inclusive with everything that is brought into the school community. It means recognizing that positive school climate and culture is a preventative measure that combats absenteeism and suspension rates.
Most of all, it means continually sourcing students to understand their feelings and experiences.
Being present and self-aware and part of a strong community – this all stems from mindfulness. Physical practices such as ‘circles’ and ‘mindful listening’ are helping to create a sense of safety, inclusion, and trust. Individual practices encourage students to fully be themselves while collaborating with others.
Students with a stronger sense of self and awareness of others tend to be more involved in their school community and perform better in school.
4. Inclusion and Equity
This big world is getting smaller – and schools are the ideal place to mirror and encourage this. Race, diversity, equity, opportunity… movements and campaigns are addressing these issues and schools need to as well. An intentional effort to be more representative is reaping positive effects such as increased enrollment and completion. Students are being taught to develop a sense of empathy and compassion for their peers.
Now is not the time for learning institutions to ease up.
5. Social-Emotional Learning (SEL)
This is that layer above and below the textbooks and tests.
Curriculum around self-awareness, self-management, decision-making, relationship skills, and social awareness is vital in fostering a healthy school community and producing well-adjusted students. Students who receive integrated SEL are better prepared to cope with stressful issues and have proven to manage themselves throughout the school day and in social settings. The shift is continuing to lessen the focus on traditional subjects and move more towards life-skills, collaboration, social issues, and personal well-being.
Educational institutions are still learning the best ways to measure and report on SEL.
We need to examine and test different tools and practices that continue to focus on and advance these items above. Minga’s features simplify and improve school communication, allowing for positive digital experiences while allowing tracking and reporting so you know what is and isn’t working.
Interested in trying Minga yourself? Great!
You’re invited to a free 14-day evaluation of Minga. Start now!