Believe it or not, and I am constantly surprised by the number of educators who don't believe it, the research is clear on all of the ways that students' success, creativity, and growth are harmed by extrinsic motivators. This leaves many educators, including my research partner, Kristy Graber, and me, searching for ways to eliminate rewards while equipping students with the gear needed to strengthen these areas. This can be especially challenging considering how prevalent rewards are in daily life. Here is the last portion of our research paper that I have condensed into a blog post.
My hat is off to all educators out there who just survived one of the hardest years, if not THE hardest, in education to date. If we never hear the words “flexibility” and “pivot” again, life would be grand. However, as we look ahead to the 2021-22 school year, there is still a cloud of uncertainty hanging over it.
While there are a lot of ways to promote SEL and prosocial behavior in the classroom, one powerful way to do so is by leveraging the creativity of educational technology tools. Creative tools like Buncee can be a powerful resource for teachers wanting to embed SEL practices into their regular curriculum.
As state testing (for some this year and for most or all of us in a normal non pandemic year) looms in the near future, days get warmer, and the school year winds down, many educators are thinking towards next year. Sure, a lot of thoughts are also aimed at the summer and vacation plans, but some thoughts are focused on the next school year. We have almost completed what might very well be the toughest school year of all time. One for the record books for sure, so naturally we need a summer break, but thoughts of next year still linger.
As we navigate these uncharted waters of school closures due to COVID-19, communication is one of the most important things we can do to help students work through remote learning and all the stress that entails. Not every district has the luxury of placing all students online for the remainder of time that the schools are closed, so communication can become tricky. However, utilizing the school email is always a good idea which can be followed by other means of contact for students who are unable to respond.
Whether you are in the #OneWord movement, make your own New Year's resolution, or not doing either of those, there is usually some moment of reflection and, maybe, dreaming as the new year approaches. I like the choosing one word that can guide me through the year, so I give it quite a bit of thought, attention, and I never refuse a bit of luck along the way. As I pondered this one, I was a bit stumped. I was uninspired. I was stymied, and then Christmas was right around the corner. What to do. What to do.
We teachers are often reminded by parents, students, colleagues, and administrators of all the things we're not. And if we somehow skate by with feelings of competence locally, then there's the visions of teaching and classroom perfection all over the internet, in our beloved PLNs (Professional Learning Networks). It's easy to forget that the perfection we see posted is but a moment of that educator's day. We have those moments too, though maybe we forget that in the hustle and bustle of our day.
There are several similarities between a canoe trip down the river and how school districts or buildings (or even businesses) can function. Regardless of the obstacles in the way, we need to work together to go around them, through them, or drag our canoes past them until it is safe to float again.