This week I provided a peek at one article, and now I am providing another piece to look at. Students are a priority for me as I know they are for all educators. Looking at solutions is always my first lens to look through when issues are brought to my attention.
“The report Report, originally published by the Government Accountability Office last month but updated with new information this week, is part of the federal government’s ongoing efforts to understand how the pandemic affected the country’s public school system. The data was pulled from a nationally representative survey of public school teachers that the GAO contracted Gallup to conduct about their experiences during the 2020-21 school year.” -US News Education, “Nearly Half of Teachers Had Students Who Never Showed Up to Class Last Year: Report” By Lauren Camera
Gaps in learning have existed since I began my career in education, now 25 plus years ago. I believe they existed long before then as well. I cannot recall when we were not talking about “how to close the gaps” in learning. There have been many attempts, minor improvements, and some gaps have increased. Covid-19 has widened the learning gaps consistently across all areas. Why? All children have been through at least two years of trauma. In addition, the changes in the inconsistency of instructional time mask mandates limiting clear communications and social interactions.
“To be proactive, we must train our educators in effective approaches to social-emotional learning so that incorporating it daily becomes routine. 11 Essential Social and Emotional Competencies Your Students Need, click here. According to a recent study published in JAMA Pediatrics, one in five students experience anxiety, while one in four suffer from depression.”-Article by Jana Johnsen is, a senior member of the team at The Conover Company. A native of Massachusetts and a graduate of Northeastern University, you can connect with her on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/janajohnsen.
In my career, I have served rural communities and large-unit district communities. The learning struggles are the same for all children during crisis times. Resources are a massive part of limiting the ability to reach all individuals in need, and many continue to be “left behind.” We can not afford to allow many children to be pushed back. It is not the sole responsibility of the classroom teacher, the building principal, or the school district. It is all of us. There is no other time in our history that the phrase “it takes a village” is needed than now.
My Two Rule philosophy incorporates home, student, school, and community working together to create plans of leadership success in a journey filled with solutions. It begins with two rules to practice daily, focusing on competencies and developing into habits to focus on choices to enhance life. Leadership, responsibility, and accountability drive individuals to be the best of what they choose to become.
Begin today by asking: Will this make me or others feel good or safe? If the answer is no to either question, it is a problem, so it should not be done. We can choose to be part of the problem or the solution; the choice is always ours to make. When we choose, we have to accept responsibility for them and accept the consequences (solution).
Building a strong foundation, applying support systems, providing approaches for social-emoitional issues and helping everyone through the trauma of this crisis; will lead to more growth overall than we have seen before.