In response to Ben and Jon’s inquiries-it is my belief that the educational system has not made the necessary changes to meet the needs of the current students we serve. I agree that there is more to the story than what was presented in the Yahoo article.
How do we meet the educational needs and desires of our current students by making sure the curriculum we teach students is directly connected to our changing world? Are we just teaching to memorize when we can google any date or fact we need? I would then connect that to, how are we meeting the psychological, safety, love/relationships, esteem/self-love needs of students (Hierarchy or Learning Pyramid) so that we can reach the top tier related to learning (motivation, learning, creativity, problem-solving, memory, curiosity)? We know these bottom parts of the pyramid need to be addressed, taught and fostered before we are able to connect to part of our brain responsible for the higher level skills (PFC) associated with learning.
So, bringing it back to the article, I am curious, how are we meeting those same needs with staff? How is the educational system addressing the psychological, safety, love/relationships, esteem/self-love needs of staff so they can deliver academics to their students from a place of modeling and creativity/problem-solving/curiosity? Students grow up to be adults. If our current population of students doesn’t even have a system set up to focus on their foundational skills, how can we expect that our staff have had access to and explicit teaching of them when they haven’t been taught in schools, whether middle/high school or higher ed? This is where my mind travels to when I see stats or reports about teacher burnout and the feeling of being undervalued. If staff’s needs aren’t being met, how can we expect continual output of support, love, compassion, academics, problem-solving from our staff without also filling those needs for staff? I believe we can’t expect that.
Strategy 2 is doing a lot of work around these topics/ideas but how do we at site levels foster connectiveness, support and skill building in a way that is authentic and supports our staff so they can support students? This requires a different lens. Working up the pyramid instead of working top-down.
I believe that the above connects to Jon’s statements too related to the Greta’s of the world and our staff who feel that we are not adequately preparing our students for the real world and addressing the needs of our community and planet.
Here’s an article related to the development of SEL skills/cultural competence in staff and how important it is to focus there to build capacity. I believe this is a step at working toward addressing teacher burnout and building resilience and optimism for the teaching profession.
Great conversation. Thank you for starting this thread.