Teaching is hard. The learning process for students has changed drastically in the past 10 years, and it's changing even faster now. Students are more anxious than ever before but also better equipped to handle this anxiety through technology and improved rapport with teachers and peers.
The problem is that teachers aren't always equipped with the tools to help their students succeed. Our school systems haven't caught up with the needs of this new generation of students, who grew up on social media and mobile devices.
Teachers often feel overwhelmed by today's classroom challenges—and frustrated when they don't have the support or resources they need to do their jobs effectively.
Let students share their experiences. Today’s students face an array of uncharted issues, and a simple way to help them manage these obstacles is to allow them to share their experiences whenever possible. This could be accomplished in the form of journaling, drawing, class discussions, or oral presentations.
Opportunities like these will provide them with an outlet for what they are feeling and also offer teachers the chance to hear exactly where students are emotionally within their current environment.
Implement a mindful moment in class. Distractions are readily available to keep today’s students occupied at all times. From Chromebooks to iPhones to AirPods, the reliance on technology (or the addiction) has become a constant battle for many teachers.
This is why implementing a daily mindful moment can be so beneficial. Having students take a few minutes to slow down their thoughts and breathing serves as a great way to help them focus their attention on their surroundings rather than on their technology.
Place greater reliance on your Learning Management System (LMS). As more students look to technology to keep up with their schoolwork, it makes sense that schools and teachers would become more reliant on their LMS.
Having a singular location for assignments, class announcements, and grades (among other things) benefits teachers, students, and parents. An LMS is also an ideal place to upload content-specific recordings to help students learn and review the material when it’s convenient for them.
Since many students now have the devices they need, the effective use of an LMS will help them to centralize their learning.
As we look to the future, it's vital that today's students are part of tomorrow's workforce. But as educators and parents, we're not investing in our students' futures if they aren't given opportunities to explore their own creativity or take risks.
It takes more than just a rigorous curriculum; teachers need support from society at large—and so do the children who will shape its future.