Fact: Your classroom is full of barriers
Every teacher faces a few “elephants” in the classroom. You might refer to them as barriers, distractions or interruptions--things that get in the way of students being fully engaged in their learning. No matter the term you use, though, they require you to reconsider how you relate to and instruct your students and how you manage your classroom.
One such barrier, the increase of students’ online activity (especially social media), can be a serious distraction to engaging and focused classroom learning. But it can also create unwanted consequences that may impact a student’s future education and career path.
As educators, our primary focus is to provide students with a thorough, well-rounded education. Our responsibility doesn’t end with giving them tools to become “book smart,” though. If we neglect other essential tools for success in life beyond school, can we honestly say we are fully preparing them for what lies ahead?
Take a moment to consider your classroom and your students. Do these ring true?
- Students face multiple online distractions: social media, blogs, forums, videos, etc.
- Students allow peer pressure to influence the choices they make.
- Students are not prepared for college due to a lack of drive and poor study habits.
We understand teachers are overworked and underpaid, and asking them to add one more thing to their plates is not fair. It is essential, though, that we equip students with skills they need to create positive, lifelong habits and make good decisions.
Solution: Student-focused PD
Our team recognized the need to assist schools in providing further student instruction on various topics like responsible social media use, time management and public speaking.
We decided to create student-focused PD when a member school contacted our communication team asking for student resources on proper technology use both during and outside school hours. We knew we could easily send resources to the school and allow educators to develop the lesson plans. But then reality set in. What teacher has time to learn and prepare even more new material? I think we all know the answer to that one.
Benefits: Not just for students
Student trainings are a win-win for both students and teachers:
- Student trainings usually last anywhere from 45 minutes to one hour, allowing teachers time for planning or collaboration with other colleagues.
- OPSRC can deliver lessons on skills that will help students build responsible, lifelong habits. Teachers can then focus on preparing students academically.
- Students leave trainings with a better understanding of the impacts their choices can have throughout all areas of their lives.
- Student training topics are catered to a school’s need. To this date, OPSRC has delivered student training on the topics of time management, digital citizenship, bully awareness, public speaking, resume building and interviewing techniques.
- Elementary, middle and high school students can all benefit from student training.
- OPSRC always offers support to students after training is completed. Just as teachers and other staff can reach out to us for support, so can students!
Transforming education is the number one reason why OPSRC exists. Our team aims to think outside the box for administrators, teachers, support staff and students alike. We understand that how we offer support must not only bring value to education but must also be inviting and engaging. Our student trainings are just one of the shining examples of ways in which education can be reshaped to address the needs of today’s students.