Is your day disrupted?

Over on Reddit a post from a UK secondary school teacher caught our eye, as did the comments.

In-school truancy.

Disrupted classes.

Year 7 and 8 not settling into secondary life, so going rogue.

Are your staff constantly saying “year 7s don’t know how to behave”?

Let’s take a birds eye view of this; kids who’ve been in and out of their primary school over the last 2 years. Home schooling that might have not met the mark or even been completed. Children who are already anxious becoming even more so after moving schools.

What’s our solution?

Nothing new. Just the adaption of personalised and differentiated learning that has long been at the heart of YouTeachMe.

If you’ve got internal truancy going on how can YouTeachMe help?

With a child’s account on their phone you can send messages and videos to those kids. What type? Well that’s up to you. But you could send them mindfulness videos, messages to help with anxiety, activities for them to do that are not academic. That’s all whilst they are in school, helping them to manage the daily routines. The nurturing stuff that’s perhaps not possible if they’ve not made a connection with pastoral staff or their form tutor. You can communicate with them without being face to face. Words of encouragement and support.

Then let’s think about the kids who are so behind; you knew this from primary school handover reports. Tackling this is easy with YouTeachMe. You can use our secondary maths taught in a primary style from our library. Or you can create catch up videos yourself. This can be done at home, or they can be in the usual classroom or an alternative setting to help them settle down to work.

Then those who are anxious; ones who can’t be in a classroom so that’s why they are ‘skiving’. That’s easy because you can have your curriculum on video, and they can ‘keep up’ whilst being in a safe space.

When a secondary teacher talks about safety for everyone concerned, using technology to help improve everyone’s school day could be just the ticket to help children be the best version of themselves. Without the trauma of confrontation.

All YouTeachMe requires is WiFi and a device; be it a phone, tablet or laptop. It might not solve the issue of truancy to full effect, but it can certainly help with some of the issues being faced in secondary schools today.

Book a demo to see if this is the tool you need to help with your secondary school.

Leadership change

In our current climate of Covid-19 ravaged schools Trust leaders have an opportunity to demonstrate strategic leadership.

Leadership is about change.  Setting the direction of change is fundamental to leadership.

If you are focussed on keeping the systems and structures running for normal routines and behaviours to continue, you are simply managing the situation.

Strategically you need to be changing something about the situation so that similar circumstances do not affect your normal routines as adversely in the future.

The difficult balance for leaders is between the urgent and the important.  Making sure there are sufficient teachers in school is an urgent task.  The important task is making sure that in a similar situation, at some time in the future, others know what to do to make sure there are sufficient teachers.

Of course, it is not just about teachers in school.  The number of consequences of this pandemic are many and conflicting.  It is a very tough time for schools. 

Over the last 2 years schools have seen enormous change thrust upon them, the greatest being the move to online teaching. Technology designed for business has been adapted for school.  Quickly and to a satisfactory level, teachers have coped and carried on.  Sometimes the results have been disappointing, sometimes amazing.

Leaders now need to learn from the successes and the mistakes, their own and those of others, and begin to plan.  Ask what good should look like, what needs to be done?  Ask what is right for your organisation, and ask what exists and what is new to help us progress?

When the pandemic struck our business we were about to launch our tool into the market.  During the pandemic we made attempts but we also noticed how the schools who had worked with us to develop the tool began to use it differently.  We asked what was needed and spent time during the pandemic working with these schools to add functionality they needed to succeed.

What we now have is a tool designed with schools that delivers for schools, teachers, pupils and parents.  It enables teaching to continue, and be both personalised and differentiated as required, during any interruption to school life. It is a comprehensive response for supporting in-school teaching (it’s initial function) and out of school teaching.  It shares resources, CPD, and is a communication and engagement tool with parents.

Most importantly it is so easy to use.  If you can access a web browser you can use the system.  Many teachers have been using it, without training, in under 15 minutes.

With everyone so stretched it is counter-intuitive to talk about introducing a new system.  Strategically it is the right time.  The benefits will be seen quickly and will grow.

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