I have been thinking a lot about student engagement during the pandemic. I have heard many concerned parents and teachers worried that their children/students are not as engaged as usual or getting enough out of the school year.
I am reminded of Maslow’s Hierarchy. When students have their needs met, they are able to be more engaged in school.
𝘌𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘪𝘳 𝘧𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘥𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘢𝘭 𝘯𝘦𝘦𝘥𝘴 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘥 𝘥𝘶𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘦𝘴. 𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘸𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘬 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘴𝘵𝘶𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘪𝘯 𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴, 𝙞𝙩 𝙞𝙨 𝙖 𝙡𝙤𝙩 𝙩𝙤 𝙚𝙭𝙥𝙚𝙘𝙩 𝙝𝙞𝙜𝙝 𝙚𝙣𝙜𝙖𝙜𝙚𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝙧𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩 𝙣𝙤𝙬.
Being a kid, going to school, and having a social life are all difficult at the best of times, when the school year is 𝘯𝘰𝘳𝘮𝘢𝘭.
𝗧𝗵𝗶𝘀 𝘆𝗲𝗮𝗿 𝗶𝘀 𝗡𝗢𝗧 𝗡𝗢𝗥𝗠𝗔𝗟.
We 𝘢𝘭𝘭 wish it was. We 𝘢𝘭𝘭 want to make it appear like it is to students. But kids are smart, they know that the world isn’t normal right now.
𝘞𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯’𝘵 𝘱𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘥.
Pretending is saying that what they are feeling and witnessing is false. Pretending is dismissing how hard this has all been for them. Pretending is making it hard for them to trust what is real. 𝘐𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘮𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘮 𝘧𝘦𝘦𝘭 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘺𝘣𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘺 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘣𝘭𝘦𝘮.
💜 Parents, you are doing amazing.
💜 Teachers, so are you.
💜 Students? 𝘠𝘰𝘶 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘥𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘉𝘙𝘐𝘓𝘓𝘐𝘈𝘕𝘛 – 𝙖𝙡𝙡 𝙤𝙛 𝙮𝙤𝙪.
All of our engagement is down this year. We are human and there is a pandemic that has been going on for longer than we imagined it would.
Be gentle with each other, be honest, and we will get through it stronger.
Let’s continue to focus on those foundational needs. Especially mental health. Without these, students (like everyone else) will struggle to rise to their peak potential.
Remember, there is no rush. Students have their whole lives ahead of them. No one is “behind”, that is a social construct.
Take care 💜