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What do schools need to support student wellbeing effectively?

The well-being of students is an important topic at present as we settle into a post-lockdown world.

Schools often form the hub of a student’s social experience, and the enforced isolation of repeated lockdowns has been shown to have a detrimental effect on their mental health and wellbeing. With the return to in-classroom teaching, schools are having to find ways to support these students and help them catch up on lost time.

Ask any teacher - good student motivation sits at the heart of wellbeing. Giving students a sense of purpose and control goes a long way to making sure they are comfortable with themselves and able to participate fully in the world around them. Conversely, when students are not motivated, teaching becomes increasingly difficult, with too much time spent on ‘crowd control’ rather than engaging with learners. The learning environment becomes a negative experience for everyone involved and wellbeing suffers as a result.

In reality though, for many schools and teachers, students are not always motivated, and as a result behaviour is a problem. This eats up teaching time, behaviour management dominates the classroom process, all too often leading to a focus on the negative aspects of behaviour management and a lack of recognition for student success. 

It's a very simple equation: Better motivation leads to happiers students with more focus and less poor behaviour, meaning that teachers can teach, and learners can learn. School becomes a positive aspect of the student’s life and their self-esteem and wellbeing can flourish as a result.

It is clear then, that motivation needs to be a primary focus. For this to happen, we need to make it easy for teachers to recognise, reward and track the achievements of their students. Technology can play a key role in this process, with tools like ePraise simplifying the management of rewards, as well as giving students a voice in what those rewards might be. Epraise has student motivation at the heart of everything it does. Recognising effort and success is a key driver in the way the platform is developed, along with helping schools to identify when students misbehave and intervene appropriately.

If teachers are to focus on their students' well-being, then they need to be able to spend less time on classroom management, giving them more time to teach. This can be done by giving them the tools they need to manage their students and classroom activities in one accessible space. All too often, information on students is stored in a variety of places leading to a fragmented, incomplete picture of each student, and what information there is can sit exclusively with the teacher. Parents are only involved when issues escalate and otherwise have little engagement with their child’s school experience. We need to give them the visibility and understanding they need to support their child and celebrate their successes. Visibility of each student's learning journey is crucial, and this needs to be available for everyone involved - teachers, students, parents and school leaders. Epraise is designed to be easy to use, saving teachers time in the day to day management of their classes. Accessible to the whole school community, Epraise helps schools celebrate student success, whilst raising awareness of behaviour issues with everyone involved.

When we get this right, students are excited to learn new things and the standard of work improves. Teachers have more time to help students make better progress, and behaviour is no longer a problem at the school; everybody feels safe and supported. There is less stress in the teaching and learning process, students are empowered with their achievements properly recognised and conversations at home are much easier. The wellbeing of the entire school community is properly addressed, simply by focusing on motivation in the classroom.

Epraise is the learning engagement platform at the heart of hundreds of school communities around the world. Transforming the way teachers engage their students, Epraise makes it easy for schools to motivate students, engage parents and save teachers time. If you would like to find out more, visit our website, or contact us for a conversation with one of our school consultants.

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