Supporting school avoidant students can be one of the most rewarding experiences an educator can have.
As you already know , all students benefit when they are encouraged to bring their whole and best selves to school.
Imagine the positive changes if schools focused on connection & belonging as much as they focused on achievement.
Making schools more inclusive and fostering a sense of community is the most important preventative measure for school avoidance.
Here are a few ideas and resources you can use in your classroom or school-wide.
Schools don’t necessarily operate in the best interest of their students
For example, if we considered student feedback,
These decisions are made for practicality and budget, not student well-being.
In what other ways would our schools change if we considered student feedback?
Give yourself permission to think outside the box!
Start with a self assessment of how well you provide opportunities for student feedback and build in chances for your students to be heard.
For example, ask a student who has experienced the school’s discipline policy to serve on a leadership committee to discuss alternative discipline practices.
Ask a former school avoidant student to serve on a leadership committee to discuss mental wellness or school belongingness.Different perspectives lead to better solutions. Not to mention, you could change the trajectory of a student’s life by believing in them and trusting them with an opportunity to lead.
How much do you know about the shared perceptions and experiences of students within your school?
A school-wide approach to social-emotional learning results in better social and academic outcomes for students.
It’s overwhelming to choose from the many programs out there; start with a school-wide climate survey to assess the strengths and needs of your school and seek out a program to fit the needs of your community.
There is no manual or program to hand you for Culturally Responsive Teaching. It’s co-created with your students and it’s based on your values and beliefs as an educator.
Together, with your students, you create a safe space where students feel heard, respected and challenged.