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Alone, together — has teaching become more than providing an education in 2021?

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Pupil maturity has always been an interest of teachers, but usually refers to a studious, conscientious work ethic. However, after a period of lockdown and isolation, educators are more aware than ever how a pupil’s character and academic drive are distinctly separate concerns. Indeed, more are convinced it’s no longer a secondary, incidental focus but a primary facet of their job, and as much a part of a pupil’s education as their final grades.

Or is it even more important than that? Pupil wellbeing has deepened from nurturing well-rounded young people prepared ultimately to thrive as adults. As staff remain committed to helping them recover from another year of disruption, it’s more than reigniting their results and attainment. In fact, they come second this year — the 2021/22 UKI State of Technology in Education Report reveals social and emotional learning is the top strategic priority, according to 44% of educators.

So, what does this mean in practice for teachers’ day-to-day role, and how can you support your pupils?

Working on wellbeing

Whether or not your school has a dedicated pastoral support team, pupil wellbeing is central to a teacher’s job as you have the most direct, regular contact with pupils. You should therefore look to foster personal relationships with them, both to build trust and to understand how to tailor their lesson delivery and classroom experience to each individual. 

““[A truly exceptional school is achieved by] putting the needs of the children first, being creative and innovative, keeping up-to-date with new teaching ideas, modelling to children via strong staff relationships”

— Teacher/Assistant/Deputy Head, Academy Primary, South East

We’ve recently seen just how differently pupils cope and learn — and the importance of a teacher as a mentor figure. By continuously developing this understanding, you’ll better know how to support pupils in any times of disruption or uncertainty, helping them become more resilient over time. But prioritising wellbeing isn’t only necessary for challenging times; it yields greater rewards in the classroom, with positive learning outcomes from pupils feeling more inspired and motivated.

Collaboration in the classroom

With teaching moving away from a reliance on lecture-style delivery, and wellbeing strategies coming to the fore, it’s time to explore different types of teaching and learning. Collaboration in the classroom is one of the most effective ways of fortifying pupil confidence, and collaborative learning also grows pupils’ social, interpersonal and communication skills. Over half of educators (54%) believe tech enables pupils to better learn these kinds of soft skills.

Interacting with each other can help replace feelings of loneliness with a sense of connection as pupils bond with you and their peers. It also empowers a sense of autonomy and ownership over their learning, viewing education less as imposed information to digest and more as a space where they can explore, find their strengths and work with others. As education advances from imparting knowledge by a single teacher, to being steered by pupils’ social-emotional needs, their independence increases.

How else is the role of teachers and education changing?

The 2021/22 UKI State of Technology in Education Report shares a full picture of how pupil needs are evolving, how staff are responding, and their predictions for the future. For insight backed by thousands of your peers, read the report now.

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The State of Technology in Education Report 2021/22

Our latest report is here. Edtech trends, surprising stats and candid insights from thousands of educators. How many educators struggled to engage their students remotely?

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