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Social emotional learning is a prevalent topic in education today, with a recognition that how children feel is as important as their academic growth.
However, this perspective infers there is a dichotomy of skill sets, social emotional skills and academic skills. To this point, some early childhood programs have intentionally focused on young children’s social emotional skills and discouraged including academically related skills with a sense that social emotional skills need to develop before children are able to learn other skills.
Consider these skill sets as all interconnected and integrated, instead of being a dichotomy, and that social emotional learning is dependent on executive function skills, which are interrelated to cognition, which is connected to oral language. Social emotional learning develops as we effectively learn to use the background knowledge we have gained through experiences and skills acquired to help us with tasks
In today’s world, digital content is quickly and easily accessible and can be found on devices many of us carry with us wherever we go. However, that reading isn’t what we, as educators, often see as “real reading,” yet this type of reading is authentic to the world we live in. It’s part of our everyday lives and, if we are being honest, it’s also a skill we should probably spend some time honing. We skim, we watch, we interact, but that may seem superficial because we don’t go very deep. Could that be an opportunity? I tend to think so.
This year, the Texas Computer Education Association (TCEA) Conference 2019 will be at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center along the Riverwalk, February 4–8. As you may know, in Texas we like things big, and TCEA is one of the state’s largest educational conferences.
Technology advances have brought an influx of supporting tools that give teachers data point after data point and provide intervention after intervention. While technology tools can give teachers great insight into how students learn and where they struggle during the reading process, this is only part of the picture. The true understanding of teaching reading to students still lies with the teacher.
Everyone wants to feel fulfilled and happy with their work, to believe they make a difference. This is more than a good feeling or earning a high salary. This is efficacy and it is critical for teachers’ success. When an entire school faculty has efficacy, it is called Collective Teacher Efficacy (CTE), which is “the collective belief of teachers in their ability to positively affect students” (Hattie, J. Visible Learning Plus).
For educators, the most important task and often the most challenging, is to ensure every student succeeds to the very best of her/his ability. Understanding that, educators recognize the importance of offering quality instruction, best practices, and instructional materials that have been shown to achieve the outcomes required for that student population. It is incumbent upon decision makers to select from among those instructional materials that already offer evidence of those outcomes.
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