A slow and steady start (but finally starting!)

This past December, I had a check-in meeting with one of my mentors to help guide my HMW question.

As we chatted, we kept circling back to some of the questions listed below:

  • How are mental health, executive functioning, and emotional resiliency integrated in our classrooms?
  • What does mentally/emotionally healthy learning look like?
  • How can we keep students at their best?
  • How can we teach students how to emotionally manage their learning?
  • How can we break the cycle of “can’t plan” –> “do poorly” –> “stressed”
    (rinse, repeat)

As a result, I opted to shift my HMW  to be:
HMW teach curriculum expectations through a lens of wellness?

Exploring wellness, cognitive load, and how we present complex curriculum is something I think I’ve only begun to scratch the surface on, and I’m looking forward to seeing where my research takes me.

Ideally,  my outcomes would include a list of tangible strategies teachers can utilize to help foster well being and a positive learning space for all students, meeting students’ needs wherever they may find themselves on the mental health spectrum. These strategies could be implemented while teachers are developing curriculum design and course planning, as well as help teachers respond to students’ needs with flexibility throughout the year.

As a preliminary step to my research, I’ve asked students to provide me with optional, anonymous feedback using a “start/stop/continue” continue model. I’ve also begun to read a bit more about wellness and cognitive load to help inform my next steps.

Hopefully, their responses will help refine my future experiments.


One Reply to “A slow and steady start (but finally starting!)”

  1. @vfloras Before the break we bought every teacher at York this book – https://www.competencyworks.org/resources/neuroteach-brain-science-and-the-future-of-education/ and have started to unpack some of the rich content within it. It is having us take a hard look at some our teaching and assessment practices in light of current brain research as well as elevating the importance of social/emotional/wellness in learning. It is probably the best book I have ever read on the science of teaching and learning. I highly recommend it.

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