Our world is constantly changing, and that includes the world of education. As we make shifts in school choice and student assessments, it proves that the educational landscape is always looking for ways to evolve. Some of these changes may be good and some not so much, but in the end, we are all working to accomplish the same goal which is to provide the best education for our students and give them the best experience possible. Every year, educators love taking a look at these new ideas that can take off and determine what we can do to change the way students learn. 2018 has been no different and in fact looks to be the year that truly becomes “transformational.” Here are some of the trends in the education for 2018.
Professional Development for Teachers
In recent years, districts have looked to take steps to move away from the typical approach for personal development where teachers participate in the same kinds of workshops regardless on their years of experience or whether or not the topic is applicable to their work. They are looking to make more strategic decisions about the professional development investments. Online professional development systems have been one of the ways that the districts have looked into to help personalize learning for the educators. However, they still need to find a way that they can balance with overall improvement goals for the district and the particular needs of local schools.
The Every Student Succeeds Act signed in 2015 came with the promise of a reduction in high-stakes standardized testing. Educators reveled at this news as it meant that they would not have to take out class time to help the students succeed in these reading and math assessments and instead focus on providing a more well-rounded education. This law went into implementation in the fall, so this spring’s testing season will be the first where they will have the opportunity to exercise this increased flexibility. States and school districts are realizing the need to streamline the number of assessments given to students in order to give teachers the added instructional time to truly tackle their students’ needs.
Support Systems To Fight Absenteeism
Chronic absenteeism in our nation’s schools became a major topic in the media last year. A lot of students felt the need to skip school due to varying factors such as bullying, not feeling safe or other factors at home that prevented them from getting to school. These absences created a negative impact. It can affect not only their academic success but also their social and emotional state of being. It also has an effect on district funding because schools receive federal and state funds based on daily attendance. So, when students are absent, it hurts the school’s chances for additional funding. Due to these harmful side effects of absenteeism, schools and districts are looking to implement intervention programs like bullying reporting and other prevention programs. They also want to include additional training to help teachers recognize and intervene on some of the non-academic barriers to success such as homelessness, mental health concerns, and abuse. These programs would also include additional student support groups to allow the pupils to find the support of their peers.