Wellness for Children Initiative
TREND 1: Teachers Leaving the WorkForce
More than 75% of teachers have reported frequent job-related stress, compared to 40% of other working adults and 27% of teachers reported symptoms of depression, compared to 10% of other adults. We have moved from 1 in 6 teachers thinking of leaving the profession prior to COVID to 1 in 4. For Black teachers, that statistic is 1 of 2.
Source: Steiner, Elizabeth D. and Ashley Woo. Job-Related Stress Threatens the Teacher Supply: Key Findings from the 2021 State of the U.S. Teacher Survey, Santa Monica, Calif.: RAND Corporation, RR-A1108-1, 2021. Available at: As of December 14, 2021: https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RRA1108-1.html
TREND 2: Mindfulness Programming in Schools
The practice of mindfulness involves being aware of, and accepting, both the external world and our internal experiences. By teaching mindfulness in the classroom, you can help improve students’ response to stress and reduce their overall stress levels. This can make it useful for social-emotional and mindset skill lessons, as well as for helping students who are feeling overwhelmed. Teachers reported a 14% increase in students’ positive behaviors after the program and an 18% decrease in students’ problem behaviors.
TREND 3: Personalized Learning
Over the past few years, the buzz around personalized learning has been on the rise. Why keep an eye on personalized learning? When a school curriculum is adaptive to a student’s unique needs, it’s more likely to promote student progress because each child can move at their own pace. Plus, adaptive software programs allow teachers to use the same program for all students in their classroom—including those with learning disabilities.
Source: Pane, J.F., Steiner, E.D., Baird, M.D., et al. How Does Personalized Learning Affect Student Achievement? Available at: rand.org: https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_briefs/RB9994.html
TREND 4: Trauma-Informed Practices
Trauma-informed practices refer to any intervention designed to respond to the unique needs of children who have experienced trauma. Because more than half of all children will experience a traumatic event before adulthood, it is essential to conduct training and implement strategies that support these children. Teachers and students have all experienced the traumatic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has raised this trend to even higher levels of discussion than before.
Source: Copeland, W.E., Keeler, G., Angold, A., & Costello, E.J. Traumatic events and posttraumatic stress in childhood. Archives of General Psychiatry, 2007, 64(5), pp. 577-584. Available at: Traumatic Events and Posttraumatic Stress in Childhood | Anxiety Disorders | JAMA Psychiatry | JAMA Network
TREND 5: Bite-Sized Learning
Bite-sized learning teaches children specific academic skills with brief, focused activities. It “takes into account the contemporary demands of learner lifestyles that might hinder longer periods of focused study and time spent in the classroom.” In other words, it allows students to learn real skills that build on each other in convenient, shorter bursts over time instead of all at once in long classroom lessons or lectures.
When classes are taught primarily (or even partially) online, bite-sized learning activities may be especially useful. Strategically using brief activities to teach new skills allows teachers to consider a student’s capacity for long and focused lessons from home. Or, if students are learning in the classroom, this technique can be useful for making the most of time spent in class.
Source: Blue, J. Little and often: bite-sized learning. Cambridge World of Better Learning. April 26, 2018. Available at: https://www.cambridge.org/elt/blog/2018/04/26/bite-sized-learning/