Why Supporting the Whole Student Matters
The emotional and social dimensions of student health are vital for assessing the quality of the education and health of a school. It isn’t just that students’ emotional wellbeing directly correlates to learning outcomes; mental health also sits at the heart of prosocial behavior and good citizenship. Administrators who neglect to track, measure, or respond to student health concerns at all levels overlook important ways to serve their charges and improve the learning outcomes of their students.
The Imperative of Measuring Student Wellbeing
Every school has a moral responsibility to help its students whenever and however it can. Whether there are students suffering from physical, mental, or social dilemmas, schools can and should play a crucial role in helping students overcome their traumas and find healthy ways of moving forward.
Peer-reviewed evidence suggests that students exposed to trauma suffer decreased social competence and higher rates of peer rejection. Traumatic experiences also put students at increased risk for academic, social, and emotional problems that can stunt their learning and damage their long-term prospects.
The only way to provide effective help and guidance to such students is to understand their situations. While schools often rely on counseling services or faculty-student relationships to surface trauma reports, it can be difficult for suffering students to ask for help.
There is a better way. Using simple app technology, Educator Impact helps schools uncover student traumas and other issues by monitoring several dimensions of student wellbeing at once. The easy-to-use app, which accounts for sixty seconds of class time every week, allows students to signal for help when they need it.
By gathering honest feedback from students about their physical, mental, and social wellbeing, Educator Impact prepares schools to respond swiftly to student needs and help pupils reach their full potential.
Assessing the Physical Component
Physically healthy students have better learning outcomes. Students suffering from trauma at home often bring their problems into the classroom. Specifically, students who suffer from abuse or neglect at home often have trouble forming relationships with teachers, suffer from poor self-regulation, endure negative thinking, experience hypervigilance, and face executive function challenges, all of which present severe obstacles to learning.
While every teacher has seen the results of bad home lives, identifying problems that stem from home life issues is not always easy. Under the best of circumstances, students can mask their emotions or invent excuses to explain away behaviors that can point toward problems at home. While social distancing is keeping many pupils at home, it’s nearly impossible for even a meticulous teacher to catch subtle warning signs.
But it’s not just that physical abuse is hard to spot. It’s also hard to talk about, which is why it’s important to equip teachers and other faculty with the tools to have these conversations.
Educator Impact’s Pulse check-ins normalize the reporting process as part of a weekly routine, helping students to feel comfortable using the app as intended. Students only ask for help when they feel sad and/or safe enough and believe that someone will take their concerns seriously. Pulse check-ins move the needle in this regard.
Assessing the Mental Component
Because it carries an outsized impact on all social and learning outcomes, emotional wellbeing belongs at the core of school concerns. Students who experience poor mental health fare worse academically, socially, and societally. It’s a major red flag, and schools have the power to prevent many cases from metastasizing. Consistent questions voiced by authority figures have been shown to do wonders when it comes to students’ mental health.
Assessing the Social Component
When considering student outcomes, schools should not overlook the social aspect, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic is keeping so many students in various stages of isolation.
Stunted social development can damage student learning outcomes and lead to greater life hardships later in life. Learning how to build healthy, functional relationships with authority figures and peers is an essential component of success.
The Pulse app lets students ask for help from a specific teacher, helping them to foster and strengthen a healthy relationship with an authoritative and supportive figure that can serve as a model for future relationships.
Early Intervention: The Key to Effective Responses
When schools can identify and respond to needs quickly, students reap the benefits. Those whose physical, emotional, or social problems are dealt with in their inchoate phases experience less truancy, better learning outcomes, and fewer incidents of violence.
But students aren’t the only winners. Schools also benefit from early intervention by enjoying higher graduation rates and a healthier atmosphere and having a greater impact on the community. Educator Impact helps school leaders identify at-risk students and respond quickly, when schools have the most options to act and can do the most good.
Educator Impact is dedicated to helping students find easier ways to ask for help, giving teachers real-time insights on those students, and helping school leaders identify trends in school wellbeing and culture trends.