April 7, 2021
Professional Learning SmartBrief
The practices and trends shaping educator growthSIGN UP ⋅   SHARE
In the Know
Educators share lessons learned during the pandemic
(Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)
Educators and school leaders in Everett Public Schools in Washington state -- among the first districts in the US to shift to remote instruction -- reflect on lessons learned from working during this health crisis. School leaders say the past year has highlighted the importance of designing lessons with clear and concise directions for students and providing professional learning and collaboration opportunities for teachers.
Full Story: Education Week (3/16) 
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Design and Practice
Student-Centered Teaching and Learning
N.D. teachers offer students tools to cope with emotions
(Unsplash)
Jeannette Myhre Elementary School in North Dakota is taking a proactive approach to support students' social and emotional needs. Third-grade teacher Alexandra Randall says students are learning to have more tools in their toolbox to cope with anxiety, depression and other emotions, including taking "belly breaths" as needed.
Full Story: KXMB-TV (Bismarck, N.D.) (3/10) 
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Leadership Focus
Experts urge different view of "learning loss"
(Pixabay)
The "summer slide" or pandemic-prompted "learning loss" are better reframed as lessons learned about lean teaching, collaboration, creativity and resilience, Rachael Gabriel, associate professor of literacy education at the University of Connecticut, asserts in one commentary. Meanwhile, Ron Berger, senior adviser at EL Education Research, writes that traditional remediation has a negative, harmful connotation for students, so it may be better to swap traditional grades for positive, growth-tracking assessments.
Full Story: The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (3/10),  The Atlantic (tiered subscription model) (3/20) 
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BetterLesson Recommends
Guide: Meeting Students Where They Are: Strategies that Increase Engagement
(Shutterstock/BetterLesson illustration)
Since the start of the pandemic, there has been a heightened focus on student engagement. Educators have grappled with how to keep students showing up, paying attention, and putting in a high level of work and enthusiasm, even as those students dealt with the profound trauma of a tumultuous year. Yet, we know that even before the pandemic, not all students were fully engaged and invested in school and that engagement will continue to be important beyond Covid. Read this guide that addresses 7 common student challenges and presents simple, effective strategies to address them in virtual, hybrid, and in-classroom settings. Get the Guide.
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As schools start to plan for next school year, student voice must be at the forefront of this conversation. Despite our longing to return to normalcy, we cannot simply go back to the way things were pre-pandemic. Our practices left behind too many of our students. Instead, we have a true opportunity to reimagine school for our students, with our students. Full Story: BetterLesson Blog (3/30)
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Let things taste of what they are.
Alice Waters,
chef, restaurateur, activist, writer
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About BetterLesson
BetterLesson partners with education communities to reimagine professional learning and elevate outcomes for all students. We work with educators and instructional leaders to design and implement high-impact strategies that encourage growth, risk-taking, and reflection so that they can, in turn, develop the next generation of resourceful, compassionate, and resilient learners ready to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world.
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