The ABCDE of Learner Needs Guidebook | Hooray for Monday

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August 7, 2023

By Aleta Margolis, Founder and President

Hooray for Monday is a weekly blog filled with questions, ideas, reflections, and actions we can all take to remodel the school experience for students.

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Have you ever noticed how, when you’re operating in panic mode and the world seems to be coming apart at the seams, you don’t make the best decisions? A quick scan of the back-to-school prognostications for the fall suggests that’s happening on a nationwide scale. At a time when a recent Gallup and Walton Family Foundation-State of American Youth Survey showed that “students [grades 5-12] are particularly negative about their schools’ performance on measures of student engagement and preparedness,” here are some of the things school districts are reportedly doing:

As Inspired Teachers and administrators well know, this is not how you address a lack of school connectedness. This is not how you make school a place students and teachers look forward to. We make bad decisions when we don’t have ready access to better ones. Instead of allowing panic to motivate us (or our students!), let’s take a pause and engage our expertise and good judgment, and focus on meeting students’ needs as we support them as learners.

Today I am delighted to announce the release of the ABCDE of Learner Needs Guidebook, a detailed, research-based, standards-based, treasure trove with specific guidance and concrete action steps for teachers, school leaders, parents, and all thoughtful adults who want to make sure the children in their care can thrive.

Whether you are an administrator, teacher, student, or caregiver, we all need Autonomy, Belonging, Competence, Developmental Appropriateness, Engagement, and Fun in order to learn and thrive. We CAN meet these needs in schools and we don’t need to go to extreme measures to do so. This Guidebook includes links to classroom activities, printable reflection and planning sheets, posters for your classroom walls, and a whole section designed to be shared with families. A special Early Childhood version will be released in a few weeks.

Hooray For Monday is an award-winning weekly publication by Center for Inspired Teaching, an independent nonprofit organization that invests in and supports teachers. Inspired Teaching provides transformative, improvisation-based professional learning for teachers that is 100% engaging – intellectually, emotionally, and physically. Our mission is to create radical change in the school experience – away from compliance and toward authentic engagement.

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