• Tackling Tough Social Media Conversations: 3 Common Issues and How To Address Them

    Young student using cell phone device discreetly while teacher is presenting

    Social media and the mobile devices used to access those apps have a pervasive pull on adolescents and teens, even when they’re supposed to be studying or socializing “IRL” at school. As a result, educators may be the first to notice social media- and device-related issues that need to be addressed with caregivers. Those can be tough conversations — it’s easy to feel as though addressing a student’s social media and device use could feel out of bounds.

    However, when a situation is affecting students’ physical or mental wellness, it becomes vital for an empathetic educator to start a dialogue with their family. In any conversation, take care to open by expressing concern (rather than blame or criticism), underscore the reasons social media can be beneficial to youth and emphasize your desire to work on solutions together. Listening is critical.

    Here are three potentially sticky situations involving social media and devices for which you might want to initiate this dialogue, along with ideas for how to frame the conversation.

    Note: Schools and districts likely have their own policies for how to handle student issues involving social media and devices. We intend for these examples to provide additional best practices to validate or enhance your own approach.

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  • Are You Empowering Your Educators? 4 Ways to Make a Difference

    by Natalie Barnard, Educational Diagnostician and Assessment Consultant at Pearson

    Smiling teacher assisting young student

    Educators always remember those leaders who made a difference — those who encouraged, motivated and appreciated them. Before I joined Pearson as an assessment consultant, I spent 17 years in public education, and I know I remember those stellar leaders.

    One of my favorite principals knew we would all perform better when we recognized we had a voice, so he made sure we did. He assembled a leadership team to provide input, but he didn’t stop there: He also asked each of us to seek input from our departments to gain more robust insight. It was a concrete way for him to demonstrate that everyone’s opinion was sought-after and valid. He also had an open-door policy, literally, where he would welcome any of us into his office for a conversation.

    As we all know, administrators deal with some rough stuff, but he never let that infiltrate his demeanor with staff — or students and families. He was always positive and always welcoming. To me, he was the epitome of the type of leader I think most educators strive to be.

    How do you get there?

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  • Clinical trial considerations: All scores are not created equal

    genetic engineer working with analysis dna software on laptop in the genetic laboratory

    Dr. Lynsey Psimas, Ph.D and Dr. Paul Williams PsyD attended CNS Summit 2023 and were fortunate to have the opportunity to present their poster, Precision Matters: An Analysis on How Various Scores Behave When Measuring Change Over Time; Factors That Inform Score Selection for the Best Results”.

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  • Is It Time for a Rebranding of SEL to “Life Skills?”

    by Tyler Vassar, EdS, Licensed Specialist in School Psychology and Pearson Assessments Consultant

    Group of children smiling

    Over the past few years, we’ve seen the concept of social-emotional learning (SEL) become a political hot potato. Schools and districts caught up in that conflict are missing an opportunity to help students build critical skills. After all, nine in 10 public schools say the pandemic negatively affected students’ behavioral and socioemotional development, according to U.S. Department of Education data.

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  • There's no 'I' in team: How to work with parents to support students with ADHD

    by Kathleen Woodward, Nationally Certified School Psychologist and Senior Assessment Consultant for Pearson

    Teacher helping students with class work

    Ask most educators about recent changes they’ve seen in the classroom, and one that is sure to come up is an increase in disruptive behavior, the type commonly attributed to ADHD. Yet a key challenge educators currently face is how to determine whether a student has ADHD or if they are behaviorally appearing as such for reasons that may be related to other issues, such as those tied to the lingering effects of the school closures and routine disruption caused by the pandemic.

    That’s where conversations with caregivers should take center stage. After all, they might just think their child is acting out and be unaware of how to help them. When educators and caregivers align around strategies and work collaboratively, they can help a student successfully navigate the ADHD-related challenges they may be facing at home and at school.

    Here are some actionable strategies you can implement to help students operate more successfully in both the school and home environments.

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  • Conquering the dragon: Seven tips for taming the “Sunday Scaries”

    Woman gazing out of a window

    No matter how long they’ve been in the K–12 space, many a professional gets a dose of anxiety on Sundays. Do you spend the day worrying that you’re not truly ready for the week? Maybe you’ve got emails, intervention plans, and IEP reports hanging over your head. Perhaps it’s the fear of the unknown that really sends you into a tailspin. Whatever it is that has you sweating over Monday morning, these tips can help you tame the “Sunday Scaries”!

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  • A step-by-step guide to building bridges with parents

    A smiling adult assisting a smiling child with school work

    You don’t have to look far to find an article detailing the state of student achievement these days. Math and reading scores are down from where they were pre-pandemic and educators and parents alike are scrambling to find ways to close the gap. Unfortunately, academic scores aren’t the only concern in need of attention; an extraordinary percentage of our students are facing mental health challenges — many of them dire.

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