By Scott McHale
As teachers, time is our most precious commodity. Fighting the barriers that come with fitting in 14 subjects, as well as marking, assessing and planning, can sometimes leave us chasing our tails. That being said, we always try our best to find that time to check in with those that need us the most – our students. However, we can’t always give as much time to this aspect as we would like.
In my last blog, I spoke about how technology can be one of the greatest innovations within a classroom, looking at how, when used with a purpose, technology can greatly increase a student’s experience. This applies to learning within the classroom but can also directly relate to emotional intelligence and wellbeing. Imagine using technology to be able to check in with all children within your classroom in an instant each morning. Imagine making emotional wellbeing the focus to the start of each and every day.
Over the last two months, children within one year group have been using technology to do just this, and we’ve had some incredible results. Each morning, children in Year 5 have been coming in and logging onto YouHue, an online platform designed to support the emotional wellbeing of children within your class. Here they are able to communicate directly with their teachers each morning. It’s like the old lollipop stick in the jar or the smiley face on the zones of regulation, but private and more detailed. This information is then logged for the teacher to check. It also sends notifications should keywords be used in a child’s description directly to the linked adult’s email. This then allows incidents, worries or concerns to be picked up throughout the day.
‘It has allowed me to recognise who is coming in happy all the time and notice patterns such as children coming in tired. This has helped me facilitate conversations with parents and record appropriately.’ Year 5 teacher
It also supports those who feel less confident talking directly to an adult about issues, picking up concerns that may cause behaviours to trigger, before they become a bigger worry for the child.
‘It has mostly built this really beautiful culture where the children know we care. They know the first thing we want to do each day is to check in and see how they are. I truly think it’s a great tool that I will use in every class in the future.’ Year 5 teacher
The programme doesn’t just flag should there be an alarming key word, but also tracks emotions over time, both as a class and as individuals.
Overall, this is a tool that works with the school day to help support the wellbeing of our students, allowing the adults in school to target those in need more effectively and precisely.