2. Develop Community
Strong, positive relationships are the lifeblood of personalized learning experiences. Having strong connections between students, teachers, school leaders and the community creates a sense of engagement and belonging. When learners and educators feel engaged, they are more successful.
Create a rhythm of conferencing with learners to check in, with frequent and open communication.
Encourage frequent and multiple interactions with peers, teachers, leadership and community members.
Build teams of teachers who work together on cross-disciplinary projects and make decisions together.
Story from the Field
Steelcase Education researchers observed a site familiar in many schools that actively implement personalized learning experiences: a genuine emotional connection between students and teachers and their principal. Instead of functioning as a remote authority figure, the principal was engaged and interested in the school community. The principal crouched down to look at students eye-to-eye as they shared their feelings or answered a quick question about their classroom progress; teachers were stopped for a quick check in to evaluate classroom activity or determine whether the teacher needed additional support. A a result, we saw students proactively flock to and high-five the principal like a local celebrity. These frequent, friendly interactions underscored the shared understanding that relationships are essential to personalized learning experiences — and important contributors to creating a strong sense of community.
Launch Pad: Try these Personalized Learning activities today
Use Explicit Signage
Clearly stating school or classroom priorities, such as goals or valued character traits, reminds everyone of their sense of responsibility and accountability to others.
Create Supportive Spaces
Physical spaces should encourage teachers and students to connect one-on-one and develop productive relationships.
Engaging in and modeling ideal behavior is critical for students, teachers and school leaders.