As a teacher, creating a space where students feel their voice is valued and heard is essential for student wellbeing and engagement. Whole-class conversations are a perfect opportunity to cultivate a connected and healthy classroom learning environment.
When talking with the class, focus on general trends. For example, you might say, “I’ve noticed that our check in scores have improved considerably over the last couple weeks.” Ask open-ended questions like, “Why do you think that our check in scores have been low as we approach a big test?” Helping students see that they aren’t the only ones who are struggling creates a sense of connection and belonging and encourages empathy. Creating this positive and supportive learning community contributes to the overall wellbeing of students.
Student to Teacher one-on-one Conversations
As a teacher, you are most likely in a “leader role” on your check in wheels. This means the results will show your students grouped into three categories: not good, good, and great.
Invite students to have open conversations with you about how they are going. You might say something like, “I noticed that you had a low check in score. Is there anything you’d like to talk about?” You might choose to use the comment feature in iyarn to leave a comment for a student that simply says, “Let me know if you’d like to talk about how you’re travelling sometime.”
Use check in results to connect with students from every category. You might say, “I noticed you had a really high check in today. Did you have a good weekend?”
Students might also leave comments on their check ins, which is a great way to start conversations with them. For example, one student said,
“Little bit stressed from exams coming up, and just coming back to swimming after all the covid lockdowns touching base on where I’m stressing has helped.” -Year 12 Student
The insights you gain from iyarn will help you know how to approach your students individually and help you connect with them on a more meaningful level.
iyarn can also encourage positive peer interactions in your classroom. While you never want students to feel pressured to share anything they are uncomfortable with, simply having students reflect more on their wellbeing and speaking more openly about how they’re travelling will help students learn to speak with peers about it as well. Thornlie Senior High School has been using the iyarn tool for a number of years across year 7 – 12 students. After years of completing weekly homeroom check ins, one year 10 student said,
“iyarn has enabled me and my friends to talk to each other about our mental health and how we are feeling. It allows us to understand each other and help out where we can.”
iyarn is a platform that’s made to increase connection. Using check in data to have meaningful conversations is what it’s all about.