Use These 4 Approaches to Help Your Students Succeed

As an educator, you likely spend a great deal of time thinking about student success. It’s difficult to feel successful as a teacher when your students struggle to learn, and you see the obstacles standing in their way.

While sound teaching methods, a quality curriculum, and appropriate technologies can contribute greatly to the success of your students, here are some approaches that go a little bit deeper into students’ personal development and motivations to help advance their learning.

1. Building on students’ character strengths.

Certain personal characteristics help students be more successful inside and outside of the classroom. Researchers have identified the following as characteristics related to student success.

  • Grit (perseverance)
  • Self-control
  • Optimism (hope)
  • Gratitude
  • Zest (enthusiasm)
  • Curiosity
  • Social intelligence

When you encourage and teach students to build upon these character strengths, you give them a strong foundation for success, now as students and in the future as workers, parents and spouses, friends, and more.

2. Developing a growth mindset.

Students who believe they are capable of growth in their learning are more likely to engage in actions that will foster that growth, like practice, using different learning strategies, and persistence. In turn, these actions will grow their intelligence and capabilities and build their confidence so that they can take on even more challenges.

This approach teaches students how the brain learns and praises the process rather than performance or the end result, which gives students confidence and encourages them to keep going in their academic pursuits.

3. Cultivating a sense of belonging.

Students who feel like they don’t belong or fit in at school are typically less successful than those with a sense of belonging. Students who feel this way may reject school and schoolwork. Teachers who can break through a student’s outsider mentality and convince them that they do belong in the school and the classroom will break down one of the strongest barriers to learning.

4. Fostering a sense of purpose.

Students who understand that the work they do in school will benefit them for the rest of their lives make more of an effort to do their best. Having a sense of purpose keeps students going when they start to feel discouraged, or the reasons for assignments don’t make sense to them.

All the cutting-edge teaching methods and technologies in the world will be ineffective if students don’t have a mindset that tells them they can learn, should learn, and will benefit by learning in your classroom. These approaches will go to the heart of the things that keep students from learning and solve many common learning problems at the source.

CCSU has three new upcoming courses that show teachers how to use these approaches to help their students to be more successful. Join our mailing list for updates on these and other continuing education courses.

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7 Things HR Professionals Need to Know about Employee Benefits

Employee benefits are an important part of employees’ compensation, and as such, they are subject to a number of requirements and regulations at the federal, state and local levels. Here are some of the most important things HR professionals should know about employee benefits.

1. 50 full-time equivalent employees is the threshold at which many regulations kick in.

The Affordable Care Act and many other regulations have designated 50 full-time equivalent employees as the number at which an employer is subject to them. Companies with fewer than 50 full-time employees or a combination of full time and part time employees that are equivalent to fewer than 50 full-time employees are not subject to as many regulations, although there may still be some.

2. Federal, state and local regulations all apply to businesses and can be different.

Following federal regulations is only one step in the process of compliance and can lead to costly fines or even your business being shut down for non-compliance. It’s important to understand all the regulations and laws your business is subject to if you want to avoid problems.

3. Employers should provide the best benefits they can afford for their employees.

Offering better-than-required benefits is good for your business in several ways: you will attract better quality talent, your employees will be happier working for you, and they will stay longer than they would at a job without good benefits.

4. Benefits are more than just health insurance.

While there are more laws and requirements regarding health insurance, benefits also include paid vacation time and leave, flexible work arrangements like telecommuting or a flexible schedule, bonuses, and more.

5. Health insurance is for more than just physical health.

New requirements such as the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act require mental health and addiction treatment benefits to be on par with medical benefits, so employers must be sure their chosen health insurance plan meets these requirements.

6. Not only must employers comply, but they must also report.

The federal, state and local oversight bodies won’t know you have complied with their mandates if you don’t report to them that you have done so. The paperwork may seem onerous, but it’s the only way to show that you are in compliance. Help is usually available for small business owners who don’t have experience filling out paperwork of that type.

7. HR training is available for businesses that need help figuring out employee benefits.

CCSU offers an HR Certificate Program: Benefits course that teaches HR staff about employee benefits, including how to use them effectively in recruiting, compliance with laws and requirements, and how to handle benefits vendors and brokers to get the best deal for your company.

The course helps HR staff earn certifications through the Society of Human Resources Management and include resources from other HR-related organizations as well. You can view open courses to see all the HR and other continuing education courses CCSU offers.