April 16, 2024

8 Strategies to Foster Connection + Belonging in School

2 min read

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This white paper will include the demonstrated beneficial wellness outcomes of connectedness, the importance of social identity for one’s effectively-currently being, how social media use impacts relationship and how intentional connection can lead to happier university communities.

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Source website link The need for fostering connection and belonging in school environments has never been greater. A sense of connection and belonging, or school connectedness, has been linked to increased academic achievement, mental and physical health, and positive relationships both inside and outside of school. Here are 8 strategies to help create and maintain an inclusive school culture that supports belonging:

1. Address Diversity: Schools must be proactive in creating an environment of acceptance and celebrate the diversity that exists within the student body. Host regular discussions and activities that help children of all backgrounds understand and appreciate differences in culture, race, gender, language, lifestyle and identity.

2. Value Every Student: Make it clear that every student is valuable and that all contributions to the school community – no matter how small – are appreciated. When a student feels like their opinions and feelings are valued, it will foster a more positive and supportive school environment.

3. Promote Positive Behaviors: Take the time to recognize and reward positive behaviors such as kindness, respect, and helpfulness. Modeling these behaviors yourself and providing meaningful, consistent consequences for negative behaviors can help create an atmosphere of respect and acceptance.

4. Encourage Bonding: Create opportunities for students to form meaningful relationships with one another. This can include extracurricular activities, student clubs, or special events with team-building exercises.

5. Support Mentorship: Providing mentors in the form of teachers, alumni, or community volunteers can give students somebody to look up to and learn from. Establishing a mentor-mentee relationship can be a great way to help create a supportive school environment.

6. Foster Student Engagement: All students should have a chance to be actively engaged in the classroom or in school activities. Engaging in active discussions or problem-solving activities can help students better understand one another and become more inclusive in their interactions.

7. Provide Emotional Support: Establishing an environment of emotional safety is important to fostering connection and belonging in the school community. Provide emotional support to students in the form of counseling, supervised support groups, or simply being a friend they can talk to when needed.

8. Make Learning Relevant: When students feel like they are learning applicable skills and information, they are more likely to stay engaged with the material. Develop curricula that incorporates real-world education scenarios and ask students to discover how they can apply what they’re learning to everyday life.

These strategies can help create a safe and supportive environment in which all students feel like they belong and can thrive. Implementing these 8 strategies can not only create a more positive school experience but also help foster connection and belonging within the community.