At Meaning-Centered Leadership we understand that meaning has the power to transform our experiences. Teachers all across the country will begin online instruction in the coming days and weeks. They too can realize the impact of meaning on their instruction by using the 3 E’s framework. 

  1. Engagement: The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) provides an excellent framework to incorporate in lesson planning. They describe the need for having welcoming rituals. These rituals allow the teacher to create a space where trusting relationships can flourish. Next they suggest engaging pedagogy. Students need opportunities to co-create meaning through collaborative dialogue. CASEL also recommends a positive closure. The folks at Capturing Kids Hearts refer to this closure as the Launch. Whatever name you choose, if you provide an opportunity for your students to reflect on their learning, while providing a positive closure, you build opportunities for learning to take hold. 
  2. Empowerment: One of the attributes of Culturally Responsive Pedagogy, according to Sonia Nieto, Professor Emerita, Language, Literacy, and Culture University of Massachusetts, Amherst, is having a mindset that respects and honors students’ individuality as well as their cultures, experiences, and histories. When you include your students’ cultural experiences in your lessons you create a collaborative space for student empowerment. Empowerment is further deepened when students set goals for their learning and have voice and choice in the process. 
  3. Expertise: There are 3 slices to the online instructional pie: Learner-Learner, Learner-Content, and Learner-Expert. Engagement and empowerment will enrichen your opportunities to deliver deeply impactful learning experiences via learner-expert instruction. Unwavering positivity and an optimistic outlook are also needed. Bring that outlook to each and every online experience, and  you will deepen the impact of your expertise. Finally, invite your students to demonstrate their expertise on issues important to them. 

We all need to feel that our efforts are meaningful. When we do, we optimise our well-being and enhance our performance, two things we all need desperately during these trying times. Keep the 3 E’s in mind in your lesson design and online instruction to become a Meaning-Centered Teacher. 

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