We get to see lots of the posts young people create on their Kloodle profiles and it is, hands down, the best part of the job. It’s a daily reminder that each young person has limitless potential, creativity, and personality. Watching them explore aspects of their character and skill development is a privilege, and one that offers some unique and quirky insights.
What have we noticed this half term? Here’s a round-up…..
Young people value kindness
We see lots and lots of posts about acts of kindness that have occurred throughout the week. From buying a drink for a friend who has forgotten their dinner money, to having lengthy phone conversations with a friend whose relative had passed away, young people value kindness.
Which, in a world that seems more vitriolic with every passing day, is heartening!
There are some learners who are thinking about you, class teacher
A non-trivial number of people have posted about their thoughts whilst sat in a chaotic lesson. The format is something along the lines of “everyone was misbehaving today in Maths / English / Music / PE etc…..I saw the teacher was having a hard time, so I tried to sit as quietly as I could / tell my friends to be quiet.
Whilst it can feel the class is against you, Mr or Mrs Teacher, when misbehaviour is rife, there will be some of your students who are thinking about you. When you see that one student sat there, quietly going about their work amongst the surrounding maelstrom, they might be doing so out of empathy for you. And that’s good to know.
Confidence is amongst the most tagged skills
Lots of students are tagging “confidence” in their posts, highlighting examples such as speaking in front of the class, to sporting performances, to standing up to a bully.
Often, the most tagged skills reflect the level of understanding and awareness of that skill across a population. The fact confidence is appearing so regularly suggests that awareness and perceived importance is high. Displaying confidence feels like it is highly important to students.
Is this awareness created from the surrounding culture? Confident people re more likeable and successful, therefore I must be confident? If so, it might be an area for development to demonstrate counter traits and their potential positive effects. For example, cautiousness might be warranted in certain situations, as would the ability to bite your tongue. Exploring situations where confidence could be detrimental seems like a worthwhile discussion to have.
Self criticism is highly cited as a weakness
Lots of learners have posted about being highly self-critical and hard on themselves. Exploring perceived weaknesses is something we encourage young people to do on their profiles, and we have noticed a lot of young people posting about how hard they are on themselves.
The data we have isn’t structured enough to infer reasons as to why this is, but at a guess and through reading what has been written, a lot of this sentiment seems driven by a desire to “succeed”, either academically or at other pursuits the young person undertakes.
We live in a comparison culture, forever exposed to the “highlights reel” of other people via our social media feeds. This creates a feeling that you must constantly be achieving. It’s worth hammering home to our students that life is hard and has its downs as well as ups. Life, results, outcomes and occurrences will never be perfect. Happiness and contentment is derived through the range of these experiences. The best way to convey this message as a teacher, parent or adult is to share examples of your own shortcomings. There’s nothing more humanising than to expose your own failings, insecurities and weaknesses, especially if you can show kindness to yourself in the face of these apparent shortcomings.
The younger the better
We have also noticed the quality of posts is much higher the younger the learner. Our year 6s and 7s seem to create better posts than our year 11s, 12s and 13s! Who knows why this is. However, it is extremely interesting to see. We’re looking at monitoring whether the students who have started earlier maintain or increase quality as they progress through school…..watch this space!