When we first met Andrew Fuller, we ‘pitched’ the concept of Skodel Check-In. At the time, we were focused on what information we could give teachers to help them improve the wellbeing of their students. Andrew believed in the work we were doing but said something that widened our perspective on how to approach wellbeing. And it has become a mantra for us at Skodel, guiding our product development:
‘To really improve wellbeing, it must be everyone’s business’
Today, we are making a big leap towards this with the launch of Skodel Wellbeing Planner. Built in partnership with Andrew, Skodel’s planner helps students create and work through their own personal plan towards improved wellbeing.
Empowering students to own their wellbeing
We know that when students direct their own path, they build self-efficacy, confidence and resilience. Creating a personal plan is a great way to do this but it can be challenging to make a start or stick at it. It can feel like the ‘reward’ is not tangible or powerful enough.
To help students make a start we mapped out 9 evidence based areas to select from. This means they aren’t starting with a blank piece of paper, they see areas of their life that resonate with them to improve. It kickstarts the thinking process.
It’s then about knowing how to create an effective goal that motivates you. Doing this well puts a reward in front of us and kicks in the dopamine. Scouring the internet, you might see goals like ‘eat healthy’ and ‘sleep 8 hours’, which are fine but many of us are aware of these, so they don’t always ignite a great deal of enthusiasm. The aim with goals is to create a small shift in behaviour or way of thinking that will lead to a noticeable change in our life. Our goal suggestions will help students do this. Check out our list of non generic goals for some insight into this.
Feeling a sense of meaningful progress is important for motivation. It starts with creating a plan that connects effective goals to a meaningful purpose but to keep it going, it’s important to track this. However, if it feels like work or you will either ‘succeed’ or ‘fail’ it can become demotivating. For this reason, students track their progress by inputting their satisfaction with how they feel they are going with their goal. This promotes honest self reflection and enables students to create a broader range of goals.
To amplify this, Skodel’s badges will help everyone build momentum on their journey to better wellbeing. Streaks are about tracking your progress, whether you’re super happy with it, just okay or it’s fallen by the wayside a little. You now have a plan and you’re working towards it, and that should be encouraged.
Insights for schools to support students along the way
With students taking the lead to improve their own wellbeing, Skodel’s insights help your school community support each student on this journey. When designing the insights and resources, we looked at how these would fit into the school dynamics so that wellbeing could really become part of your school culture in a sustainable and practical way. And this came down to three main parts:
- Coaching conversations between teachers and students
- Deciding on policy and allocation of resources
- Reporting to the wider community on the state of wellbeing
Many schools are using coaching conversations to build student agency and wellbeing. Empowering teachers to support students through conversations, rather than content creation and delivery helps make wellbeing more sustainable. As a teacher, you can get class level and student level insights that inform these conversations. You’ll see the areas your students are working on and how they are tracking.
Allocating resources and reporting to the wider community
For senior leaders, you can view insights across your entire school as well as each cohort. Some of the key insights include:
- What percentage of your school is on a personalised wellbeing plan
- A breakdown of the number of goals and students in each area
- Number of goals tracked
This helps leadership teams allocate resources to the areas of wellbeing that will have the greatest impact. Insights can also be used to support presentations to the wider community, which is a great way to make sure wellbeing is everyone’s business. Whether it be to parents, the education community or others, these insights can help senior leaders report on the state of wellbeing.
Helpful resources to get started
Getting started is quick and easy. For existing Skodel clients, your students can access their wellbeing plan from their dashboard.
We are always looking to improve and your feedback is valued. Let us know what you think by suggesting a feature or providing feedback.