Unlocking Potential (Part 3): The Importance of Consistent Structures for Twice-Exceptional Students
Last week, I explored how consistency provides a safe and predictable environment for twice-exceptional learners that reduces anxiety, supports executive function, and emphasizes their strengths. This consistency helps to foster a growth mindset in students by instilling a belief in their ability to improve through effort. This approach also addresses students' emotional well-being by building a supportive community, providing access to resources, and celebrating their achievements. This week, we will explore the impact of consistent structures of the development of a sense of positive well-being for students.
Fostering emotional well-being for students
One of the remarkable aspects of consistent structures is their ability to support not just the academic needs, but also the emotional well-being of 2e students. Many of our students, especially before arriving at The Lang School, struggled with self-esteem issues, frustration, and feelings of isolation due to their unique blend of talents and challenges. Even at Lang, students are not exempt fro these feelings.
Consistency at The Lang School and in schools in general can help to address the emotional needs of students in in several ways:
Building a Supportive Community: Consistent routines can foster a sense of belonging among 2e students. When they know what to expect from their teachers and peers, they are more likely to feel accepted and valued. At Lang, students have a number of trusted adults they can rely on for support when challenges arise. Their classroom teachers and advisors play a key role in knowing each student very well and providing guidance to families and other staff on strategic supports that may be helpful in any given situation. Students also discover a community of peers who while they may reflect different areas of strength and challenge "get" them. This empathy is crucial in helping students to build connections with their peers and the adults who support them.
Providing Predictable Resources: Lang students have consistent access to resources such as tailored accomodations in the classroom, occupational and speech language therapists, learning specialists, executive functioning coaching, counseling, tutoring, and assistive technology. This ensures that they each have the support they need when they need it. Additionally, because many of these resources are integrated and embedded in the classroom, students are more easily able to access them.
Celebrating Achievements: Consistency allows for the regular recognition of achievements, both big and small and emerges from our mission-aligned strengths-based approach. Our focus on the cultivation of promise and potential results in positive authentic reinforcement that boosts self-esteem and motivation and is grounded in the actual work and progress of students. Lang staff are consistently seeking opportunities for praise and encouragement throughout the day and ensuring our students are seeing the progress they are making over time.
As educators and parents, it's our responsibility to advocate for and implement these consistent structures. By doing so, we can unlock the vast potential of twice-exceptional students and empower them to thrive academically, emotionally, and socially. In the end, it's not just these students who benefit; it's society as a whole that gains from their unique perspectives and contributions.