What else can we do to help our students be more successful? Are there different strategies that we can use to increase student motivation and excitement for learning? How can we foster the importance of our students taking more responsibility for their learning? These are only a few of the many questions that teachers and support staff working in District 54 ask on a regular basis.
Our staff constantly looks for ways to enhance their teaching and enrich the educational experiences that they provide. Just like any successful business, our staff monitors and evaluates progress and then determines what needs to be done to improve the bottom line, which in our case is student achievement. We are in the teaching and learning business and we all take this work very seriously.
Over the past several years, we have strengthened the curriculum and updated the materials used in every subject. In addition, our staff continues to learn to utilize new teaching strategies and technology supports to enhance how they deliver the instructional program to their students.
Quantum Learning, a researched-based instructional approach to improving student learning, is gaining increased interest on the part of our staff. It has years of proven success and can easily be integrated into the existing strong educational program that District 54 offers. We have seen that Quantum Learning not only supports but enhances the district’s ongoing work with Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS), the implementation of the Professional Learning Community (PLC) framework, and our annual curriculum updates.
Currently, we have more than 200 staff members who have been trained in Quantum Learning. These teachers report that student engagement is at an all-time high, classroom behaviors have significantly improved, and students are more successful.
Due to this type of feedback, the gains in student achievement, and the popularity of the training by our staff, District 54 will be significantly expanding its effort to incorporate the Quantum Learning framework into our schools and classrooms over the next several years.
Quantum Learning is built upon the principles of the 8 Keys of Excellence. It is based upon the belief that all students can learn at high levels and that learning is most effective when it is engaging, challenging, and has real-world application.
The 8 Keys of Excellence include:
- Integrity – Being sincere and honest, and aligning actions with your values.
- Failure Leads to Success – Viewing mistakes as valuable information for learning how to grow and be more successful.
- Speaking with Good Purpose – Communicating in an honest, kind and positive manner.
- This is It! – Making the most of every moment by focusing your attention on the present moment and staying positive.
- Commitment – Making dreams happen by doing whatever it takes to reach your goal.
- Ownership – Taking responsibility for the actions and choices that you make and no longer blaming others.
- Flexibility – Being willing to do things differently when you find out what you are doing is not working to achieve a goal.
- Balance – Living the best life you possibly can by focusing on what is most meaningful and important to you.
The Quantum Learning framework provides our teachers with additional research-based teaching strategies that they can use to better engage, challenge, support and address the different and unique learning styles of their students. We are looking forward to the positive impact that Quantum Learning will have in helping us better prepare our students for success in high school and beyond.