Featured Insights Oct 21

What do students want? Connections!

To find out what students wanted, we turned to the people who knew best: the students themselves. Many students reported that they wished there was an opportunity for teachers to see them beyond academics. To be understood outside of how often they raised their hand or their latest test score. Some students said they wanted the chance for some hallway banter or to share a laugh. In other words, students wanted to be seen as people. It turned out that educators weren’t the only ones searching for ways to connect — students were also craving meaningful connections. That’s where Along steps in. With Along, students can interact with their teachers about more than academics with easy-to-use technology. 

Discover below what students had to say to the Along team about the difference a one-on-one connection can make.

“If you have that bond with your teacher, you’re able to open up to them, ask them questions, and it makes it a much better experience in general if you have that connection.” — Leilani, High School Student

More from Leilani:

Getting to know students as individuals

Many students are looking for opportunities to talk to their teachers about who they are and who they want to become. But they want to do it in a way that feels natural. Along allows students to respond to their teacher’s reflection questions with options like text, audio, or video right from their mobile phone. Educators meet students where they’re comfortable, using the technology that students rely on for expressing themselves. It shows students that an educator “gets it” and is there for them.

“You can communicate with someone on a surface level, but working on the communication on a deeper level and making meaningful connections is a really important skill to have. Along shows how your mentors and teachers are there for you, not just in high school but in life and life beyond school.” — Kenna, High School Student

Building trust with students

One of the best ways to develop a connection is as simple as an educator sharing personal stories. By sharing anecdotes about their own lives, educators give students insight into where they’re coming from and who they are. They’re trusting students to listen to them, which helps students do the same. With this foundation, students feel greater confidence that they have someone on their side on their academic journey…and beyond. 

“Having a relationship with my teacher makes a difference, even academically, because having that background of trust, I’m more comfortable going to them about my academics knowing they’ll support me in any way possible.” — Tia, High School Student 

More from Tia:

Students need time and space

Many students wished they had more wide-ranging conversations with their teachers, but packed classes and tight schedules didn’t leave much time. Along creates a secure channel for students to share what’s on their minds. Whether students express social frustrations or gush about what type of music they like — Along provides a space for relationship-building and new types of conversations, on their own time.

“The school setting can often feel performance-based and not relationship-based, so what I appreciate about Along is getting to have that emotional and relational connection with our teachers. Students now have a sense of belonging, because they’re able to have a personal connection with their teacher.” — Charity, High School Student

Not every student will be ready to open up right away. And that’s okay. Along is all about giving each student the opportunity and space to open up. There is no “right time.” That’s the beauty of it. Students can let go of the classroom pressure and start sharing when it feels right.

Along is an easier, more meaningful way to check in. Learn more about how it works and how it can impact the students in your life and at your school. 

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