6 Ways to Care for Teachers Now!

As this year comes to a close, it’s a great time to leave a lasting impact on teachers. Let’s be honest – it’s been a heck of year. Many of them are tired, overwhelmed and not sure how they’re going to make it to the end of the year, much less start the next school year out in the right frame of mind.

So where do you start? What do your teachers really need from you?

We want to leave you with a few ideas that you can use now, and carry with you into next year.

  1. Authenticity – Don’t be afraid to address the issues floating around. Speak on the district’s stance on current issues that may be weighing on teachers, and then give teachers a way to voice their concerns on these topics – send an email, schedule a meeting, have a comment box, etc.
  2. Genuine encouragement and affirmation – general praise and the “You’ve Got This!” and “You’re awesome!” general statements can often times have the reverse effect on teachers. This is where that term “Toxic Positivity” became coined within the education realm. When teachers are showing up, being consistent, showing their students love and positivity, let them know you see it and appreciate it in genuine, authentic ways. Be specific!
  3. Time – Just as in the last couple of years, there are going to be a lot of adjustments that will need to be made as the year goes on. The best gift you can give your teachers is the gift of time. Do you need to have that staff meeting, or can you send an email? Does every teacher need to be on duty, or could they rotate? Could you get a few subs and give teachers half a day every 6 weeks to plan? Could you cover a teacher’s class to give her an extended planning period every now and then? I know it sounds crazy, but one of the biggest ways you can show you value your teachers is to give them time to plan in order to the deliver the best lessons possible.
  4. To be heard – I alluded to it in #1, but there are going to be issues and challenges that have popped up throughout the school year. So many of these are accompanied by emotions and fears and overwhelm. Give your teachers a platform to share those things, whether it’s directly to you, or in another way. And then acknowledge what they’ve shared, even if you can’t fix everything.
  5. Guidance prioritizing– Teachers have so much on their plate. Everything is handed to them like it is the most important thing they need to do. This can be very overwhelming. Help teachers prioritize what is being asked of them, both in what they need to do and what they need to teach, especially as the year is coming to a close.
  6. To feel apart of a tribe or team – Research shows that teachers stay where they feel like they belong, and this happens when they are close to their team and colleagues. Obviously, social gatherings were limited in the past few years, but many campuses have gotten out of the habit of having the teachers meet together. The more you can facilitate this tribal or family feel, the more content your teachers are going to feel. We can all do hard things when we feel like we’re not alone and we enjoy the people we are working with.

Your job is hard, and your leadership is crucial.

If you’d like a way to get some teacher feedback, here is a template for a google form. Make a copy of it and use it as a way to give your teachers a voice!

Teacher Care Survey

Thank you for loving kids! If you want to see how to partner with us, visit www.pressing-onward.org for your summer PD and teacher support for 2022-2023!

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