Besides Higher Pay, Here’s How Your District Can Support Teachers

teacher helping student with homework

A recent article in Forbes magazine has the headline “Stress Is Pushing Many Teachers Out Of The Profession.” Actually, the headline isn’t telling us anything we don’t already know.

The news about teachers opting out of their chosen careers has become mainstream. And the lasting effects of the Covid-19 pandemic have certainly been a driving force behind the current flow of teachers out of schools.

Written by former teacher Daphne Gomez, the article highlights why stress is a top reason teachers leave the profession.

One reason, as Gomez points out, is this: “Teachers want to help all students achieve, and the feeling of leaving any student behind is devastating. The pressure that they put on themselves to ensure that they serve all students can also contribute to the stress.”

As Gomez notes, districts across the country are well aware of the issues. Some are working to increase salaries in their efforts both to keep the teachers they have and attract new teachers.

According to a February 23 article in Chalkbeat, “both Republican and Democratic governors in roughly a dozen states” have spoken out in a call for higher salaries for teachers. The Chalkbeat article also notes that on this matter of increasing teacher salaries, we can see “widespread bipartisan support among voters.”

It’s good news for teachers and a move that is long overdue.

School districts should be careful, though, not to think of a salary increase as a fix-all. Increases in teacher salaries will not erase the stress that is a common denominator of their profession.

Teachers will continue to have stress related to behavioral challenges in the classroom, concerns about safety, increased responsibilities that they will have to fit into the regular school day, and limited time for personal care, including lunch and bathroom breaks.

Teacher stress has a significant impact on student outcomes. When teachers are stressed, they are less able to effectively teach their students. This can lead to poorer academic performance, lower test scores, and higher rates of absenteeism and truancy.

Additionally, stressed teachers are more likely to experience burnout, which can lead them to leave the profession altogether. This is a trend we have been seeing over the past few years.

Stress management

There are a number of strategies that school districts can implement to support teachers and help them manage stress.

One is to make sure teachers have adequate planning time. It’s important that teachers can actually use their allotted planning time for class prep, not for meetings or other duties.

Another solution is to provide teachers with professional development opportunities that focus on stress management and self-care.

A third solution is to provide support for teachers in a way that does not require any of a teacher’s time. For example, here at Skooli, we work with schools and districts to customize equitable academic support programs to support all students. This means students can receive unlimited 24/7 on-demand homework help and 24-hour assignment review, but your teachers do not have to fill this role too.

Supporting teachers with Skooli Unlimited

Learn more about how Skooli can help you support your teachers. They deserve it.

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