Happy Teacher Appreciation Day to every single educator. We at The Educator’s Room are incredibly grateful for how you show up for your students every single day. We believe that you are the experts in education and heroes in your communities. We do not take it for granted that you are doing the work to pour into the next generation.
As I was thinking about this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week, I reflected on the reality of where we are. Due to COVID-19, schools have transitioned to remote learning. Teachers are working harder than ever in order to meet the unrealistic demands of their districts. Although many teachers are parents, they are tasked with balancing caring for their own children as well as teaching their students. Administrators are still requiring meetings and paperwork. I’ve heard from various teachers about struggling even more with work-life balance. We’ve discussed how this transition has shined even more of a light on the lack of equity many students and even teachers face.
After resigning from the classroom just a few years ago, I am constantly thinking about the reality of teacher burnout and how it does not seem like things are improving. Teachers are demoralized and not being heard. When will things improve? This pandemic has been an interesting time because parents are able to see how truly valuable teachers are. They have been able to understand just a little of what teachers are responsible for on a daily basis. This brings up a critical question: when will the government, districts, and society as a whole truly recognize teachers?
What can districts, administrators, and society as a whole do to appreciate teachers on a regular basis? Click To Tweet
Guard teachers’ planning time as sacred: teachers wear many hats and are responsible for endless demands. They are instructional coordinators, data managers, babysitters, etc. We are responsible for meeting the needs of each student within our increasingly diverse classrooms. In order to effectively do this, we need our planning time. Unfortunately, this time is often the first to go. Because of this, teachers too often stay after hours or take work time, blurring the lines between work and home.
Prioritize mental health resources for teachers: Teacher burnout is real. There and physical and mental consequences as a result of the constant state of stress teachers are in. PTSD within the teacher community is a reality and more and more teachers are speaking out. Teachers are attending therapy because of the mental effects of the profession. It is essential that federal and state governments and school districts prioritize resources to enhance teacher mental health and wellness.
Trust teachers: They are the experts. They have earned the professional credentials to teach in the classroom. They know the needs of their students. They have poured over the data. Teachers should be the first to be invited to have a seat at the table when decisions are being made that impact the field of education. Teachers are the experts.
So, as we celebrate this year’s Teacher Appreciation Week, our hope is that teachers will truly be valued and celebrated regularly.
What else would you add to the list? How else can teachers be appreciated?
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