Back-to-school conversations usually revolve around the well-being of students. Of course, this is a legitimate concern. But school administrators must also pay more attention to the well-being of the teachers.
When the pandemic started in 2020, most teachers also had a difficult time adjusting to online learning. For example, it was a challenge for them to manage online classes and keep students engaged.
And now, teachers need to work harder to give students an enjoyable back-to-school experience. Teachers must fill the gaps in learning that students had in the past school year, which relied on online distance learning. They also have the additional responsibility of keeping students as safe as possible from COVID-19. These challenges can take a toll on teachers.
Importance of Teacher Well-being
The well-being of teachers strongly influences their behavior. For example, an educator who’s physically and mentally healthy will do a better job at guiding students at the intermediate level. It is a crucial level where students encounter several changes. Thus, teachers must be in the right headspace so that they can guide students through these changes effectively.
In addition, teacher stress negatively influences students. Stressed teachers are less likely to create a sound relationship with students, provide clear instructions, and manage classrooms properly. These problems can make students feel uncomfortable. They will also have a bad experience in school if they don’t like their teachers, which will affect these students’ academic performance.
Strategies to Promote Teacher Well-being
With the importance of teacher well-being, school administrators must put extra effort into promoting it using several strategies.
Foster a Collaborative Environment
School administrators need to give teachers opportunities to bond with each other. Doing so will help them improve their relationships. Teachers will be more comfortable with each other, which will then result in stronger teamwork and collaboration.
Both of these are important. Teachers must be able to help each other so that they can work more efficiently. If they help each other out, teachers can clear a lot of their tasks and reduce their workload, which is often a source of stress for them.
A collaborative environment can also be a source of comfort for teachers. Say a rookie teacher is having a hard time adjusting to their first job. This environment will allow the rookie teacher to feel welcomed, and asking others for help will be easier for them.
Provide Learning Opportunities
Teachers are lifelong learners. They need to stay updated on new trends and practices so that they can provide a better learning experience to their students. Thus, school administrators need to provide them with learning opportunities.
For example, administrators can conduct webinars on relevant topics, such as best practices in classroom management, developing curriculum, and so on. There should also be regular training programs that help educators sharpen their skills in other areas, such as technology, emotional intelligence, and so on.
These learning opportunities contribute to the teachers’ well-being since they help teachers improve on themselves and increase their self-confidence.
Give Teachers a Voice
Often, school decisions directly affect teachers since they’re the ones who interact with students. Thus, teachers should be allowed to express their concerns and opinions in the decision-making process.
For example, teachers should be able to join in creating new school policies during the pandemic. They’re the ones on the “battlefield,” so to speak. So their experience will be valuable in determining the best practices to ensure the safety of students in school.
This opportunity will help teachers feel included and empowered. Being part of decision-making helps teachers grow professionally and boost their self-esteem as well.
Recognize and Reward Teachers
Teachers do more than just “teach” in a classroom. They serve as guardians for their students and are responsible for their well-being while in school. That said, more often than not, teachers do more than what their job entails. They work extra hours to plan fun activities for their students, give additional guidance to struggling students so that they don’t lag, etc.
Thus, school administrators should recognize the hard work of teachers and reward them for it. This doesn’t have to be grand. A simple gesture of praising and thanking teachers during a meeting can influence their mood.
School administrators can also give teachers small tokens of appreciation, such as food or gift cards. Recognition and rewards can increase their morale and will keep teachers motivated.
School administrators benefit from promoting teacher well-being because physically and mentally healthy teachers can effectively perform their duties.
Meta title:How Administrators Can Promote Teacher Well-being
meta desc: Teachers play many roles in school. This can leave them exhausted and burned out, which also affects students. Thus, school administrators need to pay extra attention to helping teachers improve their well-being.