As concern around the mass exodus of teachers leaving schools or leaving teaching altogether remains top of mind for many education leaders, some school districts and systems are still having a hard time filling positions vacated by disenchanted teachers who are frustrated with a lack of resources and/or support from their school leadership.
This troubling trend is cause for confusion and worry among students, their parents and the community at large because, without teachers, opportunities for children to receive quality education diminish greatly. And if children miss out on quality education, they can become frustrated, discouraged, and ultimately lose interest in school.
Fortunately, the news isn’t all bad. In fact, there’s a lot of great work happening to welcome, train and retain teachers. One of our clients, BRICK Education Network, is fully staffed with committed and passionate educators who are relentless in their focus on educating students and making sure they have the best possible learning experience.
BRICK’s commitment to ensuring their teachers have the support and resources needed to provide a quality education is a bright light in what appears to be a troubled time for education in America. In working with BRICK, SMJ can see firsthand the commitment it takes to not only teach, but to also lead. BRICK leadership is willing to take risks and be innovative in not just making the school experience and environment a healthy one for students, but for going the extra mile to ensure that teachers and educators have positive experiences as well.
To help school leaders and administrators join BRICK in teacher retention success, here are some tips to help keep teachers in your classrooms.
- Show teachers they are wanted.
If a teacher feels they have no line of communication or support from their administration, that makes the decision to leave the school and the profession easier. Have conversations with all teachers – veterans and newcomers alike – and express that you want and need them to stay for the benefit of the students and the community as a whole. Research shows that 75 percent of teachers who are asked to stay often do, so a simple conversation around that works wonders.
- Work together as a team.
Teachers are often forced to be creative in how they complete their mission of providing a quality education for their students and that includes working together on various projects, lesson plans and more. Administrators and leaders must also be creative in relieving the pressure from their teachers by creating a plan and a culture and defined roles that will ensure a uniform classroom environment.
- Input is key.
Principals, school administrators and leaders should often ask for feedback and input from their teachers in written form about what can be improved within the school and how they can be best supported. This helps teachers feel valued and empowered to speak up about areas of concern and gives administrators a better understanding of what their teachers are dealing with and how to help with those issues.
- Reward your teachers.
As students are often rewarded and acknowledged for great work and behavior, it helps to reward teachers for the great work they do in molding and shaping the leaders and professionals of tomorrow. Acknowledging the work of your teachers is a confidence and self-esteem booster that will serve as motivation to continue the work, as well as improve staff morale. That creates a domino effect: if the teachers are happy to be there, it reaches the students and the students in turn are happy to be in school also.
At SMJ Communications, we provide services to school systems and districts to help improve and shine a light on the great work being done to educate the future leaders and professionals of tomorrow. For more information on what we do and how we can work together, please visit SMJComms.com.