This post was originally published on Eric Sheninger's blog, A Principal's Reflections.
The pandemic has really put a strain on educators, yet they continue to rise to the occasion on behalf of kids. This has come at a cost mentally, socially, and physically.
Something has to give. There has been a great deal of conversation lately about what can be taken off the plates of teachers. I have to commend those administrators who are working to find ways to put their staff more at ease in these challenging times. While removing specific responsibilities to reduce stress and anxiety is a great start, we must also consider what we can give them to provide multifaceted support.
Give-and-Take Ideas to Support Teachers
Giving can be just as, if not more, powerful than taking away, which is typically the more straightforward option. Below are some ideas I have. Some are more doable than others, but all are realistic.
1. Understand the Value of Time
If there's one thing that teachers consistently ask for, it is time to plan, create videos, grade, conference with remote students, update their learning management system, and so on. I don't want to belabor this point, as I recently wrote about the topic. The main takeaway with time, though, is to develop ways to give it unconditionally to teachers and not schedule or mandate anything else in its place, such as meetings or professional learning communities.
2. Eliminate or Shorten Meetings
Let's be honest for a minute. No one truly likes meetings, and the value of them is open to interpretation. I, for one, didn't find value in them when I was a principal and eliminated most while shortening the ones I kept. Now, I'm not saying all meetings don't have value, but while the pandemic rages on, minutes and essential information can be emailed to staff or added to a collaborative Google Doc instead.
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