More than ever before, the need for comprehensive teacher support is making itself apparent. While the above article only references the experiences of a few teachers in Houston, their stories ring true for many more. Teachers are being tasked with teaching to all student learning needs, connecting meaningfully with each student, creating lessons that are engaging and incorporate technology while grading work in a way that gives students the feedback they need for academic success. That is a tall order. Add to that the need to support students social emotional needs as well and you get why some simply decide to quit the profession altogether. Discussions about student supports abound in contemporary education circles. Teachers are being trained on strategies to support students who present trauma in the classroom. Teachers are being trained on strategies geared towards helping students to work well with others and process “big” emotions. Teachers however, are not being presented with those same supports.
If we want to stem the tide of teachers leaving the profession in five years or less we must think more critically about how to model for teachers the supports we want them to give to students. Teachers cannot be expected to take a human centered approach to teaching and learning if that same approach isn’t taken in their training.
- Begin with connection: Teachers are people too and doing a very difficult job.
2. Provide supports and keep providing them: Drive by pd does no one any good
3. Listen to feedback: The support and connection make no difference if teachers aren’t heard