Right now, it seems hard to not see a story about teacher burnout during the 2021-2022 school year. Our nation’s teachers from public to private schools have had to shift, reimagine, give up planning time and sometimes take another class all while supporting their current students. They swim against the current often not complaining all to help our students succeed no matter the costs. This got me thinking about simple ways we can support our student’s teachers; not just the remainder of the school year but for the foreseeable future. I reached out to former colleagues and friends who are currently teaching and here are some of their thoughts:
- Reach Out – Talk with your child’s teachers. Teachers are overwhelmed right now reach out to them and see if there is anything you can do to help. Even with the new rules and protocols that have been put in place the past 22 months there is something that can be done to support them. For teachers knowing that parents support them will mean a lot in the long road.
- Communicate with your student – Have a real age-appropriate conversation with your student about everything is going on right now. They may be confused as to why they or their friends and teachers must stay home or why they may be doing school online again. Many teachers have expressed that their students especially the younger ones weren’t informed of the many ups and downs of this school year making it harder for them to understand what is happening.
- Be respectful – Remember often a rule or policy a teacher or staff member is enforcing is not one of their own. If you are confused about a new policy or rule direct your concerns with the administration. It may seem easier just to ask or let your frustrations out with your student’s teacher but many times they have found out about the new policy when you did. It is also important to remember to be respectful of teachers, staff and other children in the school who may be out for long periods of time right now. There are many reasons as to why they need that time off and we should support them in ensuring they come back happy and healthy when they are ready.
At the end of the day every teacher I spoke with had the same thought. Please remember we are all in this together and if we all work together, we will get through this time successfully.