The past two years of pandemic-related stresses and uncertainty have left educators exhausted, even as school districts are returning to a sense of normalcy. A recent National Education Association (NEA) survey found that teachers are burned out, with 67 percent of members reporting it as a very serious issue and 90 percent a very serious or somewhat serious issue.
A majority of schools are completely open for in-person learning, but pandemic-related educator and school staff absences, coupled with continued teacher turnover, are resulting in school staff shortages. In fact, 74 percent of the NEA study respondents reported that they have had to fill in for colleagues or take on other duties at their school or in their district due to school staff shortages.
This is the first time in my career that I have faced the daily struggle to fill school staff shortages caused by teacher turnover or by employees who are sick or quarantining. As school leaders, it is crucial that we work together to lessen the educator turnover issue to help mitigate staff shortages.
Here are a few recommendations that I have used and found beneficial at my high school.
Shield Teachers from Unnecessary Information
Educators are already overwhelmed with everything that is on their plate, and it is the administration’s job to not overburden them further. To lower stress, filter out everything apart from what is most pressing or necessary to share with teachers, which will help them better manage the information.
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