Teachers are balancing a lot every day, and that pressure has increased since the start of the pandemic. According to the National Education Association, 55 percent of the teachers in a recent poll said they “will leave teaching sooner than they had originally planned” and 90 percent of members who responded said “feeling burned out is a serious problem.”
Finding ways to ease the stress experienced by teachers and prevent teacher burnout is critical to teacher morale and ultimately, student outcomes. While no one area alone can prevent teacher burnout, tools that are designed with teachers’ needs in mind can play a big role in supporting teachers and making their jobs less stressful.
This is where technology – and specifically the right technology – can make a huge difference in lessening workload, promoting more productive communication, and boosting morale. Choosing the right technology tools can help give teachers more time and support for doing what they love – teaching and impacting students.
When choosing technology for a district, it’s important to consider tools that will:
1. Lessen administrative workload: Using tools that consolidate student data and provide a user-friendly experience will lessen teachers’ administrative workload. From communicating with parents to collecting fees and consent for a field trip, new technology platforms can automate and streamline many administrative tasks that fall on teachers’ desks.
2. Protect privacy of personal contact information: Modern communication platforms enable communication with parents and colleagues via call, text, or email without having to reveal teachers’ personal contact information. These platforms also maintain a record of communications. This prevents encroachment on teachers’ personal time and space and remediates compliance issues.
3. Create a culture of collaboration and growth: At a time when teachers and kids need more support than ever before, it is important that educators have the tools to support their own growth in the profession. Investing in professional development and technology that supports teacher–leader and teacher-teacher relationships can strengthen the school culture and result in greater teacher satisfaction.
4. Remove communication barriers: Teacher communication tools with automated record keeping enable relationships to grow and parent engagement to increase. Using communication platforms that offer translation and multiple modes of communication for families with different levels of access to technology can help teachers engage students’ families. Make sure teachers have access to a system that will help them reach families through different methods (email, text, video, or phone) all in one place with digital record keeping. Having teachers manually keep track of contact information or keep time-consuming manual call logs puts unnecessary burdens on teachers for school-home communication.
5. Help with addressing student behavior issues: Allowing teachers to communicate about any concerns through quick, easy-to-use tools can help. Communication tools that make it easy for the teachers to access and share student data with students’ families and administrators can help facilitate productive and collaborative discussions on specific concerns and ideas to address them, and can help ease the burden of addressing ongoing behavioral issues for teachers.
Between teaching in the classroom, mitigating lost instructional time, preparing for benchmark and state exams, and engaging with families, the past two years have been more stressful than ever for teachers. Great teachers change lives, and when schools lose great teachers due to teacher burnout, countless students miss out on their impact. Implementing strategies for creating a collaborative and supportive environment for teachers is more critical than ever.
Technology, in conjunction with traditional forms of support, can play a vital role in these strategies. Adopting tools that support teachers in their work while lessening administrative workload can help support valuable teachers and ultimately, improve student outcomes.
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