5 ways technology can help you combat teacher burnout

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.…Read More

5 tips to retain your educators during school staff shortages

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.…Read More

Chicago teacher strike poses test for unions

If the Chicago Teachers Union loses its fight with the district, it could have ripple effects around the country. (Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/MCT)

The massive teacher strike in Chicago offers a high-profile test for the nation’s teacher unions, which have seen their political influence threatened as a growing education reform movement seeks to expand charter schools, get private companies involved with failing schools, and link teacher evaluations to student test scores.

The unions are taking a major stand on teacher evaluations, one of the key issues in the Chicago dispute. If they lose there, it could have ripple effects around the country.…Read More

School groups craft seven-part plan for improving teaching

Under the goals outlined, teachers would receive rigorous training before they enter the workforce and throughout their careers, and they would collaborate with administrators on issues such as career advancement, dismissal, and selection.

National, state, and district education leaders have convened at a conference this week focused on establishing better labor-management collaboration to ensure that teachers are respected, supported, and equipped to prepare students for the increasingly competitive global economy.

Held from May 23 to 24 in Cincinnati, the 2012 Labor-Management Conference continues the work of a first-of-its-kind national conference hosted in Denver last year. This year’s event, titled “Collaborating to Transform the Teaching Profession,” showcases successful examples of labor and management working together to strengthen the teaching profession.…Read More

After endorsing Obama, teachers union says yes to test-based evaluations

The nation’s largest teachers union may soon endorse a policy statement encouraging the use of standardized test scores in evaluating teacher performance in the classroom, reports Yahoo! News. This big shift comes on the heels of the National Education Association’s decision to endorse President Obama’s presidential campaign surprisingly early–and in spite of the union’s frequent head-butting with the White House over Obama’s reform-minded policies. The NEA’s leadership has long blasted education reformers’ laser-focus on test scores, and opposed any move by the Education Department to evaluate teachers in part on how much they improve their students’ performance on standardized tests. They have said that such “value-added” data is unreliable, which makes this new stance all the more remarkable…

Click here for the full story

…Read More

Teachers’ union shuns Obama aides at convention

For two years as a presidential candidate, Barack Obama addressed educators gathered for the summer conventions of the two national teachers’ unions, and last year both groups rolled out the welcome mat for Education Secretary Arne Duncan. But in a sign of the Obama administration’s strained relations with two of its most powerful political allies, no federal official was scheduled to speak at either convention this month, partly because union officials feared that administration speakers would face heckling, reports the New York Times. The National Education Association meeting opened in New Orleans July 3 to a drumbeat of heated rhetoric, with several speakers calling for Duncan’s resignation, hooting delegates voting for a resolution criticizing federal programs for “undermining public education,” and the union’s president summing up 18 months of Obama education policies by saying, “This is not the change I hoped for.” “Today our members face the most anti-educator, anti-union, anti-student environment I have ever experienced,” Dennis Van Roekel, president of the union, told thousands of members gathered at the convention center. Obama and Duncan have supported historic increases in school financing to stave off teacher layoffs, but they’ve also sought to shake up public education with support for charter schools, the dismissal of ineffective teachers as a way of turning around failing schools, and other policies. That agenda has spurred fast-paced changes, including adoption of new teacher evaluation systems in many states and school districts, often with the collaboration of teachers’ unions. But it has also angered many teachers, who say they are being blamed for all the problems in public schools…

Click here for the full story

…Read More

Are unions blocking school reform?

The issue of school reform has been heavily debated in recent months.
The issue of school reform has been heavily debated in recent months.

In a new film called Waiting for Superman, there is a scene in which hidden-camera video shows a teacher reading a newspaper and looking at his watch while his students fool around. Another scene shows slow-motion footage of teacher union leaders giving speeches opposing school reform.

Directed by the same filmmaker who made An Inconvenient Truth, the documentary could do for public education what the latter did for global warming, some observers say: Push the issue into the national consciousness as a dire problem in need of fixing.…Read More