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

New Gaggle White Paper Helps Districts Understand and Support Students Struggling With Mental Health

According to the NEA, at least 10 million students ages 13–18 were suffering from depression, anxiety, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or bipolar disorder before the crisis of the pandemic. Now, with the social isolation and increased stress caused by the novel coronavirus, schools and districts are facing even more extensive student mental health needs. To help educators understand and respond to this deepening crisis, Gaggle has published a new white paper titled “Addressing the Crisis in Student Mental Health: How Districts Can Identify and Support Struggling Students.”

The white paper reveals some of the research citing the rise of anxiety and depression among teens as well as causes of the “mental health tsunami” among teens and young adults. “There is real urgency for early treatment of mental health disorders,” said Gaggle CEO and founder, Jeff Patterson. “Suicide is now the second-leading cause of death among 10- to 19-year-olds in the United States. The Center for Suicide Prevention and Research reports that one in six teens has seriously considered suicide in the past year.”

To help teachers and administrators develop more comprehensive services to support students’ physical and mental health, the white paper shares solutions such as additional student services, more professional help, schoolwide interventions, social and emotional learning, and community-wide conversations. Additionally, the paper discusses how districts use Gaggle’s safety management solution as part of their physical and emotional safety initiatives. It shares four case studies highlighting different ways of accomplishing this goal. The white paper also mentions the new Gaggle Therapy service, which matches students who need mental health support with counselors licensed in their state for weekly teletherapy sessions.…Read More

NEA Learning and Leadership Grants

Learning & Leadership Grants support NEA members for one of the following two purposes: Grants to individuals fund participation in high-quality professional development experiences, such as summer institutes, conferences, or action research; and grants to groups fund collegial study, including study groups, action research, lesson plan development, or mentoring experiences for faculty or staff. Deadlines for applications are due February 1, June 1, and October 15 each year.
Deadline: June 1, 2017

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NEA Student Achievement Grants

The NEA Foundation gives NEA members grants to improve the academic achievement of students in U.S. public schools in any subject area(s). The proposed work should engage students in critical thinking and problem solving that deepen their knowledge of standards-based subject matter. The work should also improve students’ habits of inquiry, self-directed learning, and critical reflection. Deadlines for applications are due February 1, June 1, and October 15 each year.

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As more schools embrace tablets, do textbooks have a fighting chance?

Big news in the tech-ed world: The Los Angeles Unified School District—the second largest school district in the country—recently spent $30 million to deploy 35,000 iPads to students, NEA Today reports. It’s part of a multi-year commitment with Apple that will eventually equip all 640,000 students with iPads. Textbooks will be digitally delivered to iPads via an application from Pearson, a major publisher. America’s classrooms are undeniably going through a technological revolution and at risk of plunging deeper into an obsolescence quagmire are textbooks…

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