3 ways to address teacher burnout

A teacher’s job is to educate the young people who will shape our future world. What profession could be more important?

Yet a recent survey by Merrimack College shows that 44 percent of teachers indicate they are very likely or fairly likely to leave the profession within the next two years. Another 2022 survey by the National Education Association found that 90 percent of teachers think teacher burnout is a very serious or somewhat serious issue.

Teachers have faced many challenges before, but the last three years have presented a steady stream of challenges, from a global pandemic to heart-wrenching events happening around our world and close to home. In order to proactively prevent further teacher burnout and demonstrate that we value our nation’s teachers, this is the time to ensure we are surrounding teachers with support at all levels–from within the classroom to our greater communities.…Read More

SplashLearn Announces SpringBoard Math Challenge 2022 Winners

San Francisco, CA, 22 June 2022: SplashLearn, the game-based learning program used by millions of students, announced the winners of its massively popular annual competition – the SpringBoard Math Challenge. The 8th edition of the SpringBoard Math Challenge 2022 was rolled out for elementary classrooms across North America on March 1, 2022 (the competition ended on May 8, 2022). Over the duration of this 10-week math challenge, SpringBoard saw participation from over 400,000 students from 20,000+ classes!

Arpit Jain, CEO, SplashLearn, said “SpringBoard is over and I’m thrilled for all the winners. SplashLearn would like to congratulate each and every school, teacher, and student who participated in the competition. We are glad to be part of their journey as they collaborate and celebrate learning. The competition has motivated students to stay engaged and excited, which has always been our goal with everything we build at SplashLearn.”

SplashLearn announced Matthew Norris’ class from Sunset Park Elementary, North Carolina as the National Champions of SpringBoard Math Challenge 2022, US. The 1st runner-up was Lisa Machado’s class from Pacific Union School, California and the 2nd runner-up was Erin Noel’s class from Petersburg Elementary School, Illinois. Along with national winners, the top classes on the state leaderboards also won prizes. All the participating students will also receive a ‘Certificate of Participation’.…Read More

3 key steps when using VR in education

As new VR technologies emerge, educators at all levels are finding new applications to augment the classroom experience – and for good reason. VR allows educators to move past pages in a textbook to create totally immersive experiences that stimulate and inspire students.

Imagine a social studies teacher leading a discussion about the Taj Mahal, for example. While educators and students used to be bound to traditional experiences like books, handouts, or PowerPoint presentations–now they can use the power of VR to take virtual tours of the monument, walking from space to space and seeing every detail of the carved stone.

The applications for VR in education are truly endless and open up an entirely new way of learning–with lesson formats that can literally bring students back in time for history class or transport them to different galaxies for science.…Read More

6 ways administrators can address teacher burnout in their schools

The significant negative impact of the pandemic on educators is no secret. Teacher burnout is at an all-time high, self-care techniques are feeling futile, violence against teachers is on the rise and verbal abuse by parents is increasing. Fears about lost learning and teacher resignation continue to dominate the news.

During a recent meeting with a group of educators, I recalled the stress from the last two years accompanied by decades of pressure our systems have placed on an already weary profession. “Teachers need to give themselves some grace,” said Tamara Cervantes, a principal/director. “We are all under pressure to perform under all the administrative demands, and we underestimate our limitations. We forget we are human.”

Burnout is a buzzword that fails to carry the significance of the issue. We are great at raising the red flag, but solutions that help educators make significant changes are slow to come. Unfortunately, the pandemic compounded stress with the addition of compassion fatigue. While burnout occurs over time and is usually the result of work stressors like staff shortages or inadequate resources, compassion fatigue occurs when we exhaust our ability to empathize. The pandemic amplified these stressors and flipped the world upside down for educators. …Read More

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

How to build relationships with instructional coaches

Teaching at any level can often be a solitary occupation. Even with a classroom full of students, teachers often work in isolation from peers. Teachers rarely receive instruction on how to work with co-teachers or teacher assistants in their pre-service teacher education programs. Therefore, it is often difficult or awkward for teachers to ask for help or effectively collaborate with others. Instructors often don’t know how to accept help from the instructional coaches, even when they would like to.

Educational practice is shifting from isolating practice to collaborative efforts, and creating healthy and productive team dynamics is often a challenge. Instructional coaches can positively impact these relationships, but the trust must be in place for it to occur. Even in systems where working with a coach is expected, building those initial relationships can be challenging.

Instructional coaches, instructional designers, and even assigned co-teachers often struggle to establish working relationships with individual classroom teachers. Librarians regularly complain that they spend more time clearing jams from printers instead of assisting students with reference questions. However, clearing that paper jam can help the student see the librarian as a resource. In the same way, the instructional designer might start to build a relationship by helping an instructor properly format hanging indents for a research paper. One instructional coach started building a positive relationship by making copies for classroom teacher. Just like the proverbial salesman who had to get a foot in the door, sometimes the first step is a small one.…Read More

How the COVID-19 pandemic changed how I teach

Ed Smylie is my hero. You may not recognize the name, but you probably remember that scene in Apollo 13 when, upon discovering the spacecraft’s lethally rising CO2 levels and the dilemma of mismatched equipment, flight director Gene Kranz commands his team to “invent a way to put a square peg into a round hole. Rapidly.” Engineer Ed Smylie led the way in an all-night race to do just that. Using nothing but the materials on hand, his quick thinking and adaptability saved the astronauts’ lives.

Spring 2020 required teachers to become Ed Smylie. Nearly every tool we normally used to reach our students was wiped off the table–we were left in complete upheaval. With no choice but to use whatever we had available, we dug deep into our resourcefulness to help our students (and ourselves!) survive distance learning. Amazingly, what we did served our purposes not only for the duration of remote learning, but changed our classroom practices for the better, even now with students back in the classroom.

Once the initial lockdown passed, my district allowed staff to teach from their classrooms (albeit empty ones), pushing us to find new methods of instruction. Just days before the shutdown, a new flat panel had been installed in my room; it seemed to be the perfect time to see what it could do.…Read More