There are many ways administrators can help teachers improve. After all, we’re all educators working toward the same goal.
Though it would be wonderful to reconnect with teachers, not everyone experiences a lull or takes a breather at the same time. For teachers, it can seem that administrators only become involved to reprimand, or ensure stringent (sometimes seemingly unnecessary) regulations are being enforced. This type of atmosphere isn’t conducive to a collaborative work environment and could trickle down to affect student learning. Show educators that you’re on the same team by implementing these ways administrators can help teachers improve.
1. Establish a Mentorship Program
It’s never too late, nor is anyone ever too old, to accept help from a mentor. One of the ways administrators can help teachers improve is to dedicate regularly scheduled sessions to engage in mentoring. Provide opportunities for administrators and teachers to come together, eventually breaking off into groups of mentors and mentees. Allow these teams to work together to promote teamwork and a collaborative environment to improve professionally and help students.
2. Develop a Professional Team
Another one of the ways administrators can help teachers improve is asking teachers about the professional development they would like to experience and participate in to bring their teaching to the next level. The key to progress is introducing exercises and tools that follow through on feedback and show that educators are being heard. Whether quarterly or monthly, check in with teachers at a regular interval to ask if they are feeling more fulfilled with professional development efforts. If they’re not, actively apply their feedback to continue to make improvements.
3. Choose a Teacher of the Month
Awards aren’t only for students. Whether a teacher devotes off hours to coaching a school athletic team or tutoring students, show them that their passion for nurturing young minds is recognized. Something as simple as an announcement and a catered lunch for faculty, or seemingly small gesture as providing a gift card to a restaurant for a night out will go a long way to show appreciation. If you’re worried about appearing to show favoritism, allow teachers to nominate each other for the award. Recognition from their peers can be extremely rewarding.
4. Have a Bit of Empathy
Despite the way they conduct themselves as superheroes, teachers are only human. As with all mere mortals, life sometimes gets in the way of a teacher’s career. When unexpected events, such as deaths, births, or illnesses occur, exhibit compassion. Be kind to teachers and offer to help them in any way possible. Tell them not to worry during difficult times – you have their backs. Then follow through to ensure that your actions back up your words.
5. Host a Back-to-School Night
One of the best ways administrators can help teachers improve is to show support for their growth. Organize an evening during which representatives from colleges that offer continuing education programs for teachers discuss options for returning to school. Include financial aid information and invite personal finance professionals to discuss options for teachers to be able afford the pursuit of another degree. If your district offers financial assistance for continuing education, make those policies clear to your staff and ensure the process is as simple as possible.
Many teachers feel fulfilled when watching their students progress. While watching children grow is wonderful for teachers to witness, receiving support from administrators is integral to creating a learning environment based in respect and camaraderie, in which everyone can take pride. Teachers are susceptible to compassion fatigue and burnout, which is the reason they need support from colleagues. Remember to incorporate these ways administrators can help teachers improve to build a more nurturing school environment for everyone.