A common question among K-12 education is, “how do we engage our students?”
Students in 2022 have a large variety of learning tools and resources that allow them to do the basics of fundamental learning while also allowing them to participate in STEM projects and tour landmarks virtually, such as The Smithsonian, as well as various places all over the world.
I often wonder if the real question should be, “How do we engage our teachers?”
The teaching profession has always had challenges, just like any other profession. However, in the last few years, the amount of teachers that have left the classroom has been staggering.
In a recent poll, former teachers stated why they left the classroom. These reasons included respect, support, better pay, and more flexibility, which kept them working in education.
Other issues such as teacher burnout, school funding, teacher training, equitable education, and cultural representation within the curriculum were other reasons educators took a different career path.
As educators and businesses that work in education, our primary goal is student learning and student success because student success plays a significant role in our success. Indeed, education should focus on student learning. Still, there needs to be a focus on teachers and their engagement and well-being.
One helpful way for Ed-tech companies to help teachers is by creating portfolios and cataloging resources. This will help with overall organization and offer a form of professional development for teachers. For example, students are often asked to build digital portfolios of their work, and teachers can do the same.
Companies can also support or unburden teachers by freeing their time from administrative tasks or providing a platform through an application where students learn at their own pace.
Companies and organizations can also offer teacher wellness programs through their software and subscriptions that are paid for by the district. Several ebooks, apps, and programs are designed for teachers and organizations. The benefits of these programs are loud and clear too. By providing extra support for teachers, schools don’t simply improve recruitment and retention among staff—they also enhance teachers’ ability to do the vital work of fostering students’ well-being and improving academic outcomes.
Engaging teachers and supporting them as a professional community promotes growth within teachers and staffing and development among their students. Critical components like retention and progress will happen when everyone is engaged and feels supported. After all, it’s impossible to pour from an empty cup.
Written By: Meredith Biesinger
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