“This is not a typical year”… how many times have we heard that said to us or even spoke it ourselves? Well, you and all those other individuals are 100% correct, it is NOT a typical school year. However, many districts, administrators, and families are treating it as such and that is not okay. How do we support teachers through this unprecedented school year?
I am not okay. We are not okay. Many teachers, like myself, are stressed and overwhelmed. Recently in our First Grade Fearless – Facebook group, we asked what is one way you wish you were supported. Not only did our community have an opportunity to vent, but they also came up with various ways administration, families, and even other teachers can acknowledge and support us.
We here at Education to the Core always strive to not only support you by providing the best resources that are created by master teachers, but we want to be there every step of the way. We want to be there, guiding you in your classrooms so you can not only be there for your students but have a better work-life balance. Here are ways to feel supported designed by you.
Support From Your Administration:
“I wish we were not having evaluations this year.” ~ Elizabeth C.
“Stop adding more to do’s…the micromanaging is getting tough to take.” ~ Michelle A.
“Not being evaluated or having goal meetings.” ~ Amy R.
“Not being told to stop my lessons to just do this one thing.” ~ Michael S.
“Not being told to do x, y, & z on top of regular duties, then being told to make sure I take time for myself. Stop micromanaging.” ~ Amanda L.
“Observations should have been canceled but weren’t.” ~ Joan R.
“Support teachers by having no observations and testing. We should be focusing on helping close gaps and make sure their emotional/mental needs are met.” ~ Beth S.
“Stop giving me more to do…and maybe ask if I am okay.” ~ Lori M.
“Back off with PLCs and other meetings. Let go of RTI meetings, just let us submit the paperwork. AND let go of some of the paperwork! Let me eat without my students.” ~ Janel H.
“For online:, I think some check-ins from admin just to see how we are doing or feeling. It’s been isolating and our expectations haven’t altered in this setting for what we are meant to accomplish. Also, more support for my students with special needs (high needs).” ~ Lorna C.
“No teacher evaluation using a rubric that doesn’t fit with the current situation!” ~ Peggy D.
“I wish I actually had planning periods every day. I have 3-4 meetings a week. Our administration is so so so amazing!” ~ Lauren H.
“It would be great if admin weren’t so stressed about their roles and genuinely check-in with the teacher and offer some positive affirmations.” ~ Rebeca F.
“I wish they understood that this is not a normal school year. We started a new lesson planning initiative that takes hours to complete and a new assessment program which takes a ton of time. This is not the year to start new initiatives. Also, we are still having data meetings and getting asked why our scores are low. I have a revolving door of quarantining kids in my room and they are not there for 2 weeks at a time. That’s why my scores are low. I feel like my admin is taking a business as usual stance when this school year is anything but usual.” ~ Sheila B.
Support From Your District:
“Just let us have a snow day.” ~ Courtenay D.
“My Admins have worked hard and have really supported our teachers! The one thing that should not have been done in my opinion is testing especially for the younger grades. I know my admins don’t have the decision in that as it is a district assessment.” ~ Gigi H.
“I wish I had more time to just work and prep things for the kids. With distance learning and hybrid learning, it’s been highly underestimated the amount of time It takes to get lessons done.” ~ Jamie-Lyn L.
“That they had adjusted the curriculum and assessments, as well as our expectations (lesson plans, goals, spreadsheets, etc.). Instead, they’ve just doubled our workload.” ~ Mara L.
“I just wish our district/state would follow CDC guidelines so that I felt my students and I were safe at school.” ~ Kelsey S.
“Safe class size, upgraded technology that actually works, sufficient training in platforms we are required to use.” ~ Carrie M.
“No new ideas implemented into the day/month/year.. let’s just get through pandemic this year, day by day..” ~ Anna N.
“Better technology! I had to buy so much myself.” ~ Joy D.
“Having ANY training on Zoom or WebEx, Google Classroom, or any other online support for teachers would have been nice.” ~ Stephanie C.
“I wish they would focus on more important things, like the kids who show up for 30 min a day, don’t turn anything in, the parents who ignore us, etc. Why are teachers the only ones held accountable and not students and parents too?” ~ Emily H.
“The most important thing that administration and superintendents could do for us is to be to create a new paradigm that is used to assess and teach students. Teaching how we taught, assessing how we taught, etc. doesn’t make sense given our circumstances this school year. More intentionality around what grades look like and what sorts of formative assessments are useful during this time.” ~ Chatequa C.
Support From Your Families:
“I wish parents were more supportive. I have a lot of unsupervised and unsupported students. Also, there are some really mean parents, which is not fun under these circumstances.” Shaunna H.
“Just a simple understanding from parents. No one likes this online crap, but to put blame on teachers is starting to get to me.” ~ Amanda A.
“I wish the parents would allow the students to be more independent and self-sufficient. Parents interfere and complete the assignments for the kids. And if that weren’t enough you work with trying to get their attention because parents distract them all the time.” ~ Betty R.
” Siblings, and cats, and toys, and whoever else saunters by like there’s not a live class going on..” ~ Jacqueline M.
“My greatest wish is that the parents/guardians understand teachers put in a lot of work to make this as engaging as possible. This is SCHOOL and needs to be treated that way. It is not a suggestion maybe I will see if I feel like going or if I feel like doing anything or just watch videos/games.” ~ Donna H.
“Let the parents be aware that teachers are in a crisis working with their littles in close contact. We’re tired and we don’t appreciate the lack of awareness. They have 1, 2, or 3 kids at home…we have between 23-30 to manage with masks & sanitizer!” ~ Anna N.
From Your Coworkers and Students:
“I wish teachers at our school were appreciated, instead of nitpicking everything that is going wrong…focus on what’s going right! No new implementation of curriculum, observations, etc.” ~ Brandy S.
“To have an opportunity to celebrate the small accomplishments that your class does without feeling that it is not enough.” ~ Angela C.
“Do the best you can to teach them the most needed skills, but most importantly spend your time engaging your students, keeping simple routines, and filling their days with joy and wonder.” ~ Laurie Ann Y.
“I wish I had support during small group time… first graders working independently for 45min of the hour is pointless…” ~ Amelia T.
“A kind word goes a long way. It’s not a competition of who has a more stressful job. Sometimes when you see someone having a hard day, go out of your way to say something kind.” ~ Shasta G.
“Holding kids to the same expectations academically while online as we did in person isn’t okay. They’re at home. They have adults and kids and toys and endless snacks around them. They’re stuck sitting at computers for so much. The last thing they need is having these insanely high expectations.” ~Laura M.
“Just saying “I appreciate all that you do here” and would mean the world to me.” ~ Kirsten S.
“A simple thank you and you are doing a great job.” ~ Vicki A.
Always remember: I see you, I hear you, I understand you. If you are looking for more tips and tricks to start improving your own mental wellness, check out To The Teacher at Their Breaking Point. What other ways do you feel teachers could be supported? Let us know in the comments below.
Written by: Christopher Olson
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At Education to the Core, we provide done-for-you curriculum that is simple, fun, and engaging! In order to be an effective educator, you have to take care of yourself first! We strive to make a healthy work-life balance a reality for you each and every day.
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