I was speaking with a principal friend of mine the other day. He has been a high school administrator for many years. Our conversations over the past several weeks have been mainly about how kids are being affected by the home isolation. They will continue to need support when we come out of this. But this past week was different, he expressed to me how much his staff was struggling.
His teachers are having a difficult time gaining any traction with their students. It is extremely hard to keep kids involved. There have been instances of unsecured zoom sessions that were hacked. This along with students being indifferent to online learning is having a severe adverse affect on the teachers. Many of the staff are extremely discouraged. Some of them have “checked out” and are mailing it in. Most teachers had no experience with distant learning and navigating this new process. They need support.
Whereas teachers used to be able to separate home life and school life now the two have blended. Teachers have spouses at home, their own children to attend, pets, and all the other distractions of life and staying healthy. Then on top of this they have to find time to teach their classes. How can you support your teachers and staff? Certainly being a sounding board for their frustrations is wonderful. Perhaps checking on them from time to time would make them feel important.
As a youth motivational speaker I have spoken in hundreds of schools across the country over the past ten years. The strongest and healthiest schools that I visited, by far, were the ones that had a strong connection between the administration and the staff. This warmth and emotional connection filtered down to the kids and created a healthy learning environment. Now more than ever this connection should be strengthened. Everyone in your school family needs your support. If you support your teachers. They can support the students. Some of your staff needs you more than you may realize.