Since National Teacher Appreciation Week 2017 is starting on May 8th, now is a great time to look at how we can lower stress levels for teachers.
How can you improve teacher productivity, which in turn will increase test scores?
How can you raise teacher morale and increase the retention rate?
How can you help ease “the overwhelm” for teachers?
It’s quite simple:
1) Make sure they have a copy of my book Less Stress for Teachers: More Time & An Organized Classroom (www.LessStressForTeachers.com)
2) Arrange for my Less Stress for Teachers: The T.E.A.C.H. Approach™ workshop which will give teachers the tools they need to gain control over the five key areas of every school day.
That’s right. I just plugged my book and workshop in a blog post. But there’s a really good reason for that: I’m on a mission to lower the teacher drop-out rate.
Teachers have a drop-out rate?
Some educators – and most especially the general public – may not be aware of these sobering statistics:
- Teacher job satisfaction is at a twenty-two year low. – 29th Annual Met Life Survey of the American Teacher
- One important trait of teachers labeled as high quality is that they’ve spent more than five years in the classroom. – National Commission on Teaching and America’s Future (NCTAF)
- One-third of teachers leave the profession within the first three years, and half leave within the first five. – National Center for Education Statistics
- Teacher attrition costs U.S. districts $2.2 billion per year. – Alliance for Excellent Education
If high quality teachers need five years to become just that, and half leave before then, the teacher drop-out rate suddenly becomes just as important as the student drop-out rate. After all, teachers spend more waking hours with our children than parents do and can determine how much – or how little – information will be shared with students.
Not surprisingly, those exiting teachers who were surveyed did mention low pay as a determining factor for leaving, as well as poor student behavior. But, the number one reason teachers gave for leaving the classroom was the lack of a supportive school environment. Disorganization and the absence of time management support are major causes of “overwhelm” for many teachers.
Contrary to popular belief, teaching ain’t a 9 to 3 job. Just ask any teacher what a typical day is like, and you’ll understand why I call teacher summer breaks “comp time” for the overtime they work during the school year.
National Teacher Appreciation Week 2017
This “holiday” is traditionally a time when teachers receive little baubles and trinkets in their mailboxes each day of the week or a free taco breakfast on Friday morning. I’d like to suggest that schools, organizations, and parents who support teachers give a different kind of gift this year during Teacher Appreciation Week 2017 (May 8 – 12):
Look your son or daughter’s teacher in the eye and just say, “Thank you.”
Gift your favorite teacher 30 minutes and ask how you can help her or him.
Make a 5-minute appointment with your son or daughter’s principal and let the principal know why you appreciate your son or daughter’s teacher. Even better – ask the teacher to be present! (Teachers usually only get called in for bad stuff, so what a treat this will be!)
Give your favorite teacher a gift card to Goodwill so they can purchase supplies for their classroom – or whatever they’d like to purchase there! They get more bang for their buck, plus the revenue from the gift card funds job training programs in your community.
Give your favorite teacher a gift card to a restaurant. Teachers usually only have 22 to 27 minutes to wolf down their lunches (and squeeze in a restroom break), so it’ll be nice for them to sit and thoroughly chew a nice meal.
Take your favorite teacher out for a coffee and give them 15 minutes to just vent – then talk about the good stuff going on in life.
In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week 2017, are you ready to help provide that support that teachers so desperately need?
If you know of a school that could benefit from stress relief, please forward this post to the principal or curriculum director. If you can’t purchase any books for teachers or don’t know who to share this with, but you want to show your support, I ask you to do just one little thing: Find a former teacher of yours who made a difference in your life and say thank you. That will make a teacher’s day!