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Teachers to Admin: You Can Help Make Our Jobs Easier

One of the most striking findings in Education Week’s The State of Teaching project is the disconnect between educators and school administrators in their perception of teachers’ morale. In recent years, the challenges that teachers face in the classroom have been supercharged by the pandemic, remote learning, a rising tide of youth mental health concerns, and pay that doesn’t keep up with costs. This has led to a workforce of educators who say they feel overwhelmed, overworked, and not heard.

As part of the project, EdWeek asked the teachers reporters profiled to express what they believed needed to change in their job to improve morale. In response to that article, many more teachers stepped up to the microphone to make their voices heard. Here’s a collection of the most prevalent points that teachers had to add to the discussion.

More support needed

“Literally just parents caring… We are an extension of learning that happens in the home. Work with your kids, spend time with them. Read to them. Discipline them.”

Destiny O.

“Support me when a student is stopping me from teaching … Empower me with consequences for holding students accountable.”

Carolyn L

“More support for students’ (and teachers’) social-emotional needs & higher pay.”

Nikki L.

“Money that’s worth the hours.”

Aaron G.

‘Can we bring it back to the basics?’

“No more teacher lunch duty! It is the worst 50 minutes of my week. If given the choice, I would clean the student toilets over lunch duty.”

Rikki D.

“Can I just teach? That is a big enough job all on its own … I do believe that we need to build positive relationships with students but when exactly did it become not enough to TEACH the standards?”

Rebecca B.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

“One day I’d like to be treated like a professional.”

Whitney G.

“Have our backs, and treat us as the professionals we are. Don’t forget where you came from and what you expected from your administrators before you became one.”

Amanda M.

“Treat us like the professionals we are! Pay us for the hard work we do. Why is this such a difficult concept being politicized?”

Jamie S.

“If teachers were treated like professionals with degrees and certifications instead of being scrutinized like an underqualified teenaged babysitter, that would help. They want us to do all this work, but don’t treat us like we are capable or competent.”

Angelina M.

“Let us do our job because we know how to.”

Petra A.

“To have administrators that don’t think they are more important than teachers and treat them as subordinates, not team members.”

Kurt K.

“One word fixes everything—RESPECT. When we say we need something, respect us and believe it. Respect that we know our [expletive] enough to abolish state testing, which proves NOTHING. Respect that we can teach our classes without being micromanaged. And respect our hard work by paying us appropriately.”

Sandy W.

Sometimes ‘less is more’

“Smaller class sizes, it makes the management of students easier, even when troubled ones are there.”

Steve G.

“Smaller class sizes.”

Laura R.

“Smaller classes, more pay, less [expletive].

Katy W.

“Smaller classes.”

Erin R.

‘New rules, please’

“We will never be able to outcompete the smart phone for entertainment so either have the guts to ban them in school or get over the fact that kids will be distracted by them.”

Thomas P.

“I have a novel idea. Give immediate consequences for poor behavior!”

Anthony F.

“I would like more than one bathroom break a day.”

Misty G.

“One day I would like to evaluate the superintendent, and school administration, like we used to many years ago, or for them to take the TECAT test [for administrators].”

Jacob G.

‘I have a list …’

“Give us back the power to hold students accountable for their own:

1. Bad behavior

2. Not completing homework/classwork

3. Poor grades”

Melanie S.

“1. Leave us alone and let us work

2. Stop with the ‘gotcha’ evaluations.

3. Support us when we need to remove disruptive students.

4. Keep our planning period for, well, planning.

5. STOP COMPARING US TO OTHER TEACHERS!!”

Jessica W.

There have been some bright spots

“I can honestly say that my district does ALL of this really well … I feel very supported as an educator … and have for 23 years so far!!”

Sarah B.

“I feel well supported financially, but agree with all the other points!”

Erin M.

Teachers, looking for a regular dose of inspiration? Sign up for Teacher Update. This newsletter, delivered every Thursday morning, has the latest news and perspectives on teaching.

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