Welcome to the EduVerse with ProfessorJBA. This series is aimed at parents and caregivers in an effort to inform them about the various roles and aspects of the educational landscape to ensure that caregivers can make informed decisions.
As a veteran teacher, I know that self-care is essential. We know for a fact that teachers are overworked and underpaid. Quite honestly, the stress of the education news coverage and social media is enough to make teachers want to quit.
I firmly believe that schools are doing a better job of improving how teachers are appreciated through various celebrations throughout the year.
However, parents need to know that the mental, physical and emotional wellbeing of teachers is equally as important as the content and curriculum being taught in classrooms. Compensation plays a major role because many teachers are having to work part time jobs to make ends meet. Then on top of that many teachers are still trying to pay off their student loans from their meager paychecks.
How can parents help?
Parents, can advocate for para professional and classroom assistants to help balance the education load. Many times having an extra body allows a teacher to go to the restroom. Children cannot be unattended and sometimes teachers don’t have breaks to even use the restroom. Outside of having another set of eyes to cover the classroom, an another adult can provide small group instruction or skill remediation.
Many times, these additional roles are not in the school building due to funding. As parents advocate for more funding the need to have specific goals such as more classroom assistants.
If that still does not become an option, parents should advocate for decreasing the load of work on teachers’ plates. Yes, that may mean parents need to do more at home. Parents, should directly ask teachers how they can help lessen the load.
Telling teachers to take care of themselves without providing opportunities for them to do that is not really helping teachers. If parents want their students to have better learning experiences, I encourage them to begin asking and advocating for self-care supports for teachers. And quite honestly, school districts need to put their money where their mouth is.
Self-care for teachers is critical to maintaining good school culture and being able to show up for students socially, emotionally, and academically.