As teachers put their best in giving their best to students and your institution at large, you have a major role to play as an administrator in ensuring that they are physically and mentally fit.
Teachers are humans too and they might face different levels of emotions as they prepare for school over the weekend.
How then can you, as an administrator, show and give them support?
Make it a point to say it
As an administrator, always be intentional about putting up messages that show how important your teachers are to your institution.
It could be short phrases or mantra like “We appreciate you” or “You mean so much to us”. This will give teachers a sense of belonging and give them the impression that they are appreciated.
Retaining this mantra will be an important factor when deciding how to support staff, and it will also be helpful in reframing tough decisions and discussions.
Showing support for teachers in your institution will enable you learn of challenging life circumstances that may impact school work.
Having knowledge of this ahead of time can help you and your teachers prepare for any challenges you might face along the way.
Beyond saying it, mean it
Beyond saying it, ensure you take steps that show you mean what you say.
If you value teachers like you say, have you made resources available to them when they need them?
Make it a point to check in with your institution’s counselors for any resources that may be available or possible professional development activities.
Information should be readily made available for mental health resources or you could get support from your community.
How you communicate with teachers is another way you, as an administrator, can also show value to them beyond their positions.
You could start by publishing at least, one weekly staff newsletter, or limiting emails you send throughout the week.
Encourage them to set boundaries — school life shouldn’t encroach on their lives outside of school. Encouraging this practice is a way of supporting your staff through actions and not just mere words.
Another way to go beyond saying it is to be deliberate about building intentional and meaningful relationships with them. This means you have to be where they are daily to give them support whenever they need it.
Be deliberate about reinforcing it
Teachers spend most of their time with students — ensuring they get the best education through carefully curated content and resources.
The least you could do as an administrator to support these people who invest their time in taking care of the educational needs of your students is to make available professional development plans embedded with mental health resources, support and activities.
Professional development plans could range from giving them time to finish up important pending tasks that could encroach on their personal time, to wellness activities (yoga, diet/nutrition consultation, etc.)
Through leading with a view of reinforcing this practice and supporting each other, you will be setting a culture of caring that will have ripple effects in the classroom.
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