For education leaders across the country, the past few years have been hard—for a number of reasons. Now, they’re faced with having to lead a staff that may also be facing one of the most common issues produced by the pandemic: burnout.
“It’s a wonder we have any,” said National Education Association President Becky Pringle, during a webinar discussing educator shortages and employee satisfaction. She was referring to the teachers who continue to stay on the frontlines amid the mounting political and social pressures creeping into America’s K-12 institutions. And those who are fed up with these external factors are turning their backs on a profession they once fell in love with.
Several states are still struggling to keep teachers in their classrooms nearly halfway through the first year of normalcy since the pandemic. In Virginia, data from the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission shows that the state is losing more teachers than it’s bringing in. Similarly, Texas reported an overwhelming amount of educators who were “seriously” considering abandoning the profession for good. That finding accounted for 70% of the educators surveyed, compared to 53% in 2018.
While districts are making consistent efforts to combat teacher burnout, such as raising pay and providing better working conditions, every school can begin its journey to fostering a happy work environment, and it all begins with leadership.
In January 2023, the Future of Education Technology® Conference will host several sessions and workshops designed to give both educators and leaders the knowledge to live and lead happier careers.
Melissa Fierro, technology integration specialist for the Kankakee School District 111 in Illinois will be leading a session titled, “Coaching Through The Burnout.” There, she will help education leaders reignite the spark their educators once had for their careers.
“As coaches, helping them find it again can be difficult and takes different strategies and methods than what we would normally use,” the session’s description reads. “This session will look at ways to help these teachers in crisis that do not include another email or required training.”
For those who may be experiencing burnout themselves, Dr. Christopher Jenson, senior health advisor for Generation Esports, will be hosting a session that addresses “immediate” actions attendees can take to combat staff exhaustion and career burnout.
“Drowning in the background of the youth mental health crisis are the forgotten caregivers—educators,” the description reads. “In this session, he shares several effective implementations from the world of healthcare that improved working conditions for medical caretakers, and scales them appropriate for school operations.”
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