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Teaching is a thankless job. Teachers work incredibly hard all year round to give their students the best possible classroom experience and education they can possibly have. This often means long nights, volunteering for school events on weekends and evenings, and spending a lot of money out of your pocket to have all the materials you need for the year with not much in return outside of your regular salary. As an educational leader, whether you’re a principal, superintendent, or some other higher power in the education world, it’s your responsibility to give teachers as much support as you possibly can, whether that involves helping them with materials, giving them time off, or talking to them. Here are a few ways to support your teachers if you’re an educational leader.

Hold Weekly 1:1 Meetings

As a leader in any field, one of the best ways to support your team (or teachers, in this case) is to consistently meet with them in one-on-one meetings. You should try these weekly, but bi-weekly meetings are also okay. During these meetings, give your teachers a chance to vent about the job. Make it a safe and open environment where they can be honest with you about how they’re feeling and where the two of you can provide feedback to one another to ensure you’re both doing a good job in your respective roles. This will allow your teachers to decompress while hopefully building trust between the two of you, ultimately leading to a happier teacher and a healthier work environment.

Be Open To Change

Education is a constantly evolving industry. With every new generation of children entering the education system comes new obstacles teachers must overcome to give their students the best education they can. As educational leaders, we must be open to allowing teachers to try new tactics when they run into a problem. If the curriculum isn’t working, allow one of your teachers to experiment with something new. This is the only way we’ll be able to truly support our teachers and students; by moving forward, not standing still.

Build A Support System

Even teachers have lives. This means that things happen that might take them away from the classroom for whatever reason. Maybe they have to leave early one day, or they’ll be late. Maybe a loved one has passed away, or they’ve fallen ill. As an educational leader, you must be able to support your teaching staff when these things happen. Build a solid foundation for substitute teachers, or be available when teachers need to step out momentarily. These little things will lead to a much more positive working environment and happier teachers overall.