500 Educators Reveal How Administrators Can Better Support Them This School Year
One of the most important elements when it comes to success within teaching and learning is educator well-being. It’s no secret that teaching can be incredibly stressful, and with additional challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, educators need support more than ever.
When school and district leaders provide teacher support, it enables success for the whole school community, including students. However, with all the hustle and bustle in a typical school day, it’s not always easy to check in with educators and staff to see if needs are being met.
So, how can an administrator know exactly what educators are looking for from a supportive leader? Edmentum is here to help. In a survey on our blog from September 7, 2021 – October 1, 2021, we asked more than 500 of the amazing educators who read our blog what their school administrators can do to better support them.
Over 500 educators anonymously shared their thoughts with us through two main questions:
- How can your administrator better support you this school year? [multiple-choice question]
- What could your administrators do right now to make your life easier or better support you? [open-ended response]
Additionally, participants were also asked a few demographic questions—such as job title, years of teaching experience, and the grade levels they interact with—to provide more insight into the respondents.
Let’s take a look at what the educators who responded had to say, along with some key takeaways.
How can your administrator better support you this school year?
Educators were given nine options for answer choices and were asked to select their top three choices, but they were able to select anywhere from one to nine answers. Of the 523 educators who participated, respondents selected an average of 2.5 answers, yielding a total of 1290 responses.
Takeaway: Over 43 percent of responses indicated more pay, followed by more classroom funding at 39 percent of responses and hiring more support staff at 37 percent. Improved school culture, smaller class size, and more professional development opportunities were also among the more popular responses.
What could your administrators do right now to make your life easier or better support you?
Throughout the 503 educator responses to this open-ended question, 14 major categories were identified overall. Each response given was carefully read and subsequently categorized by the theme or themes that it most closely aligned with.
Takeaway: This question was completely open-ended, and teachers were very clear on their response—the top action administrators could take to bolster educators is working to provide more classroom resources and support staff for their schools, with 29 percent of responses falling into this category. With 19 percent of responses, the next most common theme identified was that many educators already feel supported by their school administrators and could think of nothing additional their admins could do. More support and advocation, improved school culture, better communication, more recognition, and more autonomy were also common themes.
While these answers have provided some insight into what kind of support educators are seeking from school leaders, it's always a great idea to open a line of communication and encourage feedback from your teachers to hear what they have to say. Conducting routine surveys within your school community can help school leaders can get a pulse check on how the school staff is feeling. Find a survey template here, along with six best practices for surveying your school community.