Thank You…NEXT! Next School Year Has Got to be Better Than Last

By admin Jun26,2024


To stop the mass exodus of teachers we must implement C.A.L.L during the 2024-2025 school year.

According to Statista, 511,000 teachers left the profession in June 2023. These numbers are exponentially higher than the eight percent who left the field in the 2021-22 school year after the COVID-19 pandemic. While there are a slew of reasons teachers are leaving the field in droves, one resounding constant is that teachers don’t feel valued!

I am calling on school leaders to recognize that providing trinkets and food during Teacher Appreciation Week and weekly jean passes, is not cutting it, anymore! TEACHERS ARE TIRED! Teacher burnout and quiet quitting is REAL! So, administrators need to become more creative with the ways they recognize the indisputable work teachers do, to decrease attrition and increase retention.

The reality of being a teacher

As a former teacher with sixteen years of experience in the Dallas Independent School District, one of the largest urban public school systems in America, I would consider myself one who could provide solid and implementable advice to assist principals in truly understanding the significance of affirming their teachers. We have asked teachers to accept the short end of the stick for far too long!

We tell them they won’t become rich.

We say the job doesn’t end when they leave the school.

We force them to find ways to be successful with students without empowering them with resources. After all the obstacles we place before them, we sit back and expect a miracle…only to clobber them if it doesn’t happen. 

So, as I reflect on what I would like to see happen differently in schools next year, I have four key suggestions for school leaders. In my own teacher’s way, I created the acronym C.A.L.L. Implementing these simple steps will have a powerful impact on campuses across the country. Listen and learn!

Create culturally affirming schools

People want to feel seen, period!!! School leaders must be aware of the personnel on campus, from the custodians to teachers and students. Everyone is important! Culture is multifaceted, so principals have to be committed to creating inclusive environments that are representative of the diverse people who hold space on their campuses. 

Allow teachers to create the value propositions

Principals must stop assuming they know what teachers want and go to the source. Ask teachers what will make them feel valued. Principals can provide the parameters to ensure the requests are aligned with the school system’s expectations. However, they must allow teachers to design the value system that is incorporated on the campus to ensure true buy-in and support from the second most important stakeholders on the campus…the teachers! 

Let teachers provide authentic feedback around campus leadership

School leaders must be vulnerable and provide a safe space for teachers to share feedback related to campus leadership. Administrators cannot believe their way is the only way to lead the campus successfully. They have to be willing to listen to teachers’ suggestions so they can lead more effectively. Principals who are humble and welcome feedback create school milieus that foster student success and teacher efficacy. 

Lead like you want to be led

Principals should not become authoritarian dictators on their campuses just because they can. They should ALWAYS consider that the best leaders are those who are able to follow authority and glean from the effective qualities they exemplify. Teachers are not staying in ‘abusive school marriages’ anymore. They have empowered themselves and have no qualms about leaving the classroom, even if they are passionate about education. They want to be led by humanized principals who understand life’s challenges and can extend grace when necessary. 

By admin

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