We designed this section for our dedicated colleagues—especially those who work in higher poverty Title I schools. We are teaching in the schools that we are out of choice and out of compassion for the students we teach. Few people could walk in our shoes for even a single day. They would be unable to endure the exorbitant amount of stress that we are under on a daily basis.
Everyone now knows Teacher Quality is the number one factor that can positively impact any child’s academic achievement.
Regardless of school leadership, geographic location or school facilities children from lower income areas do not perform as well as their higher income peers.
Common sense would tell everyone that these children who need the most academic intervention and succinct instruction must be taught by master teachers.
Numerous studies show that teachers perform best after being in the classroom for at least five years. Yet almost half will quit before their fifth year. The statistics are even more staggering for Title I schools who are in need of master teachers to meet their very challenging goals for student achievement. Most do not stay past their first or second years. Numerous teachers who could have made a positive impact do not even make it through their first year!
Did you know that the U.S. spends about $2.2 billion per year recruiting and training replacements for teachers who leave their position or the field of education altogether? What if we could redirect this money to intervention or enrichment programs? Improving school facilities? Purchasing new books? What if we used this money to empower teachers with stress relief programs or hired extra aides so they can better do the job they WANT to do?
Teacher Stress has a direct impact on all of the major components of education…
- Teacher Effectiveness
- Student Ambition
- Teacher Turnover/Retention
- Quality Teachers available for each Title I student
- Student Achievement
When a teacher or any professional becomes overly stressed they become virtually ineffective. “Stressed teachers affect their environment, both personal and professional. Often, they are exhausted from lack of sleep and overwork, which has an impact on their preparation, their class demeanor, and their relationships with others in school.” –Dr. Rollin McCraty
Tough Times, Tough Choices
We hurt when our children go through tough times and counteract many of the challenging situations that our children are going through at home and in their neighborhoods. We cannot be immune to our students’ daily realities and traumatizing life events. If they sense that we do not care, they will stop caring for others. And nothing is worse for our future communities than destroying a child’s compassion for others.
Yet we cannot own their pain. We need to stay strong and forever focused on our instructional goals and in helping to rear our students. “We cannot care to teach until we teach them to care.” We cannot make excuses for their lack of effort. We must coach them in being strong and making good choices. And all the while we must remain the model for keeping our cool and grace while under pressure.