- Kelly Burnette, assistant principal of instruction at West Nassau High School in Florida, voices her opinion in the Hechinger Report about ways to increase teacher morale and retention by giving them the resources they need to be effective.
- Providing teachers with online instructional resources that are easy to implement is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to help teachers face the challenge of finding engaging resources for students from day-to-day.
- Burnette recommends that schools provide teachers with access to the school version of Teachers Pay Teachers, an online resource that allows teachers to access educator-tested resources for their classroom.
While much attention is focusing on ways that technology helps students achieve more, the same holds true for teachers. The Internet offers a growing number of resources that can help teachers save time and gives them access to materials used in other classrooms, so they don’t have “reinvent the wheel” each day. Lesson planning, which can be a struggle for some teachers, can also be accomplished online at a low-cost. Schools can help teachers find resources at a relatively low-cost by purchasing group plans, by reimbursing teachers for access to the resources, or by providing prepaid gift cards to these services that allow teachers to choose resources for themselves without having to gain administrative approval for each purchase. Other sites, such as IXL Learning, provide ways for teachers to assign and track supplemental work to support students who are struggling in certain areas. And paying for these resources encourages educators to use resources which can be easily shared with others when a teacher is absent. Experts, however, also stress that it's important for what ever instructional materials teachers use to be aligned to state standards.
Other websites offer helpful resources for educators, especially for new teachers, who may need the most direction. A number of new apps are also available a minimal cost. District technology officers or media specialists can support teachers in their job by providing updated lists of approved links or apps with recommendations on the best ways to use them. Teachers can also benefit from reminders on ways to save time in the classroom or streamline paperwork required for the district.
Quality teachers are a school district's most valuable resource. One of the jobs of an administrator is to find ways to improve teacher morale and motivate teachers to do their best. When teachers see that administrators value their time and allow them a certain degree of freedom in providing resources for the classroom that best fit their teaching style, they will feel more supported.