Written by Casey Boehm, OEA First Grade Teacher
We can all agree that summer 2020 has had a very different feeling than the summers of years past, for everyone, but especially for Educators. On top of our daily concerns surrounding our health and safety, we’re feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and completely left in the dark about what the upcoming school year will look like.
I‘ve spent the last few weeks surveying the teacher community on Instagram. I posed the question, “As a teacher, what are your top concerns heading into the new school year?”
This question opened the door to multiple conversations about health concerns, anxiety, access to remote learning technology, and the availability of resources.
Here’s what our Educators say they need going into the 2020-2021 school year.
Teachers need to be heard. The guidelines for reopening schools are changing daily. The decisions being made for education right now are critical. The new school year has abnormal circumstances and we need to think outside of the box to meet the health and safety needs of our school communities. If you have not already, send a letter to your school board and voice your concerns.
Teachers need community. Do not feel like you are in this alone. Talk to your people, family members, friends, or other teachers, and get your feelings about back to school out in the open. Chances are someone nearby is feeling similarly. Talking about the things on your mind can make it a little easier to enjoy the last bit of summer. If you are looking for more tips about finding balance during the summer months, click here to read more ideas.
Teachers need resources. With remote learning, now more than ever, teachers are asking for resources -more technology to meet classroom demands, proper training for these specific programs and sites, and/or resources to supplement them. WeAreTeachers reports that over 50% of teachers are in need of more training to teach engaging remote lessons. In my own Instagram survey, educators responded that they need both access to resources and additional training for specific remote learning technology to feel more confident going into the new school year. That’s not to mention all of the other resources needed for students to return safely back in the classroom.
Here’s what you can do right now to meet those needs:
- Don’t be afraid to express your concerns, your voice is important. Reach out to your school leadership and talk about your apprehensions.
- Find teachers in your grade level on Instagram and follow along. They share tips and relatable content. If you’re not sure where to start, ask a teammate if they follow any great teacher accounts. (You can also follow @IgConnect4Edu on Instagram and on Facebook for educator accounts in all content areas.)
- Check out my new website that features training videos, a resource library (including remotely learning resources), and a teacher community for collaboration. Click here to Connect and Educate!
Teachers are the ultimate problem solvers. For years we’ve been flexible and have learned to work with whatever resources are provided. No matter what scenario lies ahead or what obstacles we have to overcome, we’ve got this.
Casey Boehm is a first-grade teacher in northwest Ohio. Casey is passionate about using technology in the classroom and sharing ideas for organization. Find her on social media @OrganizeandEducate