How Schools Can Help Teachers Avoid Burnout

How Schools Can Help Teachers Avoid Burnout

It’s time to take teacher burnout seriously. We can plan for it, take steps to avoid it, and address it if it happens, and administrators are key in doing that. Here’s how schools can set teachers up for success and help everyone to avoid burnout.


Reduce extra roles.

Teachers put in plenty of hours. They’re responsible for lesson planning, teaching, grading, assessments, behavior management, confliction resolution, social emotional learning, and home-school communication. They arrive early, stay late, and bring work home. Be careful of adding anything extra to that already hefty workload. Before you ask a teacher to take on an extra role, from chaperoning the school dance to running the cooking club, ask some questions.

  • Is this extra role necessary?
  • What happens if this role is not staffed this year?
  • Is there anyone else who could fulfill this role (e.g., parent volunteer, community organization, etc.)?
  • If a teacher takes on this role, can you provide extra support in another area to free up his/her time? Can extra pay be offered for the extra role?


Give teachers flexibility.

Teaching requires educators to be onsite, but not all the time. Give teachers the flexibility to shift their workload to where it is comfortable for them. Foster a culture where it is acceptable for teachers to choose how to spend their non-classroom time.

  • Allow teachers to leave school when students are not in their care (e.g., run an errand during a free period or leave early for a doctor’s appointment).
  • Permit teachers to do their grading elsewhere.
  • Schedule virtual faculty meetings so teachers can attend from home.
  • Enable staff to participate in professional development days from home.


Schedule time for collaboration.

Educators benefit from sharing ideas and best practices. Schedule regular time where teachers can collaborate with colleagues at their grade level or subject area. This will inspire great work while providing a chance for educators to support each other.

  • Ask teachers to choose the times they would like to meet.
  • Provide substitute coverage for designated collaboration periods.
  • Don’t schedule meetings during teacher prep periods. That is taking away important planning time.
  • Don’t ask teachers to come in early or stay late for meetings.


Give teachers autonomy.

From curriculum standards to standardized testing, there is a lot in the teaching profession that is regimented. Allow teachers the autonomy in their classrooms for the parts of their job that are not mandated. This helps improve job satisfaction and retention. It also raises the quality of instruction.

  • No two educators are the same. Empower teachers to vary their approaches in the classroom even if they are teaching the same grade level or subject area as colleagues.
  • Involve teachers in goal setting for themselves and their grade level/subject area.
  • Ask teachers to identify key areas where they want to grow professionally. Provide support in those areas.


Give new teachers mentors.

New teachers benefit from an experienced hand to show them the way. Not only can a well-designed mentor program help them to be effective, but it can also be a factor in retention and future success.

  • Pair teachers with mentors teaching the same grade level or subject area.
  • Provide coaching guidance to the mentor. Consider a stipend for mentor work.
  • Schedule collaborative time, with substitute coverage so mentors can observe mentees and vice versa.


Make self-care a part of school culture.

Schools that prioritize self-care create a workplace with happier, high-performing employees. Importantly, this is a schoolwide initiative. Administrators need to model the behavior that they want to see in their staff.

  • Set work boundaries. Let teachers know you won’t be sending or answering emails after 6 pm or on weekends. Ask them to do the same.
  • Encourage teachers to take breaks, such as walks around the school.
  • Provide programs and resources for self-care. Show gratitude on a regular basis.
  • Set parameters and norms around how staff interact with, listen to, and support each other.

Pro Tip: Allow teachers to text a colleague to relieve them so they may step out of the classroom for a few minutes if needed.


Survey your teachers.

Educators know what they need in order to thrive. Ask your staff where they need support, and then listen and act on their responses.

  • Conduct a formal survey to identify areas of need. Make it optional to share the respondent’s name to encourage honest feedback.
  • Plan regular check-ins with your staff. Have informal conversations at classroom doors, at lunch, in the hallways, etc.
  • Encourage an open-door policy for your teachers. Alternatively, set office hours so they can easily connect with you.


Plan for burnout.

Despite your best efforts, burnout can happen. Be prepared with clear policies so staff know that there is help should they need it.



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or

How to Organize a Busy Schedule

How to Organize a Busy Schedule

Before we know it, we’ll be going from relaxing summer days to busy fall schedules. With school, sports practices, extracurricular activities, meetings, and more, it can easily become overwhelming.

We’ve researched some effective ways to take control of our busy schedules. Follow these tips and, hopefully, you’ll find some much-needed time for yourself, too.


Stay on top of the little things so they don’t create last minute rushes.

Stop for gas before the tank is nearly empty. Do your laundry so you don’t have to search for that clean shirt. Go food shopping so you have items to pack for lunch. If you put off the small things, they can become big stressors and throw off your schedule.


Use the one-minute rule. If a task will take you one minute or less, do it now.

Hang up your coat. Put your dishes in the dishwasher. Put away all the groceries when you bring them home, even the ones that don’t need refrigeration. Putting off these smaller tasks will just add to your to-do list.


Make large tasks more manageable by doing them in stages.

If you have a big project at work, you probably break it down into smaller parts. Do the same with your household tasks. Clean the bathroom on Monday, the toilet on Tuesday, and so on. Break up larger projects so that it’s easier to fit them into your schedule.


Make sure everything in your house has a home.

You have five minutes before you must leave, and you can’t find your keys. When you declutter, it’s a lot easier to find the things you need at a moment’s notice. Do that not only for your house but for your car and workspace too.


Schedule tasks for the time that you are most productive.

Are you an early morning person or a night owl? Plan tasks for the times that you have the most energy or can focus the best. You’ll be amazed at how much you can accomplish.


Plan for downtime as you wait for pickups or in lines.

Use waiting time for answering emails, reading brief articles, or doing other tasks that take 10-15 minutes. Prepare a list of smaller tasks that you can complete during this time. Some downtime, however, such as sitting in traffic is not right for multitasking. Don’t text and drive, even if your car is not moving.


Create a to-do list with time estimates.

Don’t rely on your memory. Prepare a daily to-do list. Include an estimate of the time each task will take. Star or highlight the tasks that take priority. Then make an informed decision about which tasks you’ll tackle first. Keep your to-do list in sight where you can easily see it.

Pro Tip: Plan the next day’s to-do list at the end of the previous day so you’ll be ready to go.


Reflect and reprioritize.

New tasks pop up all the time. Take a moment midday to reflect on your to-do list. See where you are and what you have yet to do. Update your priorities to tackle the most important tasks.


Create a master calendar for a visual representation of your schedule.

While a to-do list helps with tasks, a calendar displays your daily, weekly, and monthly commitments at-a-glance. Block out activities on your calendar. Color code your calendar by work/personal/family/child. Allow for travel time and make sure to include breaks/downtime.


Set aside different days of the week for different tasks.

Maybe Saturday is for errands. Sunday is for meal prep. Organizing your schedule in this way helps consolidate the same types of tasks. That way, you’re not running to the food store three times a week for groceries. It will end up being a big timesaver.


Reduce time in meetings.

Consider whether a meeting needs to be in person, or if it could be virtual (no travel time). Maybe it could be a call or email. If you do have the meeting, share the agenda in advance. Include times for topics and stick to the schedule.


Avoid distractions from tasks at hand.

Texts and emails can interrupt your workday and family time. Put your phone on silent or wear headphones. Wait until your break to check your phone. Considering checking email at a designated time (e.g., every hour or every couple of hours) rather than all the time.


Don’t be afraid to delegate.

You don’t have to do everything. Don’t accept more responsibility than you can realistically handle. See if there is someone at work or in your family who can take over some of your workload. Consider paying a professional to handle some of your tasks. There are services that handle errands, housekeeping, meal prep, and more.


Use digital tools.

There are many technology tools that can help you organize from calendar apps to digital to-do lists. Some popular tools include ClickUp, Google Tasks, Notion, RescueTime, and Todoist.


Schedule time for yourself.

You do everything for everyone. Make sure you make time to relax and recharge. Block off time for lunch. Schedule time for self-care, including favorite hobbies, time with friends, and time away. You’ll emerge refreshed and ready to take on a new day.



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or




A Back-to-School Checklist for Busy Teachers

A Back-to-School Checklist for Busy Teachers

It seems as if summer has flown by, and that means just one thing: school is almost here. How do you get everything done in the short time that you have left? Here’s an easy-to-follow checklist so you can divide and conquer with plenty of time to enjoy the last days of summer fun.


Setting up the perfect environment for learning takes some thoughtful planning. Benefits of a well-arranged classroom include easier transitions and help with behavior management.

  • Before you move a piece of furniture, sketch a layout that incorporates the spaces you want in your classroom.
  • Plan for student seating, small group workspaces, learning centers, supply areas, class library, etc.
  • Make sure your teacher’s desk is positioned so you have a good view of the whole classroom. Stock it with your favorite supplies.
  • Ask a friend, family member or colleague to help you set up the room. (If you ask a fellow educator to help, make sure you reciprocate with his/her room.)
  • Familiarize yourself with the classroom technology and equipment. Put in any repair requests.
  • Put up classroom posters and bulletin boards. (Pro Tip: Leave bulletin boards blank with a sign saying, “under construction,” and plan to post student work there.)
  • Decorate your front door to welcome students.
  • Add student name plates to desks and cubbies if applicable.
  • Post the emergency evacuation procedure.
  • Set up fans for the first warmer weeks of school.



Set up the systems for classroom organization and you’ll appreciate the ease with which you can access items and key dates all year long.

  • Find a place in your classroom for all your materials from art supplies and math manipulatives to textbooks, whiteboards, etc. Try these inexpensive organization hacks.
  • Label your shelves and supply boxes to make it easier to find what you need.
  • Set up student files/portfolios and your grading system. Review class lists, IEPs, allergies, and any other pertinent student information.
  • Set up your planner/calendar with pertinent dates for the school year, and especially for the first marking period. Don’t forget to mark Back to School Night.
  • Make student name tags for the first day, if desired.
  • Have a plan for collecting and storing the school supplies that students will bring the first day.


Rules & Routines

Set the expectations right at the beginning, so that your students know the rules and routines. That will make class time more enjoyable and productive. 

  • Make a list of classroom rules. Include consequences if rules are broken. (You can prepare this even if you will do a similar exercise with student-led, class-created rules because you already know your behavioral management)
  • Determine the rules for leaving the classroom, including bathroom breaks and visits to the water fountain.
  • Finalize your procedures, including morning routine, dismissal routine, homework policy and systems for students to turn in work. You will be teaching these during the first weeks of school.
  • Set your signal to get student attention. Choose the behavior management tools you will use.
  • Determine student responsibilities and how you will rotate classroom duties among students throughout the year.


Lesson Planning

Keep students on track with clear daily goals for student learning. Remember that effective planning also includes some built-in flexibility to respond to student needs. 

  • Decide how you will structure each week based on specials, prep periods, etc.
  • Prepare lessons for the first two weeks. Include icebreaker activities and lots of practice with routines.
  • Plan a stress-free, no-skills-needed bellringer or morning work activity to use as needed.
  • Make copies for the first week so you won’t have to worry about them. You’ll also avoid the long lines at the copier.
  • Determine how, and whether, you will use music in your classroom.
  • Consider classroom transformations that you may do this year as part of the curriculum.
  • Write emergency sub plans. You never know when you might use them.


Family-School Connection

 Building the connection with students’ families will provide a support system that enables the learning to continue at home. 

  • Prepare a student/family welcome letter or video. You may opt to mail the letter prior to the school year, hand it to students on the first day, or post it to your class page.
  • Set up your classroom web page. Include an overview of school hours, class schedule, brief highlights of curriculum, dress code or uniforms (if applicable), and your contact information.
  • List academic websites that students will use, such as leveled reading sites. Determine where you will post homework assignments and set up homework for the first week.
  • Ask for class parents and parent volunteers in your welcome letter or on your class web page.
  • Prepare a list of responsibilities for class parents. If you have a project in mind, like building a class library, you’ll be able to get them started.



 You’re not only in charge of a classroom of students, but you’re also responsible for yourself. Make sure you take the time you need so that you’re set up to do a great job. 

  • Get your professional clothes out of the closet. Determine if you need to update or replace any.
  • Pick out your outfit for the first day of school.
  • Go food shopping for healthy snacks and lunch items.
  • Plan what you will pack for the lunch the first day and the first week.
  • Remember to practice self-care as you return to the classroom.


We know from experience that there’s always something more to do. Don’t feel as if you must do it all. Take a breath and know that you’ve got this. Have a great year!



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or



A Guide to Teaching Students Conflict Resolution

A Guide to Teaching Students Conflict Resolution

Face it, there’s going to be conflict in your classroom. It happens in even the most supportive settings. The good news is that it doesn’t have to derail your lesson or your positive classroom environment. 

Give your students the skills they need to resolve their conflicts, and then you can step back and watch your confident, empowered kids have discussions that result in listening and learning- instead of conflict.


Trust the process.

There are steps to effective conflict resolution. Follow this process, or your own variation, and post the steps prominently in your classroom. Refer to the process often whether during instruction, review or as a reminder.

    • Step #1: STOP – Give yourself some time to cool off. Count to 10. Take deep breaths. When you feel calm, it’s a good time to talk.
    • Step #2: SHARE, LISTEN & CHECK – Go to a quiet place with the teacher. Share your feelings. Listen to the other person. Tell the other person what you heard him/her say. Listen to what he/she heard you say.
    • Step #3: KNOW YOUR ROLE. Take responsibility. What could you have done differently to change what happened?
    • Step #4: THINK – What would make the situation better? Brainstorm solutions. 
    • Step #5: CHOOSE – Decide on the solution. Remember that you may have to compromise.
    • Step #6: RESPECT – Thank each other for working on this problem together. Shake hands or give each other a high five or fist bump. 

How big is the problem?

Emotions are a big part of conflicts. It is understandable to become upset at a big problem, but perhaps students don’t have to be upset at a small problem. Teaching children how to regulate their emotions to match the situation is important to teaching conflict resolution. 

    • Something that affects a lot of people and takes a long time to solve is a big problem. Something that can be solved easily is a small problem. Discuss the types of reactions that might reasonably go with each.
    • Compare big vs. little problems using a worksheet where students provide real-life examples. 
    • Place conflict descriptions on pieces of paper and have students sort them into small, medium, and big problems. Discuss how to react to a sample of each.
    • Sometimes conflicts are the result of bullying. Make sure that students understand that bullying is a bigger conflict and that they can go to the teacher with their concerns.


Pair and share.

Pair students for a real-life conflict resolution exercise that gives them a chance to get the perspective of their peers.

    • Ask students to write down a problem they are facing at school or in their personal lives.
    • Students speak for a minute about their issue to their partners. This helps to build listening skills.
    • The partner paraphrases the problem.
    • The pair brainstorm different solutions.
    • The student with the problem chooses one. 
    • Then they repeat the exercise with the other student sharing.
    • For younger students, they can draw about the conflict and share with each other.


Practice makes perfect.

Conflict resolution is an important part of behavior management. Keep it front and center in your classroom with weekly practice. Model different solutions so students know that there are many ways to resolve conflicts.

  • Present hypothetical scenarios to the class and ask for their input.
  • Have students role-play situations and ask for the class to resolve the conflict.
  • Teach de-escalation skills, like taking deep breaths, counting, or taking a walk. Discuss why it is important to be calm during conflict resolution.
  • Play a game where someone deliberately bends the rules, and discuss the options for conflict resolution.


For Younger Students… 

Try a playground peace pathway.

Designate an area of the playground where kids can go for conflict resolution. Start with teacher assistance to help students with their conflict. Ultimately students can do it independently.

    • Paint the step-by-step process on the asphalt with the words for each step along a path (e.g. STOP, SHARE, LISTEN & CHECK, etc.)
    • Make sure there is a place for each student to stand as they progress along the path.
    • Include a celebratory end point, such as “You did it!”
    • Model how to use the peace pathway and periodically remind students that it is there.


Teach with stories.

Stories are powerful teachers, especially to our youngest learners. Use them to your advantage in teaching the core messages about conflict resolution.

  • Choose read-aloud books that showcase conflict. 
  • Discuss how the characters feel. Teach empathy by exploring their different perspectives.
  • Discuss how they ended up managing the conflict.
  • Relate that to the students’ everyday lives.


For Older Students…

Try a decision matrix.

This pros and cons list can lead to less impulsive and more thoughtful, responsible choices.

    • Set up a hypothetical situation such as students teasing a classmate.
    • Have students list the pros of participating in the teasing. They will give a point for a positive outcome to themselves, and points for positive outcomes to others involved.
    • Have them do a similar assessment for cons, but with negative points.
    • Such analyses will help them to determine that there is much to gain by being an ally and showing empathy, and less for participating in teasing or bullying.


Use peer mediation.

Peer mediation has been successful in helping students solve problems. Note however that no matter how well trained the student peers are, there should still be teacher supervision.

    • Ask for volunteers or nominate students to be peer mediators. Have them undergo peer mediation training. Utilize peer mediators when there is a conflict. The group should meet in a quiet area with a teacher but without other students. Sometimes this takes place during lunch.
    • Have the peer mediator team, aka the Peacemakers, look out for conflicts and alert the teacher.
    • Note that not all conflicts are resolved easily or in one session. Allow for those that could take a longer timespan over days.


How to deal with an angry student

There may be times when a student becomes so upset and emotional that he/she cannot control his/her actions. Here’s how to help de-escalate an angry student.

    • Stay calm and polite. Keep your emotions under control.
    • Make eye contact, speak clearly, and do not raise your voice.
    • Give the student a chance to cool off by taking a walk to get a drink and then return.
    • Offer to talk privately with the student during a break or after class.
    • When you meet, listen and try to understand the real issues upsetting the student.
    • Summarize what the student said, and do not disagree with him or her.
    • Ask open ended questions to help the student generate solutions to the problem.
    • If applicable, refer the student for counseling or other help.

Do you have a strategy to share that’s not on this list? Share it with your fellow educators in the comments.


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or

Combating Summer-itis

Combating Summer-itis

Excessive daydreaming, extreme laziness, and failure to turn in homework…it must be the last weeks of school. It seems everyone has a case of summer-itis. But don’t despair. We have the cure for this “mysterious” condition, and the good news is that it comes with plenty of inspiration for teachers, too.


What is summer-itis?

Summer-itis is the lack of motivation at the end of the school year. Similar to senioritis, summer-itis causes students to lose focus and interest in school as they anticipate what’s to come. While it’s difficult to compete with thoughts of summer fun, there are ways to energize and refocus your students. Whether you’re a first-year or veteran teacher, here are some idea starters.


How to combat it.

Take your lessons outside.
Chances are that the weather is beautiful. It’s the perfect time to hold class outside. The fresh air and sunshine will naturally bring out the enthusiasm but you can do so much more than simply bring the books outside. Go on a noun, verb, adjective scavenger hunt. Do math with sidewalk chalk. Try an outdoor science experiment. Explore, measure, journal, and interact with the outdoor environment. The possibilities are endless.

Go on a virtual field trip.
No matter what subjects you teach, there is a virtual field trip (or two or three) for your class. Best of all, there are no permission slips needed! Virtually “walk” through museums, visit a national park, or take your students to Mars. Make sure that the field trip is designed for the ages and stages of your students to get the most meaning from it. Think and talk about the topic ahead of time so that students have context, and then plan follow-up activities so that they may process what they learned.

Play a game.
What better way to review the curriculum from the year than with a game? From knowledge bees to Jeopardy to literature charades and content-based scavenger hunts, there’s a game for every subject. Ask students to create their own questions to make your job easier. Challenge them to create a game to teach concepts to next year’s class. You can find lots of resources for both online and in-person review games.

Increase the incentives.
You and your students both need a little more inspiration. Identify end-of-year goals and set up high-stakes rewards: extra recess, movie time, a pizza party, etc. Try this Wheel of Fortune style incentive: write the secret reward in blank spaces on the board. The class will earn a letter each time they reach a milestone. When they complete everything, they’ll see the reward, such as P-I-Z-Z-A-P-A-R-T-Y. You’d be surprised to see how much this motivates students.

Rearrange the room. Add a touch of home.
A change in environment makes the classroom seem new. Rearrange the desks or just the seating. Move your desk to a new location. Create a nook for reading. Add a home-like touch with curtains, plants, or other décor. Set the tone for calmness or a focus of study with a classroom transformation. Incorporate relaxing music. It may seem simple but these small changes can be effective in getting students to refocus for the last few weeks.

Lean into social and emotional learning.
You taught the main skills in your curriculum area. The end of the year is the perfect time to focus on social and emotional learning. Teach soft skills, from organization and communication to teamwork, gratitude, and kindness. In addition to lessons on these topics, consider a class community service project that can incorporate it all.

Showcase your students.
Give your students a chance to shine in front of the class. Ask for volunteers to teach lessons about a favorite hobby or topic. Give them a framework from which to plan, and work with them on how to create an engaging presentation, whether it’s a PowerPoint, poster, song or demonstration. Also work with the rest of the class on how to respond thoughtfully to the presentation, with questions and positive feedback.

Invite former students.
Colleges end their semester weeks before elementary and high schools, which is a great opportunity to bring your former students in for a visit and Q&A. For younger grades, partner with a teacher in the next grade to have students visit your classroom. These are opportunities for students to learn what’s to come and incentives for them to work toward their future.

Continue routines.
In between end-of-the-year assemblies, field day, and more, it may be hard to stick to your routines. However, it’s more important than ever. Familiar routines will help students to know and follow expectations. Be consistent with discipline. Letting small things slide can quickly unravel into behavior that is out of control.

Be realistic.
It’s the final mile in a year-long marathon. You want to finish strong, but not at the expense of your health and well-being. Prioritize, because you can’t do it all. Practice self-care so that you can be there for your students, enthusiastically through the last day. Then, get ready to celebrate, because after weeks of summer-itis, summer is finally here!



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or


Administrators – Supporting Educators & ESPs

Administrators – Supporting Educators & ESPs

Your teachers and educational support professionals are at the forefront, expertly balancing student needs with administrative demands and navigating the educational landscape with grace and skill. They give their all, day in and day out, and you want to make sure they feel supported. Here’s how you can help cultivate a culture of fulfillment and growth.


1. Prioritize the physical and emotional well-being of your staff.

When your staff feels well mentally and physically, they are able to do their best work. On the flip side, when they are burnt out, they have trouble meeting the bare minimum. You can create a school culture that prioritizes mental and physical health.

    • Tap into your staff’s reasons for going into education. Highlight the reasons during staff meetings and professional development. Remind them by celebrating their successes and supporting them through challenges.
    • Encourage staff to practice self-care. Bring in self-care experts for professional development sessions. Organize an after-school yoga session. Provide healthy snacks in the faculty room. Create a library of digital resources on self-care.
    • Reduce stressors that can lead to drama. Address issues sooner rather than later. Get rid of competitiveness. Set up teacher mentors. Facilitate an atmosphere of teamwork.
    • Don’t overload teachers with responsibilities. Allow catch-up days where you don’t plan formal programming. 


2. Be visible and available.

Supportive administrators are accessible and approachable. They are a common presence throughout the school. Faculty and staff have opportunities to interact with them on a daily basis. 

    • Walk the hallways during high traffic times. Be seen by students and staff. Engage them in conversation during recess and lunch.
    • Make it a point to greet faculty and staff by name, so they know that you know who they are. Personally welcome new staff, including substitutes. 
    • Maintain an open-door policy at your office, or if you cannot, post times when you will have open-door office hours. Be accessible before and after school.
    • Drop into the teacher lounge and ask how teachers are doing. 


3. Respect educators’ time.

Educators and support professionals have a lot on their plate. There’s often more work than hours in the school day. Understanding that your staff’s time is valuable will help guide you in managing staff responsibilities and expectations.

    • Submit meeting agendas at least 24 hours in advance. This will allow your staff to have time to review it so they can appropriately respond in a meeting.
    • Do you have straightforward information to share at a meeting? Send an email instead. Just because a faculty meeting is on the calendar doesn’t mean you have to have one.
    • Have a “ditch” meeting. Discuss the activities/responsibilities that can be eliminated. This will allow your staff to focus on priorities.
    • Ask for staff input on professional development days. Work with them to schedule meaningful programming that helps them in their jobs. 


4. Communicate effectively.

Good communication is important. It ensures that teachers and educational support professionals have the information that they need to get the job done. It also builds relationships and eliminates inefficiencies.

    • Create a weekly schedule that goes to all staff. Email the schedule early on Monday morning with the most important information and documents hyperlinked. These can include department meeting reminders, agendas, school events, links for teachers to join a testing session, etc. (Pro Tip: Make it a Google doc and you can provide live updates as things change.)
    • Add faculty birthdays at the bottom of the weekly schedule to celebrate your staff and their milestones.
    • Build in time for peer collaboration. This type of communication gives teachers a chance to share best practices, and gives new teachers the chance to learn.
    • Write a handwritten note to staff members to celebrate achievements and to thank them for their service.


5. Provide resources and tools.

Teachers repeatedly spend their own money for classroom supplies. Investing in high-quality curriculum and providing resources for classrooms goes a long way toward supporting teachers and staff.

    • Find free resources and tools, and educator discounts, and regularly share them with your staff. Ask staff to do the same.
    • Seek sources of funding for educational supplies and programs from grants, PTA fundraisers, community donations, etc.
    • Work with the local library to borrow/access items from books to technology.
    • Post classroom wish lists on the school website so parents and others may donate.


6. Support your teachers’ decisions.

One of the most difficult times for a teacher is when administrator support is lacking when they make difficult decisions on grading or behavior. When parents go over the teacher’s head to the principal, it’s important that the administrator supports the teacher’s decision. Siding with the parent undermines the teacher’s authority. 

    • Meet with the teacher privately to ascertain the extent of the complaint and the reasons that the teacher made the decision. 
    • Determine ahead of time whether any concessions can be made, with the teacher’s support.
    • Meet with the teacher and parent and discuss the situation and possible resolutions.


7. Ensure evaluations are meaningful.

Teacher evaluations can be a source of stress but they don’t need to be. The ultimate goal is to help teachers maximize their effectiveness. Administrators and teachers can get the most out of them when they are done with understanding on both sides.

    • Pre-game with the teacher. Share the evaluation tool. Discuss the upcoming lesson and what you’ll expect to observe. Ask the teacher if there’s anything that he/she wants you to pay special attention to.
    • Send your completed evaluation as soon as possible following the lesson. 
    • Choose just a few high-impact points that the teacher can focus on for improvement. Provide concrete examples of what he or she can do. 
    • Make sure to mention the positives. Praise teachers for what they are doing right.
    • Do not copy and paste from one teacher’s evaluation to another. Not only could it backfire, but each individual assessment also deserves its own evaluation.


8. Listen and incorporate feedback.

Good listening skills will go a long way in managing staff and helping meet their needs. Teachers and educational support professionals have a lot to share. Tap into their “inside track” as the educators on the front lines.

    • Ask for feedback on everything from schedules to curriculum to discipline. Then, listen and take notes. 
    • Discover the “pain points”—the things that are not working well — so that the school may address them.
    • Allow teachers to be part of the decision-making process and you will get their buy-in. You also will get some creative and practical solutions.



This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or

Pin It on Pinterest