Everyone knows that being a teacher can be a tough gig at times, that’s why supporting your teacher is important. Their days are often long because their evenings are spent planning lessons and marking tests, and many have to deal with poorly disciplined pupils.
What’s more, teachers are used to getting on with their work without a word of thanks. Indeed, it is their sheer determination and passion that allows teachers to carry on helping young people achieve their dreams and support them through the formative years of their lives.
Whether you’re a student, parent or school administrator, read on to find out how you can make the working lives of teachers less stressful and much more rewarding.
Tips for students
Fortunately, there are ways students can support teachers.
1. Try to empathize with their situation
Whilst you may be intellectually aware that teachers have a tough time in the classroom, it is all-too-easy to forget this fact in the midst of a long school day. Just imagine standing at the front of a restless group of loud students for eight hours a day and you may begin to understand how you can better support your teacher and make their job as enjoyable as possible.
Rather than give in to the temptation of chatting to your friends during a class or skipping parts of your homework, for example, try your best to be a model student. As well as helping out your teacher, these simple actions could even end up boosting your grades. It’s a win-win situation!
2. Try and get creative with your work
If you are completing a piece of work in a creative subject such as English or art, try thinking outside the box for your next homework assignment. Marking script after script of similar work can get very boring for teachers and could even impact your grade. Taking a risk by writing about something that hasn’t been covered in class, for example, shows originality of thought and could brighten up a long evening of marking.
3. Thank them every so often
As you approach the end of the school year, you may start to reflect on everything that your teacher has done for you. Offering your thanks is a great way to demonstrate that you are aware of the difference all of their hard work makes and could help motivate them to do the same for other kids in the future. You can show your gratitude in a number of ways from writing a heartfelt note to purchasing a beautiful bunch of flowers. If you need a little inspiration, check out this guide to thanking your teacher.
4. Clean up after yourself
This tip may seem a little obvious, but you’d be surprised how many students expect their teachers to clean up after them. To combat this culture of laziness, take pride in the cleanliness of your desk and locker space. As well as setting a good example for other students, it will save your educators a good deal of time and stress!
Tips for parents
Fortunately, there are ways parents can support teachers.
1. Provide funding directly
Classful is a special website that allows parents, students, and others to donate sums of money to their teachers. The money can be used to fulfill classroom funding needs, and a little can go to the teacher themselves as a sign of gratitude for their fantastic work. You do not need to break the bank – simply donate as much as you are able.
2. Work with them to resolve your child’s issues
If your child is facing a particular behavioral, academic or personal issue, do not leave it up to their teacher to solve the problem. Instead, get in touch with the teacher and try to come up with a helpful plan of action. Remember that you know your child better than anyone else and are best-placed to support your teacher in coming up with solutions.
Issues your child could be facing include:
- An inability or refusal to reach their academic potential
- Friendship issues
- Mental health issues
- Behavioral problems
Tips for administrative staff
Fortunately, there are ways the administration can support teachers.
1. Make a buddy scheme for teachers
Supporting new teachers is a particularly tricky task for school administrative staff, particularly if they have just entered the profession. A buddy scheme is a good way to help the teacher through their first few months by assigning them a mentor. This mentor could simply be a colleague who has a few years of experience under their belt and will be well aware of the challenges the new teacher is likely to face.
You can read up on a the result of a tried and tested mentor program here.
2. Come up with a comprehensive induction program
An induction program is essentially a professional learning scheme that helps teachers settle into life at a new school. It can include a small community of mentors that are prepared to share responsibilities and offer up valuable advice and expertise.
3. Offer regular evaluation sessions
Every teacher likes to know how they could improve their practice, and conducting regular assessments of their work is a great way to do this. Arrange for senior teachers and staff to sit in on less experienced colleagues. The senior staff can then offer a one-to-one chat about what the teacher does well, as well as areas that they could work on.
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