A lot of tech companies are known for their amazing offices and thriving culture with happy employees who never want to leave. They have seemingly found the secret to the fine line of satisfying their employees and still being productive. Yet, schools are losing teachers left and right and struggling with to maintain positive culture. It seems about time that schools learn a few things from these tech companies.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking; these tech companies have deep pockets with funding pouring in and schools can barely afford to pay their teachers. Yes, there are major differences between the tech world and the education sector, but I believe that there are three simple changes schools could implore that would bring about big change: time for collaboration, investing in health/wellness, and flexibility. These ways may look different from school to school, but they can make a world of difference. Ask any employee at a tech company!
1. Time for Collaboration
Any smart business gives it’s employees time to collaborate. Collaboration allows for great minds to bounce ideas off each other and come up with even better ideas, solutions, and plans together as well as creates a culture of sharing. In schools, a lot of teachers don’t have much time to collaborate with their colleagues so they work independently missing opportunities to get an outside point of view or get input to grow good ideas into great ideas. Making time for teachers to collaborate can save on resources, time spent planning, and lead to student success. Your school is a wealth of knowledge, but the knowledge has to have time to share with others to be worthwhile.
2. Investing in Health/Wellness
A lot of startups focus on their employee health and wellness. They know that happy, healthy employees do better work. Teachers are no exception, and a happy, healthy teacher will be more engaged and have better student outcomes compared to exhausted, stressed teachers. Giving teachers more breaks (teachers need time to pee!), better support, and clean working environments are small ways to help improve health and wellness. Studies have also shown that professional developments on teacher health, stress management strategies, and mindfulness strategies for teachers also help reduce daily stress and upgrade teacher health.
Of course a teacher can’t work from home on a school day, but what about work from home professional development days? Or what about allowing teachers decide what professional development they want to do? Simple opportunities for choices and flexibility like this show that schools are willing to work with teacher when they can. There are a number of ways to allow teachers small flexible options throughout the school year that can help raise morale.