Ways to Increase Teacher Effectiveness Without Contributing to Burnout

Dr. Benjamin Washington
Dr. Benjamin Washington
Middle school assistant principal; Ed.D. in Educational Leadership
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Teacher effectiveness is key to student performance. Additionally, when it comes to teaching, many factors lead to a teacher’s success but also teacher burnout. Research conducted by the American University School of Education and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 270,000 teachers have left the education profession since 2016. Factors contributing to burnout include:

  • Exhaustion
  • Lack of funding/low salaries
  • Emotional and mental stress
  • A lack of confidence in ability

However, there are ways to increase teacher effectiveness without contributing to teacher burnout symptoms. Improving effectiveness can enhance teacher professional development and lessen the effects of teacher shortages. 

Increasing teacher effectiveness involves a variety of factors. To decrease the possibility of teacher burnout, multiple factors must be considered, including:

  • Master scheduling
  • Establishing grade-level and common planning
  • Finding creative ways to show faculty appreciation

Teachers and administrators both make an impact on the lives of students daily. However, these educational leaders often are overwhelmed due to political issues, low funding, and large classroom sizes. Finding solutions to teacher burnout has a valuable impact on the lives of students and the school as a whole.

Implement a Master Schedule

School administrators use their knowledge of curriculum and instruction, classroom management, and teacher profiles to create a master schedule to optimize student learning. Due to the multitude of changes since the COVID-19 pandemic, districts have had a variety of ways to engage students whether it is virtual learning, face-to-face, or a hybrid model.

Curriculum and instruction program changes due to COVID have also led to school officials looking at more effective ways to build master schedules. In addition to school principals and assistant principals contributing to building a master schedule, school counselors also play a vital role in building the schedule. To increase teacher effectiveness while creating a master schedule it is essential to know how the school operates. Some schools operate on an alternative schedule, such as A and B Days.

Other school buildings have schedules created using the block schedule system or a traditional model by semester classes. When regarding effective teaching, understanding their skill set with classroom management and their knowledge of curriculum and instruction is vital. An effective educational leader will be able to build a schedule that allows for the teacher to facilitate instruction but also find ways to challenge students and grow as an instructional leader.

Grade-Level Planning Days

Educational leaders must continue to find skills to address teacher burnout. Effective teachers need time to have common planning and to also build relationships with their colleagues. Teachers will have common planning days by grade-level or content area, depending on the school. At the elementary and middle school level, planning will come in the form of teams. In high school, teachers may plan by content area or with other teachers individually. Regardless, teachers must have the ability to plan together and have continued access to professional development.

As teachers plan and administrators give teachers a guide to school goals and teacher training, teacher effectiveness will increase. As teachers plan, they must use their curriculum writing, planning, and data-driven decision-making skills to create content and lessons that increase student achievement. The same is true for administrators who develop professional development content and facilitate training and district goals for student and teacher growth and development.

Regular Faculty Appreciation

Showing appreciation to the faculty of the school is one of the most important factors in establishing positive morale and retaining teachers. Educational leaders have a direct impact on not just teacher professional development but also teacher retention. How educational leaders influence teacher retention comes from having the ability to coach teachers, provide professional development, and provide opportunities for teachers to access mentors and other instructional leaders.

Showing faculty appreciation comes in many forms. This includes teacher professional development, school-wide potlucks, and even individual acts of appreciation, including teacher notes, faculty of the month awards and appointment of teachers to leadership positions in the building. Creating a positive culture is vital to maximizing faculty appreciation in the school building. When faculty members feel appreciated, teachers can actively engage students and model expectations for positive learning and relationships in the school building.

School Enrichment Activities

Increasing teacher effectiveness is also attributed to establishing school enrichment activities. Field trips, educational activities, and bringing in others from outside professionals contribute to school enrichment and teacher development. Educational leaders who find ways to bring engaging enrichment activities and platforms to optimize teachers’ skills will increase teacher effectiveness and schoolwide sustainability. These activities should have focus on teacher mental health, celebrating student success, and establishing relationships between students and teachers. Increasing teacher effectiveness without contributing to burnout is a goal of school and district administrators.

Once teachers feel supported and have access to opportunities to enhance their skills, feel emotionally and professionally supported, and have a relationship with students and staff this benefits the school as a whole. The future of education depends on strategies to increase teacher effectiveness and prevent burnout. Whether it be pursuing graduate degrees, support from administrators, or finding ways to deal with mental health on the job, teacher effectiveness is paramount.

As educators find interactive ways to engage students, teachers, parents, and school administrators all have a stake in the future of education and the growth and development of students.

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