Why is teacher support needed?
- Teachers are the heartbeat of the school and they shape the lives and futures of their students.
- 46% of teachers report high daily stress (tied with nurses for the most stressful occupation in America today).
- In any given year, 6000 – 7000 SC school teachers leave their position and about 1000 positions remain vacant after the start of the year.
- By the 5th year, almost half of all new teachers leave the profession.
Where do we begin?
- Begin by asking the school principal how you can partner with them to show support. They know their teachers best.
- Pray for teachers in your own church. Recognize them at the beginning of the school year and have a time of prayer and commissioning for the year ahead.
- Pray for administrators and staff in your local school.
Involve your congregation
- Invite church members to write notes of appreciation and encouragement.
- Create an “angel tree” with teacher names. Have members “adopt” a teacher and send a note and small gift ($5-10) once a month.
- Sunday School classes or small groups can provide a basket of snacks for the teacher lounge or for teacher staff meetings after school.
- Pair retired teachers in your church with first year teachers who could use extra support and encouragement.
- Host a special meal for school staff at your church.
- Invite the principal to a service to share needs.
More ways to encourage
- Provide a meal and snacks during orientation week and/or on teacher work days. Be present to serve and develop relationships.
- Host a coffee truck or Kona Ice for a treat before or after school.
- Create gift bags for teachers at the beginning of the year, Christmas, or Teacher Appreciation Week.
- Celebrate teacher birthdays throughout the year with a card/small gift.
- Focus on first year teachers! Give them extra notes of encouragement and gift cards to help set up their classroom.
- Collect school supplies for teachers. Be sure to ask about the needs first!
- Collect school supplies for students in December, when students often run out and teachers replenish.
- Host a coffee bar or coffee cart once a month.
- As we get back into buildings, ask how volunteers can help with teacher duties: eat lunch with students while teachers have a break; help with carline; rotate through classrooms so teachers have restroom breaks.
- Be sure to support the full staff: bus drivers, librarians, nurses, guidance counselors, social workers, food service providers, administrative assistants and administration.