Early education teaching isn’t for the faint of heart. Managing a room full of young children is rewarding, but it’s not always easy and can drain energy quickly. Teachers and caregivers deal with cranky children, and sometimes their parents can be just as temperamental! There is usually endless paperwork, low pay, and, unfortunately, a lack of recognition in education. Development opportunities and upward job mobility can be lacking in this profession as well. All of these things combined can make staffing early education settings difficult, but there are ways that you can overcome these challenges and create a great environment for all.
Teacher attrition is a significant challenge in early education settings, with many teachers leaving the profession early in their careers. Creating a mentorship program can be an effective strategy to help new early ed teachers be successful and stay in the classroom. It is crucial that you offer new hires frequent opportunities to connect with one or more senior colleagues. Let new teachers observe coworkers in the school, have access to training, and provide them with regular constructive feedback.
Create a Positive School Environment
Teaching is a challenging job, and meeting the unique needs of students is no small task. This obstacle is inherent to the job; however, you can address school working conditions and help retain teachers by requesting feedback about what resources your staff needs in their classrooms. Another great idea is to try to minimize their administrative load and help them understand pathways for their career growth and development.
The truth is all teachers are underpaid. Although you may not be able to address this problem directly, you can act in a positive way. If you have the extra budget, consider thinking outside the box to recruit new hires for your hard-to-fill early education teaching positions. Consider showing your staff that you care by ordering them a group lunch or providing useful professional development training. Other possibilities include loan repayment, signing bonuses, or even housing assistance.
Use Social Media
Effective public relations can help you get high-quality teachers into vacant positions. Social media can provide you with practical, cost-free tools to help you build positive rhetoric around your school or district. Use social media to share the amazing things your students and teachers are accomplishing, talk about the benefits your staff members enjoy or promote your open positions. By getting your school’s name out there on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, you’ll build critical awareness while controlling public perception.
Let Your Teachers Make a Difference
People become teachers because they are fervent about making a difference in student’s lives. Allow teachers to share their ideas and become leaders and innovators in your school. Provide them with time to collaborate and give them the support they need to bring their ideas to life. Taking the time to hear your teachers’ voices will go a long way in keeping them in the classrooms at your school.
Arbor Associates has nearly 40 years of experience in sourcing educators and support staff for children in various educational settings. Allow them to address your unique staffing needs and make a difference in your early education facility.