How to Increase Teacher Retention
A February 2022 National Education Association survey of its members revealed that 55% of educators were ready to leave the profession they loved earlier than planned. Factors like low pay, support staff shortages, school safety, and the stresses of post-pandemic teaching have led to widespread burnout and exhaustion like we've never seen before.
Keeping quality teachers who are passionate about making a difference in students' lives is obviously of the utmost importance. And while teacher compensation and staffing shortages may be a constant puzzle to solve, there are a few ways you can help teachers feel supported enough to stick around. Here are some of the ways you can approach increasing teacher retention, and how VariQuest can help.
Problem: When educators feel unprepared or underqualified, they struggle.
Solution: With so little time and so much to do, teachers need all the time-saving strategies and reusable materials they can get their hands on, to prepare for each lesson every day. In the VariQuest Design Software's Engage Every Learner® Content, teachers can choose from thousands of customizable templates, graphics, fonts, and collections that are neatly organized by subject matter area, education sector, and event to get ideas flowing, and then print our cut them out quickly and easily on the VariQuest tools - saving precious time that would otherwise need to be hand-drawn or cut. Watch this video on making a Visual Welcome Poster using the VariQuest Suite!
Problem: Your teachers need the proper tools to be successful.
Solution: Almost no one can do their job alone. And in our technology-driven world, finding efficiencies and automation shortcuts is paramount. With mindful spending of precious funding dollars, the administration holds the keys (and the dollars) to support their team and make it successful. We asked our VariQuest team, many of them former educators, about why they would have loved having the VariQuest tools in their classrooms. Check out what they had to say.
Problem: Teachers need support from parents to be successful.
Solution: Listen, we know you can't force parents to participate. But you can cultivate ways your teachers can involve parents so they feel included and want to help. Provide tools for designing items to send home with students to interact with their families and recognize the goals and milestones they're reaching in the classroom. Check out this fun "selfie station" teachers could implement in their classroom to send parents photos of student work they're particularly proud of - motivating both the student and parent - using the VariQuest Suite.
Problem: Teachers want freedom to try new things.
Solution: In fail-fast methodology, software engineers are encouraged to experiment with various build-approaches and determine whether they're a failure early on, to learn from what worked and what didn't, and achieve the best-possible desired result. Giving teachers the freedom to create and experiment with different approaches to complex learning concepts with inspiration from a library of content is one such way to allow for experimentation to achieve results with this post-pandemic type of student. And our tools aren't just used by teachers - often the VariQuest Suite is used by students - whether in a student-based enterprise, designing their own presentation boards, or - read about Higgins Middle School and their innovative student-run print shop using the VariQuest Suite.
Problem: Teachers want clear communication.
Solution: Do your teachers have clear direction in achieving school-wide goals? Whether you're working towards improving behavioral issues, attendance, or academic shortfalls as a school, effective communication and goal-setting is key. Using the VariQuest Suite, you can create visual reinforcements for staff providing outlines of timelines, decisions, rationales, and tools available to meet and exceed expectations. Progress charts, mind-maps, and classroom kits are just a few of the possibilities - but it's more than just a poster on the wall. Maybe a big goal is improving teacher morale. Check out this video on creating a vision board with the VariQuest tools for a motivating concept usable by students and staff alike.
Problem: You've got great teachers. You're always looking for more.
Solution: Especially in this job market, the job interview is just as much about the candidate impressing the school as it is about the school impressing the candidate. When you take candidates for a tour of your building(s), are there certain spaces that "spark joy"? Do you have helpful benefits and tools that their last school didn't? What we often hear from our education consultants is that, "When [educators] see what the VariQuest tools can do, their eyes light up." Creating a teacher workroom in your school is not a foreign concept, but perhaps making it a place where teachers want to be, is. Putting the VariQuest Suite in your teacher workroom showcases the endless possibilities of what could be created for classrooms and hallways in less time and with greater ease as the tools were designed specifically for education. You'll be amazed at the reactions to this opportunity! Check out this case study featuring Washington Street Elementary and how the VariQuest tools made teachers' lives easier in their school.
Want to learn even more? Request a no-obligation demonstration with one of our expert education consultants to see other ways your teachers can use the VariQuest Suite in your school. Our tools align with many federal and state funding streams including Title I, COVID Relief, IDEA, and more - so you can maximize your funding with valuable assets year after year. We know you'll like what you see!