MD school districts supporting teachers, while COVID-19 impacts have caused burnout
MARYLAND – COVID-19 has put stress on students going back to school, but school districts said it has also impacted their teachers and staff. Now, they are trying to change that.
“We are behind them, we support them, and we are going to do our very best to make it a work environment that is conducive for learning and conducive for them to come in each and every day,” Worcester County Superintendent Lou Taylor said.
Superintendent Taylor said he’s seen the hurdles teachers and school staff are facing.
“So, with that accountability, with the demands on them, and with dealing with the pandemic and all the protocols and things we have to put in place, it’s very challenging for our teachers today,” Superintendent Taylor said.
He’s not turning a blind eye to the issues; he presented a proposal to the school board to make changes for these teachers.
“Asking for three days December 20, 21, 22 to be asynchronous learning days for our kids and for our teachers that way they can work from the comfort of their home and take a break so our board approved that,” Superintendent Taylor said.
Meanwhile, in Wicomico County, the Public School District is also taking steps toward fighting burnout. From November through May one in-school instruction day each month will be an early dismissal day. On these days students will be dismissed 3 hours early, and grab-and-go lunches will be available at dismissal.
“And, this time will allow staff to complete professional tasks, grading and planning that they haven’t had time to do, also to tend to their own personal well being,” Rick Briggs, Chief Academic Officer of Wicomico County Public Schools, said.
Briggs adds that teachers not taking care of their mental health can impact students.
“Mental health is a major issue for both students and staff alike, and if staff aren’t in the right frame of mind then they are not able to meet the needs of their students as well,” Briggs said.
We’re told this change may mean families needing to find accommodations for those students coming home earlier. Despite that, school officials hope it will be a win overall.
“Although, it will be some inconvenience to families that in the long run they will be positively impacted by this change, as they will have quality teachers supporting their students each and every day,” Briggs said.
Wicomico County Public Schools said with teacher shortages happening they hope that this change can help with recruitment as well.