Being Intentional about Keeping Educators Educating
I have quite a few educators in my circle. Family members, neighbors, friends. Since the beginning of this year, many of them have already let me know they won’t be heading back to the classroom next year. Even if they haven’t made that decision yet, a number of the rest are actively looking at options.
My belief is that any child who has access to a high-quality education has the opportunity to succeed. Period. Full stop. But this opportunity is only accessible because of the crazy dedicated teachers, administrators and staff that support student learning across the country. But they are leaving in droves. This should scare the crap out of us all. Not only do most (if not all) of us reading this put food on the table through our service to education, but we also depend on this system for our own children or grandchildren. So what can we do? We can be intentional about being intentional.
The exact definition of intentional or intentionality is “done on purpose; deliberate.” However, I believe that the type of intentionality needed at this point in time is less about the “done on purpose” and much, much more about doing with purpose.
Here are a number of things that you and/or your company can intentionally do to help keep our educators educating and our administrators administrating.
1. Bring them joy.
Yes! It is that simple! Make them laugh, lighten their day, let them know they are not alone. Whether through social media, in a newsletter, your product, your website or somewhere else, be sure to include joy as a priority and a guiding light.
2. Actually help them.
Crazy concept, right? I trust that you and your company offer something wonderful, but your product or service more than likely cannot help them right now, so what can? Not sure? Maybe it’s time to learn more about your target audience, what’s keeping them up at night, what else is going on in their world, or what other pain you could alleviate in the near term that would earn you the opportunity to pitch them later?
3. Do your homework.
I swear I am not a teacher! Not everyone needs that same thing from us, so study up, show them you care before including them in your next email blast that isn’t relevant to their issues today.
4. Do more heartwork.
My sister, who is an elementary school teacher, talks a lot about how much educators invest in heartwork, which is earning the trust of and building a relationship with their students. (As opposed to v head work, which is teaching and learning. To invest in the heartwork, focus on building that relationship and earning their trust.
5. Create and foster a culture that puts people first, employees and educators alike.
It’s totally wild to see what is possible when you show someone your goal is to help them be more successful.
About the author
Jacob Hanson is CEO of the PRP Group. A native of Minnesota with a strong affinity for the Rocky Mountains, Jacob enjoys spending time with his two wonderful children, Sawyer and Bexley, making fresh tracks and hiking with his two hound dogs, Darla and Ivy.