How can teachers be supported?
Teachers need to be supported and receive adequate information on how they can contribute to a safe return to school for themselves and all learners.
An investment in teacher wellbeing during the reopening phase will result in long-term benefits, as teachers can act as community ‘thought leaders’, ensuring safety, health, and education continuity.
Ideas for supporting teacher wellbeing include:
- Teachers peer networks that allow teachers to share their experiences, develop solutions collectively, and strengthen their motivation and wellbeing.
- Support from school leaders and education officials who play a critical role in ensuring teachers are connected and supported. These officials can refer teachers to necessary resources and provide basic psychosocial support by listening to their concerns and encouraging/praising them.
- Communication mechanisms that are familiar (such as SMS, Whatsapp, etc) to ensure that teachers receive clear, continuous information about the status of COVID-19 and school and national action plans to respond to the virus.
- MHPSS for teachers such as training on wellbeing and stress management.
- Compliance with government guidelines on the health and welfare of essential workers, including teachers and other education personnel. Where teachers are at particular risk or contract COVID-19, they should be supported to remain at home until fully recovered and able to safely return to school.
- Specific support for female teachers such as childcare or transportation may be needed.