Educators need to have support from community
Delta Kappa Gamma Society is an international group of women educators that promote excellence in education. Each year the society addresses issues of relevance to all educators as the function of its U.S. forum. They select what they believe to be the most critical issue of the time. They set about developing plans with the society to take appropriate actions to make the issue known and resolve its negative impact.
The current concern is the mental health of teachers as a result of a multitude of stressors they face. Teachers’ unions, insurance companies and others collected data confirms the seriousness of this national problem. They are addressing recommendations to improve staff physical and mental health. Teachers are encouraged to remain in the profession, address anxiety and depression so they can provide excellent educational opportunities and support for children. (Data collected by the Upper Peninsula Communities That Care reports through the Great Lakes Recovery Center that there is a serious increase in student depression.)
Many parents understand the challenges of teaching, as they did so in the home during COVID. Parents know the efforts of teachers to maintain learning. We are all alarmed for the safety of our children and their teachers as they huddle in classroom corners in the dark at the sound of a specific signal hoping it is a drill. They are not funded adequately. It is stressful to feel you are not meeting the needs of your students as they fall behind emotionally and academically.
Beta Sigma Chapter members — in Delta, Dickinson, Menominee, Marinette, Oconto and Schoolcraft counties — are suggesting our communities be part of a positive action to support our teachers.
Teachers Week this year was May 8-12. With the week in mind, we encourage the public to express gratitude to their teachers in creative ways. Write or send a communication to individual teachers who have touched you or your children in some way or the staff as they impact everyone.
Community entities can find ways to celebrate them and express gratitude for their efforts. Encourage them and be loud and clear that they are appreciated. Let them know that your community stands behind them.
Know your efforts will bring smiles at the least and may save a job at the most. Reaching out and expressing gratitude are ways for all of us to improve our mental health.