Teacher appreciation: What you need to know
The job of a teacher is to make students better, according to the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System (NYSTRS), which oversees the public school system.
Teachers are the most valuable employees in a community, said Robert H. Schmitt, president and CEO of the NYSTRS.
The system’s annual survey of state teachers found that they have a significant impact on the quality of life for students and the communities they serve.
“When teachers have a strong relationship with students, they are able to connect with students and provide a strong, positive education that will continue to benefit the entire community,” said Schmitt.
The National Association of School Administrators (NASSA), a trade association of school administrators, estimates that teachers make up about 40 percent of the $6.2 trillion in total compensation in the United States.
The New York Teachers’ Retirees Association (NYTRA), a group representing more than 600,000 teachers, said teachers are responsible for helping their students to develop a sense of belonging and a sense that they can be trusted to be there for them.
Teacher appreciation is an important topic for many teachers, but the issue is particularly pertinent to the younger generation, said Michael A. Lavin, president of the New Hampshire-based New Hampshire Association of Teachers (NHT).
Many parents want to have their kids work in a field they love, but they don’t want to take the risk of leaving their kids behind, said Lavin.
A teacher’s experience is crucial, he said.
“The teacher is one of the people who is responsible for creating the sense that these kids are capable of succeeding,” he said, adding that they will also contribute to the success of the school.
The role of teachers is changing as technology makes it easier for parents to share online learning, said Schollin, a teacher who teaches math at Stony Brook University.
Parents need to be able to easily share the lessons they’ve learned with their kids online, so teachers can help connect with their students in a fun and supportive way, he added.
Schollin said the use of iPads and Google Glass for educational purposes is a major driver of teacher appreciation.
Teaching is a great career, he continued.
“Teachers, in general, have a wonderful life and it is really important for them to be respected as they continue to be in their profession.”
Teachers have a vested interest in the well-being of their students, Schollan said.
They have a job, and they have an opportunity to help their students.
Teachings have become more diverse, as more women and minority students have entered the profession, according the NASSA.
New York has been named as one of 10 U.S. cities where the number of women and minorities in teacher training and other professions is growing fastest, the association said in a press release.
Teaches are also finding that they are valued by students, with the percentage of students who feel a teacher was very helpful in a classroom dropping from 58 percent in 2014 to 46 percent in 2015.
In 2015, teachers reported receiving an average of 678 positive teacher reviews per school, the report said.
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