Teachers need support - and brands could be the answer
In a recent post, we talked about startling statistics related to the current educational landscape. It features survey results from ITK's network of teachers, school administrators, and child care providers. Many of them are struggling with everything from mental health to a shortage of materials and resources.
What students and teachers are facing.
While stats help to paint an overall picture, we wanted to dig deeper. We were able to connect with members of our network and see how they were personally navigating the world of education.
The first thing that became even more clear is the mental and emotional toll taken on education professionals. A large number of them talked about carrying stress and frustration from work to home. One teacher had this to say:
"Much more stress in dealing with not only instructing students who have had disrupted education the past two years, but the number of mental/emotional challenges this generation is facing is overwhelming. It is difficult now more than ever to just ‘let it go’ when you walk out the door. I am more mentally exhausted now than ever, leaving very little of my ‘best self’ for my own children when I get home."
But it's not just students experiencing mental and emotional issues. Most of the professionals we heard from talked about overcoming a barrage of challenges on top of lacking support, recognition, and resources.
One replied: “Teachers are being held responsible for triaging the mental health issues in children that came from the pandemic. We need more support and instead of gaining crisis counselors, we've had counseling staff excused from meetings that are some of our few interactions with them. I come home stressed, frustrated, and upset most days."
It stretches beyond being "uncomfortable" or "stressed," into the realm of true mental health crises. One teacher shared she had been institutionalized to cope with the immense emotional trauma her job caused.
How others can step up.
Some teachers said more patience and understanding from parents could go a long way. But much of the stress they're under comes down to resources. In our previous post, we talked about how frequently teachers spend their own money (often north of $500) on classroom supplies and course materials.
This adds another layer of pressure on top of the already extraordinary circumstances they face.
"I feel like I am not valued as a teacher when I ask for stuff and don't get it. I spend my money on classroom supplies because it is a hassle to go through all the channels to purchase something."
Brands and corporate partners can step in and fill many of these gaps. About 70% of survey respondents said it would be “very helpful” to receive materials and resources from partner brands. They cited everything from PPE to lesson plans and classroom consumables as materials they would appreciate and utilize.
A win-win situation.
Obviously, teachers greatly benefit from more support. But it’s an opportunity for brands as well. Education marketing is a great way to expand reach while providing vital resources to teachers and students.
While we continue to be told the end of the pandemic is near (or already here), the struggles faced by teachers and students are anything but over. Supply chain shortages and rising costs continue to be an issue. Not to mention mental and emotional scars that will be slow to fade.
Now is the time for brands to step up and provide support that schools and administrators don’t have the budget or resources to deliver.
Contact us to see how ITK Collective can connect you with teachers to get important and necessary resources into their hands.