Schools have faced extraordinary challenges over the last two years, but perhaps the biggest is still to come in 2022: stopping ’The Great Teacher Resignation.’
Trusts are seeing an exodus from teaching. Long hours and low pay make replacing them extremely difficult. Shocking figures reveal that 15% of rookie teachers are quitting before the end of their first year and nearly 25% are leaving the profession within three years. Frustrated teachers are abandoning the classroom at a record rate after their first stint – reaching a 24-year low for retaining talent
The skills and expertise teachers have gained during the pandemic are extensive, but we need to maintain the momentum. Now it’s time to turn the focus on adopting and developing EdTech that supports staff and helps them become the best versions of themselves.
The big challenge of 2021 was to get children back into the classroom and the challenge for 2022 is to keep teachers there. Trusts need to reassess their technology stacks to ensure existing infrastructure and solutions are fit to deliver a secure and reliable experience for teachers.
Bringing the consumer experience into EdTech
Teachers are not the only ones to have found their job harder over the last two years, but given the shortage of teachers even before the pandemic, anything that reduces numbers furthers a big concern.
So, it’s important to remember why teachers become teachers. They are drawn to the profession to inspire and teach students, not to spend time navigating outdated technology. However, 44% of school leaders still do not have apps to capture work and assessments, and only 39% have the capacity for parents to view their child’s student data.
In today’s digital-first world, new teachers expect consumer-like technology in schools which is simple to use, provides real-time data, is agile and personalised. Poor legacy systems lead to inefficient working conditions and long working hours, which makes their job harder and drives many away from the profession. Providing modern technology will retain teachers for years to come as it will make their jobs easier and create more efficient working conditions.
The power of cloud
It’s widely acknowledged that a tidy school environment creates a calm mind more open to learning and succeeding. Yet this is far from the reality teachers and senior leadership teams face when it comes to gathering the required data for reporting and safeguarding. Teachers and Multi Academy Trust (MAT) leaders are still spending a staggering 95% of their time on gathering data and only 5% on extracting insights and making important decisions.
Thankfully, there is a much more powerful solution to this challenging equation. Harnessing cloud technology and the real-time intelligence it brings will benefit everyone – students, teachers and administrators – in the long-run.
By adopting a cloud-based Management Information System (MIS), teachers can access more intuitive reporting, presentation and representation of data. This can drive conversations with colleagues to understand the real life, human stories behind the numbers. This enables teachers and safeguarding officers to join the dots on changes in behaviour, wellbeing and safeguarding, providing a holistic, real-time view of each pupil.
A central, integrated cloud software solution gives teachers the intelligence needed to create the best possible outcomes for all pupils. Harnessing a cloud-based platform will make a teacher’s job easier, reducing workloads and encouraging them to remain in the profession.
Teach the teachers
In order to make the most out of integrated cloud platforms, teachers and senior leaders must be empowered to use all of the technology at their disposal. However, teachers have reported unsatisfactory rates of adequate training and support needed to effectively utilise EdTech in their teaching, with 55% saying training is lacking and 9% claiming they received no training at all.
Technology has given teachers and senior leaders a great opportunity to rethink teaching and learning. Although the important role of technology has become clear during the pandemic, constant support and training is essential so teachers continue to feel empowered to innovate through technology. They need to be armed with the know-how in handling the best out of the integrated systems.
Focusing on the teacher-student relationship
For many people, the lesson from the biggest experiment in remote learning ever conducted was the importance of the teacher-student relationship. Remote learning was isolating and unengaging for many teachers. With hybrid learning here to stay, educators need to embrace software that can blend the best of technology with the best classroom experiences. They need tools that extend the capabilities of very busy teachers by helping them create an engaging learning experience.
The closer the integration between teaching and assessment, the closer connection between outcome analytics and classroom teaching. Using cloud-based platforms overlayed with artificial intelligence to support teachers’ endless admin tasks, will provide greater capacity to focus on their students.
If the experience of lockdowns and school closures has taught us anything, it’s the value of face-to-face teaching and the importance of keeping experienced teachers in the classroom. It’s time to listen to the voices of educators and strive to inspire and empower teachers by embracing EdTech solutions.
About the Author
Simon Freeman is MD for Education at IRIS Software Group. We exist to simplify the lives of businesses, schools and organisations, by providing software solutions and services that substantially enhance operational compliance, efficiency and accuracy, empowering the users of our technology to look forward with certainty and confidence.
Featured image: ©Monkey Business