School Business Affairs February 2021

42 FEBRUARY 2021 | SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS TOOLS and RESOURCES Ideas, resources, and tips for school business officials GRGROUP/STOCK.ADOBE.COM Education in the Pandemic, High-Performance Workplaces, and Paths Forward School Reopening: Educator Stress and Support For most K–12 educators, remote instruc- tion is a new way of life. Even after several months of using the 100% remote or hybrid model, it may still seem like new territory. Principals and teachers recently shared with the Regional Educational Laboratory Mid-Atlantic Governing Board the chal- lenges they face and the supports that could help them continue to be effective. Observa- tions included: All reopening methods have drawbacks and challenges for educators and students. Although a hybrid approach allows some in-person engagement while reducing infec- tion risks, managing remote and in-person instruction simultaneously is incredibly chal- lenging for teachers. Fully remote instruction is simplified in that there is no need to clean and disinfect rooms between classes; infection risk is not a factor, but many students are disen- gaged due to lack of personal interaction. Switching between hybrid and fully remote instruction, which many schools are doing, contributes to confusion. Teachers and principals worry that they are not doing enough to help their students. They are concerned about supporting stu- dent well-being, engagement, and putting enough emphasis on special needs and Eng- lish language learners. They worry about getting sick themselves, and their usual sources of support from co-workers and administrators have weakened as socializa- tion and camaraderie among colleagues have declined. For more, including suggestions for pro- viding support, visit the RELevant blog at midatlantic/app/Blog/Post/1042. High-Performance Workplaces What do high-performance workplaces do differently? Gallup discovered that a key strategy is instilling a “high-development” culture that values individual growth. In fact, organizations that invest strategically in employee development report 11% greater profitability and are twice as likely to retain employees. Here are four strategies that set the highest-performing workplaces apart from the rest: 1. They foster employee commitment and improve engagement by meeting employees’ basic needs by providing such elements as clear expectations, sincere recognition, and adequate and appropri- ate materials and equipment. 2. They recognize that employee growth and development is not always tied to promotion. Sometimes employees simply want to grow in their current position. 3. The managers are involved in employee development as coaches, not bosses. 4. The entire leadership team, not just HR, is committed to modeling development and back their words with actions. Download Gallup’s perspective paper “Employee Engagement Maximizing Employee Potential” to learn more: www. culture-engagement-paper-2019.aspx Predicting Teacher Shortages Addressing teacher shortages has been a persistent concern among school and dis- trict leaders. “An Approach to Using Student and Teacher Data to Understand and Predict Teacher Shortages,” a report from the Regional Educational Lab Central, describes an approach to identifying patterns of teacher