5 Tips To Keep Your Teachers Engaged Over the Summer

5 Ways to Keep Your Teachers Engaged Over the Summer

It’s no secret that this year has taken an unexpected turn. From school buildings closing down for the remainder of the school year to switching gears in a matter of days to online distance learning, teachers have definitely stepped up to the challenge to serve children throughout the state. As summer break quickly approaches, we’re encouraging all school leaders to stay engaged with their staff over the summer. Everyone has been through a lot these past three months, so it’s important that your staff and culture are still valued and nurtured – now more than ever. We’ve asked a handful of our Choice Schools leaders about how they plan to keep their teachers engaged over the summer. Consider utilizing these five easy ways to continue fostering a culture of care and compassion for your teachers and staff over the summer. 

Colleen Vogt Picture - Tip #1 Thank Them!

Don’t let your teachers and staff sign off on the last day of school without showing them how much you appreciate their hard work over the past nine months. Even though the school year was not what we expected, their efforts and passion still remained! Send them a handwritten note, host a fun all-staff virtual gathering, or post about them on your school’s Facebook page! Make a personalized genuine gesture that will make them feel special.”

– Colleen Vogt, director at Will Carleton Academy in Hillsdale

Toomy Brooks image - Tip #2 Welcome Feedback

 “The past three months have been a rollercoaster of emotions for teachers and staff. Ask for their feedback about how this year went and what ideas they have for the fall. Teachers are hearing directly from students and parents what is and isn’t working for them. You never know what they might be hearing or thinking about!”

Tommy Brooks, principal at Dove Academy in Detroit

Monecia Vasbinder image - Tip #3 Include Them!

“It’s very important to include them when creating a plan for return to school in the fall. Utilize any feedback given and consider all ideas and suggestions to empower them as you create the vision for the year together. Consider asking them to be on your Return to School or School Improvement Committee where they can have an instrumental part in a successful return to learning and creating a positive school culture.”

Monecia Vasbinder, principal at Three Oaks Public School Academy in Muskegon

Kerri Barrett image - Tip #4 Encourage them to Reflect and Rest

“Summer vacation plans might look different this year, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t take time to step away from our computers and take some time for ourselves. Encourage your staff to relax and enjoy their summer however they can. It’s so important that we all return refreshed and ready this fall!”

– Kerri Barrett, elementary principal at West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science in Grand Rapids

Alan Carter image - Tip #5 Connect with Them!

“Communication is key to relationship building. Ensure to text, call or email them over the summer to check-in and show you care! As soon as you hear an update regarding the fall, email your teachers and staff. They should be your first audience to think of when you have news to share. Two of my favorite ways to update my staff are through our weekly staff newsletters and my weekly morning walks where I go live on Facebook.”

– Alan Carter, head of school at Creative Montessori Academy in Southgate