How Classroom Management Software Can Help Improve Teacher Retention
June 9, 2021
The teacher shortage has challenged K-12 school districts for years, but it has become even more urgent since the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the biggest factors contributing to the shortage seems to be a lack of qualified candidates. Many school and district leaders say they are able to hire teachers but are not able to deliver the training and tools those hires need to be successful.
Of course, being successful as a teacher became more challenging than ever when the pandemic forced schools to switch to distance learning and, later, hybrid learning. Teachers needed to keep students engaged and progressing while they worked on digital devices – something even seasoned teachers found challenging.
Many schools discovered that classroom management software solutions could support the needs of the digital classroom, whether learning was happening in person or remotely. From saving teachers time each day to helping them gauge and guide student progress in the digital space, classroom management software can help teachers be successful, leading to higher retention rates.
Why Teacher Retention Is a Major Priority
According to research by Frontline Education, the teacher shortage is at an all-time high in 2021, with two out of three education leaders reporting a shortage within their school or district. So for administrators, slowing teacher attrition to retain teachers is a huge priority, but it’s also a huge challenge.
School administrators must not only focus on hiring and training enough teachers, but they must also strike a delicate balance between supporting hybrid learning, creating a school environment that facilitates social-emotional learning, delivering a high-quality education that prepares students for college and their future careers, and meeting a litany of local, state, and federal standards. in addition, they must do all of this under significant time and budget constraints.
Replacing a teacher costs an incremental $21,000, so the ripple effects of teacher shortages are disproportionately felt in areas of high poverty, further complicating efforts to narrow the achievement gap.
Fortunately, the United States Congress has enacted new relief packages including the American Rescue Plan, released in April 2021, to provide nearly $122 billion to help safely reopen and operate schools in the wake of COVID-19 closures. Schools can use this funding to invest in tools like classroom management software to alleviate some of the pressure on teachers and help them become more successful in fostering positive student outcomes – and ultimately encourage higher teacher retention rates.
The Case for Classroom Management Software
Classroom management skills have long been a focus of teacher development by the National Education Association to help close the achievement gap and promote excellence in learning for all students. As early as 2011, the Academy for Urban School Leadership established clear statistical linkages between excellence in learning and teacher satisfaction. The adoption of refined teaching methodologies, supported by effective classroom management techniques, dramatically improves student achievement, which AUSL found leads to higher overall job satisfaction for those teachers.
Additionally, in its assessment of educator job satisfaction across six countries, Europe’s Journal of Psychology cited numerous reports showing teachers experience greater job satisfaction when class time is focused on student success instead of things like behavior correction. Classroom management software, like LanSchool, is specifically designed to help teachers guide learning and keep students engaged, allowing them to prioritize improving student outcomes instead of managing devices.
Here are 3 ways classroom management software can improve teachers’ job success and satisfaction, thereby supporting retention:
1. Guide learning – Classroom management software gives teachers visibility into what students are doing on their digital devices. This gives teachers the information they need to personalize lessons for students and redirect those who are off-track, all while encouraging student-led learning. For distance or hybrid learning, the ability to view students’ screens is crucial for ensuring kids are engaged and progressing.
2. Facilitating collaboration – Classroom management software also helps teachers and students communicate and collaborate with features like screen sharing, messaging, and polling. Teachers can encourage collaboration and student-led learning from their central dashboard as students work together in groups and present their final work to the entire class.
3. Maximizing teaching time – Teachers who use classroom management software can reclaim valuable teaching time because they spend less time walking around the class encouraging students to stay on task. They also spend less time troubleshooting technical issues and managing devices. With classroom management software, teachers can limit students’ website access to approved sites to reduce distractions, and they can push websites to all student devices to quickly get everyone on the same page.
A Powerful Addition to an Administrator’s Toolkit
While there is no simple answer to the complex issue of teacher retention, it is not an unsolvable problem. The solutions must be comprehensive, and although classroom management software alone isn’t enough to retain teachers, it can help empower and motivate them — two key ingredients for job satisfaction. The research is clear on the link between job satisfaction and teacher retention. Fulfilled teachers are more likely to stay and impact student outcomes at a school for a longer period of time. That’s a win for K-12 teachers, students, and administrators.
Ready to try LanSchool in your school and see how classroom management software can help you provide better outcomes for students and teachers alike? Sign up for a free trial here.