Teachers need a sense of efficacy to succeed. That can be a hard thing to maintain in the best of times, and during the pandemic a “subtle yet pernicious dynamic” has made matters worse, McREL’s Bryan Goodwin and Susan Shebby write in the December/January issue of ASCD’s Educational Leadership. The issue is dedicated to mental health for educators.
Education leaders can help teachers recapture the feeling of being competent and effective by recognizing that the plunge into online learning was just as stressful for them as it was for students, and offer appropriate support. From there, schools can adopt specific collaborative practices and strive for shared attitudes that, researchers have shown, support a sense of efficacy. For example, it isn’t necessary to solve every problem instantly; if teachers sense the team is making progress, they feel better about the job they are doing.