Supporting Our Educators and School Staff

All children deserve a rich, engaging, and high-quality public education that gives them the knowledge and skills necessary to graduate high school with academic and career options. One of the most important elements of a high-quality education is a strong, diverse, and well supported teaching profession.

One of the most essential investments our state can make in supporting our public schools is establishing and maintaining a strong, diverse, and supported teaching and learning profession. Fully prepared teachers ensure students excel in critical subjects like math, science, and reading, and teach them the skills they’ll need to learn and understand the world around them. 

Empowered school leadership, including school principals, create strong and inclusive learning environments that support the whole child and deeper learning. And school staff like paraprofessionals, school counselors, and school nurses support young people by fostering student learning and well-being.

But, across the state and country, our teachers and school professionals are feeling increased pressure and demands and aren’t being financially compensated for their professional expertise like in other fields. It has fueled a persistent teacher and staff workforce shortage, which has disproportionately affected rural and underserved students. 

So, what can we do about it? We can start by: 

  • Ensuring that teachers and school staff receive fair and competitive pay regardless of where they teach. New Hampshire must ensure that its school funding formula provides school districts with the resources they need to pay teachers and school staff fairly. 
  • Investing in effective retention strategies, like mentoring, professional learning and growth, and establishing collaborative leadership structures and practices. 
  • Strengthening and diversifying the teaching profession. All students benefit when teachers and school staff represent the rich diversity of our communities. Preparation programs like teacher residencies and Grow Your Own (GYO) programs create opportunities to recruit local educators and strengthen long-term retention. According to research, nearly half of the new teachers in residency programs across the country are people of color. 
  • Improving recruitment strategies. Eliminating barriers for future teachers to pursue pathways to education is critical to making sure that New Hampshire has a strong, well-qualified teacher workforce now and in the future. Scholarships, grants, loan forgiveness, and other incentive programs can lessen the financial burden of pursuing a career in education and encourage teachers to stay in the state. 
  • Respecting teaching as a profession. Well-qualified teachers and school leaders are highly trained and experts in their field. The public overwhelmingly supports public schools and teachers, and trusts them more than almost any other profession. We must ensure that our schools are well-supported and are affirming places for our students, teachers, and staff, and that they are valued in our communities and in our state as a whole.
COMING SOON! 2024 TEACHER CLIMATE SURVEY

To better understand the environment and working conditions of teachers and school staff across the state, Reaching Higher NH is administering the 2024 Teacher Climate Survey (TCS), a brief web-based survey that will measure teacher, administrator, and school staff perceptions of the education profession in New Hampshire. The purpose of the TCS is to inform statewide conversations about how New Hampshire can support, recruit, and retain educators and school staff. 

The survey, which RHNH initially administered in 2022, is being redesigned to include all educators, school leaders, and school staff in response to the overwhelming feedback we received in the last survey. Originally designed to capture the input of educators who were leaving the state or profession, we learned that individuals in all phases of their careers wanted to share their thoughts. So, we listened: now, the survey is open to all! 

The survey will open in late May. To be added to the distribution list, please complete this form: https://mailchi.mp/reachinghighernh/teacher-climate-survey 

For more information about the TCS, please contact Christina Pretorius, Policy Director, at christina@reachinghighernh.org 

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