Last spring, teachers had to retrofit in-person curricula for a virtual environment and adopt new approaches for teaching students from afar. Then came fall, with the question of whether buildings would reopen hanging over every district. Concerns about the virus are mixed with worries that students aren’t getting as much through online learning as they did in the classroom.

We asked four leaders how they're keeping teachers and staff motivated. Here's what we learned.

Susan Kessler - Executive Principal, Hunters Lane High School (Tennessee)
While the world is incredibly stressful in a wide variety of ways in 2020, the most successful teachers and administrators have an almost myopic view of what they need to do. When we focus only on our students and meeting their needs right now, this year, then the external stressors — which can be overwhelming — melt away.

Joe Sanfelippo - Superintendent, Fall Creek School District (Wisconsin)
We have been trying to ensure that our staff can start the day and end the day with joy. Whatever it is that brings them joy, start your day that way to put you in the right mindset, and end your day in a way that makes you smile.

Richard Gordon IV - Principal, Paul Robeson High School (Pennsylvania)
To keep teachers motivated and positive, administrators must be mindful of their workload and support them in helping them manage it. Ensure the school’s master schedule, as well as your own professional learning community schedule, takes teachers into consideration.

Marlon Styles - Superintendent, Middletown City School District (Ohio)
I tell all the educators and staff that they can’t inspire someone if they aren’t taking care of themselves. Everyone needs to be honest with themselves about when they need to recharge their batteries.

Read the full article about alleviating stressors for teachers during COVID-19 by Shawna De La Rosa at Education Dive.