Support for Teachers: A School Leader’s Guide

A principal supporting her teachers

Amplifying Teacher Support and Success 

In the vibrant world of education, where the development of young minds should take precedence, teachers stand as the pillars that uphold our educational values. As campus principals and school administrators, it’s your pivotal role to nurture an environment where your staff feel not just supported but deeply valued and genuinely empowered. In this blog, I’d like to dive into the essence of such providing support for teachers, grounding the suggested strategies in research and practice that can transform your schools into havens of growth, innovation, and collaboration. 

Sanctify Teacher Planning Time  

The sanctity of teacher planning time cannot be overstated. This is the crucible where the magic of teaching is refined and readied. Research underscores the positive correlation between dedicated planning time and both instructional quality and student outcomes. The Center for Public Education outlines this impact, emphasizing that protected planning time is not a luxury but a necessity for educational improvement. As leaders, ensuring that teachers have these uninterrupted periods means advocating for their need to craft engaging, thoughtful lessons. It’s about recognizing that quality teaching requires quality preparation. 

Stand United with Teachers on Parent Issues  

Navigating parent concerns requires a united front. Leaning on and reinforcing the expertise of our educators solidifies that front. The American Federation of Teachers highlights the importance of backing our teachers in these situations. By presenting a united front, we not only reinforce the professional judgment of our educators but also build a community of trust. This unity doesn’t mean dismissing parental concerns but rather approaching them with a collective commitment to student well-being and academic success. It’s about creating a partnership where teachers feel supported, and parents feel heard. 

Communicate Effectively and Inclusively  

Effective communication is the cornerstone of any thriving school community. “School Leadership That Works” by Marzano, Waters, and McNulty champions the cause of clear, transparent, and inclusive communication. This approach ensures that every stakeholder, from staff to students and parents, is informed, engaged, and aligned with the school’s vision and goals. Crafting regular, clear channels of communication eliminates confusion and fosters a culture of openness and mutual respect. 

Embrace Autonomy, Shun Micromanagement  

Empowering teachers through autonomy encourages innovation and personal growth within the classroom. Linda Darling-Hammond, in “The Right to Learn,” makes a compelling case for the importance of granting educators the freedom to design and implement their curriculum and teaching methods. This trust in their professional expertise not only enhances teacher satisfaction but also leads to more dynamic and responsive learning environments. Autonomy should be balanced with accountability, ensuring that while teachers have the freedom to explore, they also have the support and framework within which to achieve the best outcomes for their students. 

Foster Peer-to-Peer Collaboration  

The synergy of peer-to-peer collaboration is a powerful force for professional development and student achievement. Hargreaves and Fullan’s “Professional Capital” illuminates the transformative power of collaborative practices among educators. Allocating time and resources for teachers to share ideas, strategies, and successes not only enriches their professional lives but also elevates the learning experience for students. Collaboration fosters a sense of community, breaks down isolation, and leads to a more cohesive and innovative educational approach. 

Back Teachers on Student Behavior Issues  

Much like backing teachers with parent issues, supporting teachers in managing student behavior is critical for maintaining a positive, conducive learning environment. “Discipline with Dignity” by Curwin, Mendler, and Mendler advocates for consistent, supportive disciplinary practices that respect the dignity of the student while maintaining classroom order. As administrators, backing our teachers’ decisions and providing them with the tools and strategies to manage behavior effectively ensures a safe and respectful learning environment for all. 

Amplify Teacher Voice  

If there is any one thing that I remember from the courses I took to become an administrator that made an impact, it was decentralized decision making. Supporting teachers means ensuring their voices are heard and valued within the decision-making process is essential for a collaborative school culture. “Teacher Voice: Amplifying Success” by Quaglia and Lande explores the importance of engaging teachers in conversations that shape the educational landscape of the school. This engagement not only leads to more informed and effective policies but also fosters a sense of ownership and commitment among teachers towards the school’s mission and vision. 

In Conclusion…

As you journey through the transformative path of supporting teachers, you should find ourselves transforming as well. Student success is intrinsically linked to how valued and supported our teachers feel. Implementing these teacher support strategies is not just about enhancing the educational environment, it’s about your growth as a leader. It’s about you getting out of your office and fostering a community where growth, innovation, and collaboration are at the forefront! 


  • Center for Public Education. “The Impact of Planning Time on Instructional Improvement and Student Achievement.”
  • American Federation of Teachers. “Building Parent-Teacher Relationships.”
  • Marzano, R.J., Waters, T., & McNulty, B.A. (2005). School Leadership That Works: From Research to Results. ASCD.
  • Darling-Hammond, L. (1997). The Right to Learn: A Blueprint for Creating Schools that Work. Jossey-Bass.
  • Hargreaves, A., & Fullan, M. (2012). Professional Capital: Transforming Teaching in Every School. Teachers College Press.
  • Curwin, R., Mendler, A., & Mendler, B. (2018). Discipline with Dignity: New Challenges, New Solutions. ASCD.
  • Quaglia, R., & Lande, L. (2016). Teacher Voice: Amplifying Success. Corwin.

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