A normal day in a female teacher’s life begins by waking up early and preparing breakfast and lunch for herself and her family. She gets her kids ready and goes to school. She spends most of the day on her feet, teaching students, helping them understand the concept, and answering all their questions with very few breaks in-between. Then, she goes home and fixes a snack for her kids, helps her kids with homework while grading her student’s tests. Then she makes dinner and prepares anything she needs for the next day. After a long day, she goes to bed, exhausted. But, she makes it look so easy and she does it with a smile on her face.
On this International Women's Day let's look at some ways to make the school's workplace environment more joyful and stress-free for female teachers.
1. Better HR Systems and Processes
Teachers are paid less, and female teachers are paid even lesser. This is a case not just in the education sector but in many industries across the world. Women are expected to do more work, especially administrative tasks without an increase in their salary. The best thing schools can do to combat similar issues is to set good HR policies in place to ensure that there's equality between men and women in a professional sense. Also, there should be strict anti-harassment rules and these situations must be handled quickly and impartially. Female teachers should feel safe to come forward with their problems and trust that their issues will be resolved. These issues can be solved if the school management gets involved and it will make a real difference in women's professional lives.
2. Respecting and appreciating them for their contributions
An understated issue teachers face is not getting enough respect for the job they do. They need to have a voice in the school's administration. There should be a female representative who talks about the problems their peers face and discuss with the school board to find solutions for these issues. They are expected to do more work but are not appreciated for the efforts they put in. Send a note of appreciation from time to time to your teachers for their work. Not just to them, even a thank you note to teachers' families will make a huge difference. If you've got a female teacher in your house, remember to help them and appreciate them for their hard work.
3. Providing a good health insurance policy
Many corporates provide health insurance not just for the employee, but for their family too. It goes a long way in supporting the employee's family during a difficult time. School management should ask the question, "Do we have a good health insurance plan for our teachers and their families?" and make changes accordingly if the answer isn't satisfactory.
4. Mental health
The mental health of female teachers is affected because of working too hard with little time for relaxation. They have to teach themselves to be stronger and toughen up. A teacher who is not happy can adversely affect the students. Hence it is important to check on teachers from time to time to ensure that they are happy and that their work-life balance is good. The least we could do as school leaders is to be empathetic to teachers who are going through personal issues at home and support them emotionally.
5. Professional Development Sessions
A great way to help teachers be better at their jobs is through professional development seminars. Schools can conduct periodic seminars not just on the latest teaching techniques or classes on skill development, but also on life skills, mental wellness, mindfulness, and more.
Women are the cornerstone of our society. Female teachers go above and beyond to ensure that the future generation becomes good, responsible citizens in our society and at the same time ensure that their family is taken care of too. There is a never-ending battle of career vs family in a woman’s mind. But, it doesn't have to be. It's 2022 and women can have it all. All women need is a helping hand and their lives can change for the better. As a result, we will be living in a better society too. Chrysalis is a great example of this statement. For the past 20 years, we have flourished under the leadership of our founder and CEO, Chitra Ravi. We have partnered with schools all over India and made a significant change in India's education system. Happy Women’s Day! Be the change!