Top 10 October Staff Trends

Top 10 October Staff Trends

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Amanda Richards, Possip’s Reporting Team Lead, analyzed data from our Pulse Checks! The results were able to provide us with the top 10 staff trends from this past October in 2022! 


The Possip team heard from about 4,500 staff members in Possip Pulse Checks this past month! Of those participants, 57% of staff members were happy with their schools. Here are some top-of-mind trends for teachers and school staff. 

First, we wanted to share a few larger themes that we noticed:

  • Teacher working with studentsWorkload continues to be a growing concern- Teachers are consistently sharing that they are running out of time to accomplish all the necessary tasks during the day and are feeling overwhelmed by the number of to-dos on their lists. This has been a recurring trend in staff pulse checks but has risen to the top of the charts this month. 

  • Student discipline needs and student fighting are increasing- Not only is this our #2 trend for staff this month, but it’s also in the top 10 for family Pulse Checks. We’re hearing an increase in violent behavior and fights happening on campus. October can be a time when the back-to-school “honeymoon” period is over and boundaries are starting to be pushed, especially with regard to student behavior. 


Here are the top 10 staff trends that teachers are talking about.


#1 Teacher Workloads:

Teachers are feeling like there are too many checklist items, expectations, program responsibilities, meetings, initiatives, and classroom-based tasks. They want more clarity on what they should prioritize and feel that instructional tasks and pedagogical requirements should take first priority. Teachers are also sharing that many new initiatives on campuses this year, such as phonics curriculum, intervention periods, SEL curriculum, guided reading lessons, and added teacher meetings, are taking up significant time and pulling them in many different directions. 


#2 Student Discipline and Behavior:

Teachers are focused on finding solutions for concerning student behavior and fights on campus. The main points of feedback they shared in regard to discipline are more accountability. In addition, they want more monitoring in unstructured spaces like hallways. They also want more behavioral support for teachers when they need it. We are hearing that teachers feel student behaviors are escalating and there is a need for more school-wide discipline protocols. Some of the causes that teachers are attributing to this behavior spike include increased class sizes, lack of accountability or consistency with consequences on repeated students with behavioral concerns, lack of restorative practices, and a lack of monitoring in hallways and unstructured areas. 


#3 Administration Feedback:

The most commonly requested feedback was around administration having more transparency, more consistency, and more support for teachers.


#4 Curriculum Feedback:

Teachers want more freedom in their lesson planning and their classroom instruction. Staff members are also sharing feedback about topics like pacing, customization of content, resource choices, and wanting autonomy in those decisions. 


#5 Planning Time:

Teachers are sharing that meetings are falling into their planning periods and taking up preparation time multiple days a week. We also heard that there have been additional classes or preps added to teachers’ plates without having any extra planning time to complete those tasks. Many staff members are worried about work-life balance. They are using significant time outside of school and on weekends to complete their work without any additional compensation. 


#6 Staff Shortages and Teacher Vacancies:

Staff members are sharing that vacancies are impacting class sizes and disrupting the school’s ability to meet student’s needs effectively. Teachers are asking for more paraprofessionals and support staff, especially if teacher spots cannot be filled. There was also a trend that teachers feel that if they had more time and had more of a work-life balance in their roles, it may be a solution to ending teacher shortages and vacancies.


#7 Professional Development Sessions and Teacher Training:

Staff members shared feedback on current training content and requested specific content for future training. Some requested topics include trauma-informed practices, behavior management training, SPED training, and content-specific training. This would help teachers feel more confident with their curriculum. There was a trend of teachers sharing requests for new teacher training and better onboarding procedures, mentorship programs, and training resources for them to succeed.


#8 Teacher Duties & Requirements:

Teachers and staff members are sharing that their workloads and duties and unsustainable compared to the past. We heard that many new administrative duties, meeting requirements, data collection responsibilities, and adding academic responsibilities like intervention periods have been added to teachers’ plates. Teachers are asking that duties are shared equally across campus team members and that time should be given back to be able to prepare and complete these duties.


#9 Communication Content:

This is a new trend on our list this month. Teachers are sharing feedback on the content of the communication they receive from leadership on campus. They are asking for more proactive communication, especially when it comes to logistical emails or information on events. In addition they want clear and correct communication of changes or updates to important dates or deadlines. We also heard teachers ask that subs and support staff receive the same information as teachers so everyone is on the same page. Teachers also want to hear more about trends heard through their staff pulse check and what action steps may be taken because of their feedback and ideas.   


#10 IEP/504 Support:

Teachers want student needs and support to come first but are showing concerns about their ability to balance their tasks and make sure all IEP and 504 plan requirements are sufficiently being met. Teachers are asking for more communication and support from SPED departments, more training on best practices, and more collaboration with and observation from SPED departments or district leaders to better understand and meet student needs.


We share these top 10 staff trends in the hopes that they help you have the tools, information, and ideas to support your students, families, staff, and school.  We love being a partner – so just reach out to us at if you want to chat more!