The classrooms have been decorated, and the first day jitters are once again a fond memory. The get-to-know-you games and icebreakers have all been played, and now it’s time for teachers across the country to get back to the business of educating their students.
District leaders support their teachers in a variety of ways throughout the year, and many of those ways are often hidden from public view. Because of this, teachers can sometimes feel unappreciated and undervalued, but boosting morale and esteem amongst your district educators can be quite easy. By implementing a few simple efforts as school begins, you can help teachers feel more professional and valued as the year unfolds.
- Teachers often feel left out of the professional loop because they don’t have business cards that recognize them as members of a professional community. Make a special gift of personalized business cards for teachers at the start of the year. This shows them that they are valued members of the education community and provides them with an easy networking opportunity when they attend conferences and workshops.
- Another way to make teachers feel more professional and connected to their field is to encourage them to attend and present at conferences. Funding can often be tight, but prioritizing professional development opportunities shows teachers that their growth and contributions are valued and appreciated.
- Take time every day to visit teacher classrooms, and try to visit each classroom at least once a week. Stop in just to say “hello” and catch a glimpse of the great things happening around the school. Frequent informal visits can ease the anxiety teachers often feel during formal observations and can increase the authenticity of the observation period.
- Take the time to show teachers your appreciation … in writing. It’s as simple as noticing the extra moment they spent helping a student or the smiling face they wear during hall duty – reinforcing a teacher’s contribution to the school. The few moments it takes to write a note of appreciation makes a world of difference to a teacher. Keep copies of any notes that you write in the teacher’s file to make it easy to recall and reference them during evaluation periods.
- Mornings are always the most rushed part of the day, and providing a quick breakfast buffet of bagels and fruit and yogurt helps to ease some of the pressure. Teachers can focus more on preparing for the day when they don’t have to worry about slowing down for breakfast. Or, worse yet, skipping breakfast all together and running on fumes until lunch. Schedule a monthly breakfast, and enlist the PTA to sponsor it.
[inlinetweet prefix=”” tweeter=”” suffix=””]Simply taking the time to show appreciation leads to teacher motivation. Whether it is through classroom visits or acknowledging their professionalism, simple efforts can make a world of difference in increasing school morale.[/inlinetweet]
How do you plan to motivate your teachers this year? Share your ideas on social media using the hashtag #motivateteachers.