The New York Times recently reported an all time low in teacher morale. The article refers to perceptions of teacher worth and effectiveness. Change fatigue, increased levels of accountability and tight budgets also play a major role in teacher job dissatisfaction.
Last year, when faced with many of these same issues, I felt it was important to communicate and cultivate the notion of team support. I continued to ask my staff what I could do to support them. More often than not, they just wanted me to listen to their challenges, recognize their hard work and celebrate their successes. I expanded our Renaissance outreach to staff, sent more personal notes, emails, public recognition in staff and board meetings and additional treats in the staff lounge. It’s the little things that add up over time.
Additional morale strategies include:
- Creating an incredible Teacher Appreciation Week (get your PTO involved). May 5-9, 2014.
- Have a pot luck at least once a month.
- Have admin. cook breakfast for staff.
- Have teachers model their successful teaching strategies at staff meetings and board meetings.
- Always SUPPORT your teachers when parents complain about them.
- Provide ample, valuable and meaningful professional development. This is a critical budget line to protect.
- Follow through with promises to teachers.
- Have a team “ropes course” adventure at the beginning of the year.
- Encourage your teachers to come to you with their concerns with an open door policy.
- Be the example! Model a positive, healthy and enthusiastic attitude.