How To Keep Your Staff Motivated Throughout The Year
As all great principals and administrative staff know, teachers are the lifeline of the school. Teachers not only impart lessons, but they are counselors, healers, guides, and cheerleaders for their students. And very often they do this for their fellow teachers as well. Also, teachers have personal lives too. Teachers spend probably the better part of 24 hours each day giving to others.
This selflessness is what makes teachers great. It also needs to be understood that this constant giving can also be draining. Besides mentoring students, teachers have to be able to deal with all kinds of parents, professional development, and perhaps deal with staff drama. Schools need to recognize that teachers go way beyond just teaching a textbook for 7 hours a day.
The Importance of Recognition
It is safe to say that everyone likes to be recognized. When people are working hard, perhaps with a lot of it being behind the scenes, they thrive on others noticing the work they are doing. Just as students like to hear, they are doing a good job, so do teachers.
In fact, hearing praise from the principal can be incredibly motivating for teachers. Principals can use the staff newsletter to publicly mention how well a teacher handled a particular lesson, etc. If a teacher is not comfortable with this, the principal can simply indicate that he/she noticed what the teacher has done and how nice it was. This shows your teachers that you are watching them, and you notice when they have gone above and beyond. This kind of recognition is good for the teacher’s confidence, and it will inspire them to continue reaching for new ways of teaching effectively.
There is no doubt that the school year is jam-packed from the first day to the last. Try and make some time to connect with your staff at regular intervals during the year. A great way to accomplish this is by moving off campus for some time together. It can be as simple as a breakfast or lunch at a restaurant or a more involved team building activity.
Small Gifts have a Big Impact
Another way to help encourage your staff during the year is by random gift giving. Make sure to build this expense into your budget.
Gifts do not have to be large or expensive. It is, after all, the thought that counts. A small gift card to a local coffee shop or to a local lunch place are thoughtful gifts for a teacher. And both coffee and lunch are an excellent way to help him or her in the morning as well.
Indeed, a small gift on a birthday is another excellent way to help morale. Again, it can be a gift certificate to a local spa for a manicure, a gift card for the local mall, or a gift certificate for a car wash. It doesn’t matter so much what the gift is, but the recognition that counts.
When people are appreciated, they are inspired to work even harder.