What Are Simple Ways To Make Teachers Feel Appreciated?
contributed by Anne Davis
The best administrators already work hard to ensure that their teachers are not just happy and content but well-supported and respected.
A lot of this can be reduced to making teacher ‘happiness’ an actual goal. While the goal of a school isn’t ‘to make teachers happy,’ a school full of unhappy teachers can’t accomplish its primary goal: to improve the lives of children.
Whether a teacher or professional in another field, Over and over again studies have shown that the happier an employee is, the better they will be. As an education administrator, you can help with that by showing your teachers that you actually care about them and their lives.
8 Simple Ways To Make Teachers Feel Appreciated
1. Know, recognize, and engage with every teacher individually
This doesn’t mean that you have to become ‘personal’ with your staff but it. It also helps if you are open about how appreciative you are of the things that teachers do for you and your school. Expressing even a little appreciation goes a long way.
2. Celebrate growth and achievement
Simple enough: Rather than handing out ‘teacher of the year’ awards, celebrate the growth and achievement of teachers over time.
3. Ask them for their ideas–and then listen
When teachers are able to provide their experience and expertise, not only can they feel appreciated, but they can do so for the right reasons: their ability and passion for teaching.
4. Be honest
One way to think about this one: Few things can do the opposite of making someone feel appreciated more quickly than dishonesty. Honesty is central to respect and respect is central to mutual appreciation.
5. Share their success outside the school
Whether bragging about the work of a committee or leadership during a student project-based learning unit, sharing a teacher’s success outside the school–to parents, other teachers in other schools, district administrators, local media, or your global professional learning network, recognizing the effort and ability of your teachers motivates teachers but more critically, is the right thing to do.
6. Team-build at an event
Whether it’s a staff meeting that you turn into something fun or a one-off luncheon, scheduling an event for your teachers can relieve stress, let your teachers know that you care about their well-being, and give them a chance to interact with one another in a not-about-school way. If you don’t have time to set it all up yourself, look for a company that specializes in corporate event planning. They can customize an event to meet your needs.
By socializing together with your school staff, it lets them see you as a real person, not just an administrator. Feeling like part of a team can help teachers deal with setbacks when the load is shared by many and not just on their shoulders.
7. Leave thank you notes
Showing appreciation for teachers doesn’t always require money, events, announcements, social media, or an awards ceremony. An authentic expression of gratitude for even a minor ‘thing’ you noticed on a post-it note left on their desk when they’re not in the room can go a long way in communicating appreciating and respect.
8. Help them learn, develop, and grow
No one wants to feel like they are in a dead-end job with no room for growth or improvement.
It is a good idea, as a school or district leader, to help teachers learn, develop, and grow. Whether that’s encouraging teachers to attend workshops or helping them take courses and related teacher professional development, these initiatives help build capacity and confidence that leads to teachers that feel able, supported, and appreciated.
By showing you believe they can do more, they probably will.