Teachers crave motivation and inspiration in their pursuit to teach the world’s future citizens how to function within society. That is not to say that they are not committed to their work; they are. Teaching is often a thankless job that drains them of their energy and sometimes their desire to teach.
Teachers can get beaten down by the day to day routine, whether by students, parents, supervisors, or the media. To create a prosperous environment where both teachers and, by association, students to thrive, we need to continue maintaining teacher morale. Here are three tips to keep teachers inspired:
1. Trust them. In a poll taken on National Teacher Day in 2013, teachers were asked: “What do you want for National Teacher Day?” Out of the almost 1,000 participants, 29.1% responded “Trust my education and experience. Give me control over my students’ instruction and assessment.”
Teachers are prepared to lead. They are taught how to run their classrooms and guide them in the right direction, convince them to follow what she teaches. While most are able to control their classrooms without much intervention, the same does not apply to their course curriculum. Teachers do need to stick to the curricula most of the time, but allowing some wiggle room can enable them to excel. Teachers who gain control over their work tend to perform better, doing the same for student outcomes.
2. Lead by example. The best way to encourage teacher involvement and collaboration is to get in there yourself. Highlight the benefits of working with another teacher to create the desired student outcomes on projects. Show them what to do in situations that they are unfamiliar with, don’t let them struggle.
If you are trying to introduce new technology or convert to a 50/50 class, help them in their preparation. They will be required to adjust their current course plan and create new online material, no easy task, especially when working on a deadline. Take some extra time and interact with the students as well. Teachers will become inspired by your involvement rather than frustrated that you remain in your office when they have to adapt to all the changes that you set in motion.
3. Revive their passion. Teachers choose to dive into the world of education because they believe that they can make a difference in the lives of their students. They love their students and want them to do their best within the school and afterward, once they go into the workforce or college.
However, everyone can get beaten down by a job, no matter how much they love what they do. Parents can be annoying, students can be frustrating, restrictions can be limiting, and grading can become overwhelming. Teachers can be worn down by constant work. A good administrator should be able to turn this around. Help the teacher keep their eyes on the prize, realign the teacher’s focus back to the betterment of the student. Show them that their work is valued and that they are making a difference in their student’s lives.
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