Please welcome Stephanie of Principal Principles. Stephanie has written a timely piece for us to enjoy. With staff morale so low at many schools, her ideas could be just the boost your school needs to make working there a joyous experience. Thank you, Stephanie, for sharing with us!
Appreciation and morale on a campus go hand-in-hand. People starve for appreciation. Being recognized and appreciated for hard work is a key motivator for teachers. A simple thank you or a pat on the back can play a huge part in staff morale, as well as teaching performance. There are simple and effective ways to increase staff morale without breaking the bank. If you are a teacher, administrator, or support staff on a campus, you can help make your campus a joyous place to work.
As a principal and a former kindergarten teacher, I have discovered that one of the greatest needs of faculty and staff is a more positive morale. This is true in every school. Therefore, these activities were designed to help educators, especially campus leaders, consistently and continually build a positive morale throughout their teachers and staff.
1. One of the most important things I have learned over the years is that an effective leader needs to be visible and always be real. Never ask your staff to do something that you wouldn’t do yourself. Get out of the office and visit with the teachers. The best time to do this is before school begins each day. Just a few minutes each day can make a huge difference.
2. Everyone has something to contribute, no matter how big or small. Make them feel special. As a principal I invest time in the teachers that give more than expected or required. Teachers that feel good about themselves will become inspired to teach and deliver instruction at higher levels. The more you do for them, the more they will do for you in return.
3. Celebrate your successes and then celebrate some more. Have fun at school and celebrate meeting your goals. Send a personalized card to a teacher. Pin a certificate to the bulletin board in the teacher’s workroom. Send home newsletters to parents highlighting your campus successes.
Leaders Back to School Celebration – Before school I take my campus grade level leaders out to dinner, including a fun activity planned for after dinner. This year we went to Painting with a Twist. This is a place where we paint and listen to music. They are already talking about next year.
Make the Best of a Staff Meeting – Who doesn’t love to feel special? At my meetings I go beyond just passing out chocolate on the table. See how I created specialized treats and prepared for a staff meeting.
When teacher morale is energized and productive, good things will happen in the classroom. This is a win-win situation for everyone.