Teachers seem to be leaving the profession in droves. Now, the educator and the perpetual optimist in me is screaming that it is simply because we are tired, overworked, and underappreciated. In order to combat that, administrators and teachers can build staff morale by doing one of these simple things!
#1: The Little Things Can Build Staff Morale
Typically, when people hear “we need to build staff morale,” they think of big extravagant pay raises. However, it doesn’t have to be a big expense or an expense at all! There are a thousand little ways you can build staff morale with spending nothing or a very little.
Give Some Time
Often times what is killing staff morale isn’t not being appreciated (which is big part but not always the main issue). More often than not it is time! Teachers are go-go-go throughout the day. Even when your students have specials like music or art with another teacher, there’s usually something you have to do. Therefore, donating your time can be great. Administrators can volunteer to let the teacher leave an hour early, come in an hour late, or have a longer lunch while they cover the teacher’s class.
This is a great way to say your time is valuable and we appreciate the time you give even if you did a simple no prep activity. It’s important to note the teacher doesn’t lose sick or personal time for this little break. Of course, it would need to be planned, but what a great way to boost morale, show appreciation, and the administrators can get to know students a little bit better.
Donate a Gift Card
I know I said it doesn’t have to be something that costs money; however, a small gift card (enough for a coffee) can be very much so appreciated and boost staff morale. If you don’t want to spend personal or school funds on gift cards for everyone or it’s not an option, you can ask local business to donate gift cards for teachers. Most small-business are willing to do this as a thank you to teachers. In addition, it brings people into their stores.
#2: Words from Their Why
Most of the time when teachers decide to stay even on the worst of years is a common thing: students. So, to build staff morale, get students involved with a fun video, a personalized card, or a fun craft. Doing this with students without the teacher’s knowledge is not only tricky but shows you care! Teachers can get a hug here and there from a student, but getting a giant hug in the form of something they can revisit when they are feeling low can make a big difference in attitude.
#3: Build Staff Morale by Taking a Moment
Another way to build staff morale is incredibly simple. Take a moment to say thank you. We all know that students can have bad behaviors and there are days that are just a bummer. Building staff morale can be as simple as verbally showing appreciation for the people who work for you and for the students every day. If you don't have that much time to do this verbally in a way that you reach all of the teachers, you can also give them a little note with a sweet treat! All jobs are thankless jobs; however, teachers have been hung out to dry in recent years. It’s important to bring them back in and show by saying how much they matter.
#4: Let’s Get Together!
Teaching can be a very isolating profession. Yes, we have teacher friends and friends and loved ones outside of the school. However, teacher friends are not always available and outside the school friends often don’t understand. Therefore, getting together as a staff can help bring people together and build staff morale. You can do this by hosting a small barbeque, getting together for a trivia night at a local sports bar and grill, or anything! Nothing has to be huge and not everyone will come. However, your effort to build staff morale will be noticed.
#5: Have Some Fun
Finally, if you don’t want to do something that takes students away from their teacher, you can include students in the fun. You can plan a fun staff versus kid event in the gym to do at the end of the day. This should be something fun for teachers and students. This helps build staff morale because teachers get to work together while having fun! Laughter is often a great moral booster for everyone!
We know teachers are needed in our society, and it has become abundantly clear they aren’t being given the recognition or praise they deserve. Therefore, we need to change the narrative and become excellent staff morale builders, whether we are teachers, instructional coaches, or administrators. You can grab these tags over in my resource library!