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Eight Ways Administrators Can Motivate Teachers

Keeping teachers on track and motivated can be tough, but a little effort by principals and other administrators can go a long way. More face-to-face conversation, professional development opportunities, praise and recognition can keep teachers feeling valued and motivate them to do everything they can to improve their schools and reach their students. 

Here are eight ways administrators can motivate their teachers. (Taken from advice written by teachers on and eHow.) 

  1. Be involved: It is important as an administrator to be involved with every teacher and every classroom. Take time each day to do a quick run around the school and visit classrooms, poking in and interacting with students. Teachers will notice your presence. You'll also get insight into what some teachers may need and view instances where they absolutely shine. 
  2. Hold contests: Throughout the school year, host fun activities to keep the teachers in good spirits. Simple contests like "best decorated classroom" or guessing marbles in a jar can motivate teachers. It doesn't hurt to have a little fun. Consider having a contest to select the best contest ideas even!
  3. Attend and host workshops: It is important for administrators to encourage teachers to tag along to engaging workshops or for principals to use their connectionsto  host their own PD workshops. Teachers who are allowed to have the opportunity for targeted professional development feel rewarded, as any professional might. When teachers learn new techniques, they can apply them directly to better their classes.
  4. Host Teacher Appreciation events: Each year during teacher appreciation week, host a banquet acknowledging the hard work teachers do for their students and school. Invite parents, students, family, and friends to join in the banquet, and hand out customized plaques or craft letters highlighting teacher's strong points. Teachers will be estatic to see that their work is appreciated, as well as touched by the recognition in the company of their collegues, students and other community members.
  5. Give praise: Praise and compliment teachers often. Period. It doesn't matter whether teachers are praised publicly, one-on-one, in a team meeting, during a classroom observation, or through email as long as you remember to acknowledge them frequently. A kind word given on a bad day is also very motivating.
  6. Ask advice: Asking teachers for advice on practices, classroom management tips and lesson plans makes them realize that their expertise matters and can have lasting effects. 
  7. Keep a positive attitude: An administrator's job is to keep teachers motivated and willing to work hard. Keeping a positive attitude is an extremely important part of an administrator's role. Positive (and negative) attitudes can be contagious.
  8. Trust them: It is important to trust teachers and their judgment. When a sensitive classroom issue or topic of discussion is brought up, take teachers' opinions to heart. Unless you have a reason to distrust a particular staff member, be open minded and trust what they say to you. Trusting your teachers and viewing them as colleagues will help create a larger circle of trust throughout the school. 

Article by Kassondra Granata, EducationWorld Contributor