7 ways to keep teachers motivated

Posted by Kate Herbert-Smith on 19 November, 2018

As a senior leader, keeping your teachers motivated is one of your most important roles and an essential part of your students’ overall success. But keeping teachers motivated can also be challenging. Take the time to experiment with some of these tips to find what works best in your school.

Here are 7 tips to keep your teachers motivated throughout the school year:

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1. Respect them
Teachers know that the language they use can nurture (or derail) their relationships with students. The same goes for you. Use positive, respectful language at all times, and really listen to their concerns and thoughts. Do this not because you want to present yourself in a certain way, but because you know that teachers are professionals, too, and for them, teaching is as much a lifestyle as it is a job.


2. Nurture greatness

Most teachers enter the profession because they want to make a difference to young people’s lives. They also understand that being a great teacher is an ever evolving process. Which is precisely what makes continuing professional development (CPD) so valuable. By giving your teachers new ways to become better at what they do and impact more children, you can remind them why they entered the field in the first place. Consider investing in more effective professional development to help you in this plight. Find out what you need to consider for effective CPD >


3. Give them a voice

Being left out of an important decision that affects them is the easiest way for a teacher to lose motivation. Invite teachers from each year group or subject to be a representative during board meetings and get their opinion about proposed strategies. Also consider holding “open-door” meetings, where every teacher has the option to attend and listen during meetings, even if they are not directly involved.


4. Encourage collaboration

Having your teachers work together can significantly impact their motivation. More experienced teachers can be recognised for their best teaching strategies. Younger teachers can be given validation that the things they are trying are actually working. You could even consider creating professional learning communities within your school to create a more formal structure for collaboration.


5. Be available

Your role as a leader is to make your teachers’ lives easier so that they can teach and your students can learn. Help your teachers as much as possible when they have a heavier workload by asking what they need help with.


6. Say thank you
If a teacher feels valued, they’ll also be motivated. Making each teacher feel valued can be as simple as thanking them for something that they have done recently. You can also make a larger gesture by organising a staff lunch in which you personally thank teachers for outstanding contributions to the school.


7. Recognise stressful times

Try not to overload teachers during busier times of the year. Avoid new initiatives and stresses during report-writing periods, or while teachers are marking exams. If there’s any way you can lend a hand during these times, whether it’s taking on some of the work yourself, or covering a teacher’s lunch supervision shift, then try to.

For more advice and resources to help you brush up your leadership skills download this free  e-book for headteachers and aspiring leaders >

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