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  Category: Articles » Education & Reference » Article

Teacher Motivation - Who Teaches The Teachers?

By Charlie Cory

In these days of budget cuts, classroom overcrowding, and compulsory high-stakes testing, teacher motivation is more and more difficult to sustain. Many teachers decry the lack of control they have over their classroom scheduling due to federally, state, or district-mandated programs. Not only is their classroom time rigidly controlled, it is also often very complex, with students being pulled out or sent in for enrichment or ability-grouped mini classes. Sadly, the lack of effective teacher motivation is a prime factor in experienced teachers looking for work in other fields. If your school wants to keep its teachers happy, here are a few ideas.

Of course, one of the biggest ways to show support or to motivate a teacher would be by paying him a salary commensurate with his worth. With so many budgets constricted at a district level, though, there is often little a principal or parents' group can do in this regard. What they can do is to make things easier on the teachers. If a support staff is truly supportive, they limit classroom interruptions, extracurricular requirements and faculty meetings and streamline procedures so that the teachers can concentrate on teaching.

Maintain a positive school environment for the adults as well as the children. Celebrate together when you can, but treat everyone on the staff as professionals in and out of school hours. Morale is crucial; since teaching requires a great deal of "giving," a nurturing environment will help to replenish the teachers.

If you are in a position to do so, encourage teachers to get training to improve their skills. This applies to all walks of life of course; people like to feel that their employers invest in them as well as in their business.

Feedback is a vital part of teacher motivation. Everyone wants acknowledgement that they are doing a good job, and suggestions on how they can do even better. Thank your teachers sincerely when they have done something well appreciation is the greatest gift of all.
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