Are you wondering how to increase teacher morale in your school? In Dr. Preble's new presentation, you can learn how to reduce your school's burnout rate for teachers, lower employee stress, and generally improve the morale of you and your teachers today! Part of Dr. Preble's "6 Core Strategies." Visit this site to learn more: thecscldotcom.wix.com/corestrategies
Text of Teacher's Rock: Building Teacher Morale in the Age of Accountability
Building Teacher Morale in the Age of Accountability
Happy, Positive, Enthusiastic Teachers ROCK!
with Bill Preble, Ed.D.
theCSCL.com - the Center for School Climate and Learning
Adult culture in schools and teacher morale linked are each critical in achieving excellent results for children.
We know very well how to improve teacher morale: teacher morale is a by-product of being treated as leaders and being treated with respect.
Teacher morale is the ”end product of empowering teachers to make decisions that affect their lives.” ( Dina Strasser, An Open Letter on Teacher Morale, Ed Leadership Feb 2014. p. 13)
Teachers and their schools have been under attack for three decades.
A Nation at Risk, NCLB, Race to the TOP, all began with the premise that schools, students, teachers are the ones that are failing.
This constant drum beat of blame for America's problems have taken their toll on teachers, students, and schools.
• In 2013, 51% if teachers reported feeling under great stress, that is up 15% since 1985.
• Five years ago, 62% of teachers reported being "very satisfied" in their profession, today just 39% of teachers do so, the lowest level in 25 years.
Less satisfied teachers are more likely to be in schools whose budgets have been cut, where professional development, and time for collaboration has been cut, and these cuts are being made nearly everywhere.
“Many school leaders believe that NCLB, employs a leadership style that is punitive and threatening, and that ignores much of what is known about how to motivate people in organizations."
(Brown, F. and,. Hunter, R.C.,(2006) No Child Left Behind and Other Federal Programs for Urban School Districts, Emerald Publishing Group, p. 162.)
Yet at the same time, many school leaders are themselves using heavy-handed leadership strategies based on what leadership experts call, a Directive Leadership style.
What is Directive Leadership?"The primary objective of Directive style is immediate compliance. This style relies on "directives" rather than "direction". and uses very little dialogue. Close monitoring is supported by negative, corrective feedback with an implied, if not explicit, threat. Efforts to motivate are focused mainly on the consequences of noncompliance. "
School reform discussions in the 21st century are grounded in a management style Theory X that was discredited and largely rejected in the corporate world nearly 50 years ago. (Harvery, James, Getting Beyond the Blame Game, Ed Leadership, Feb,2014, p. 28)
No wonder teachers in teachers rooms across the country sound like Debbie Downer!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXmRJ7VrNss&list=PLEQ4qo5ubyw57eaenV7rlJjpy_NKlTXi_
This has created a morale crisis in many schools.Both the problem and the solution can begin to be better understood when we understand the role of Mirror Neurons.
Cynicism, complaining, depression as well as enthusiasm, happiness, positive attitudes, and openness to new ideas really are contagious!
Let's use the power of “mirror neurons” in the brain to change teachers' moods and the climate and culture in your school…
Pain video and magichttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fl8Tc3qNhCc
I promised you 50 strategies...Let's start with Glasser's 7 Caring Habits
Schools need to adopt new norms of teacher behavior and interaction based on these “caring habits” to improve respect, communication and collaboration.
Next Strategy: Happy, Smiley, Positive front end loader
Adult Culture Data Activity20 minutes
MVHS Case Study Activity
We propose school leaders work at three levels to address Adult Culture issues:
1. Interpersonal level2. Building level3. Systems level
Core Recommendations and Strategies 4vpart visual
Replace a Tone of Accountability with One of Innovation and CreativitySchools, especially low-performing schools, often seek relief from pressure through alignment, adherence and compliance with a certain program, curriculum, set of standards, approach to faculty meetings, and so on. While there is nothing wrong with having standards and expecting teachers to stick to them, when this is done wrong it can create a climate of "accountability" and "non-negotiables" that requires all teachers to prove they are in compliance on a daily basis. And this is not an atmosphere of innovation or creativity.
"Brand" Content, Classrooms and Teachers -- Not Districts, Curriculum and SchoolsToday, it is generally the district, a selected curriculum or the school itself that gets the "branding," and is thus what parents and students discuss. To increase teacher morale, why not put the content areas (or unique classes based on those content areas), classrooms and teachers at the center of attention? This goes against tradition, where teachers shy away from acclaim and spotlight, but maybe that -- in one way or another -- can change….
Replace Forced Collaboration with Reasons for CollaborationTeacher collaboration, in person or in professional learning communities and networks online, is a huge catalyst for teacher improvement. But forcing teachers to collaborate works about as well as forcing students to learn. Just as project-based learning works best under the duress of an authentic need-to-know, teacher collaboration works best under a similar need-to-collaborate, not through forced and externally driven "data teams."
Use Project-Based Learning to Embed within Local CommunitiesThis would help with the branding mentioned above, but more importantly, it would put teachers in contact with the stakeholders they are most accountable to: the local community.
Replace Teacher of the Year with a Teacher Awards CeremonyTeacher of the Year ceremonies celebrate teaching by celebrating one teacher.
Why not celebrate all teachers -- and do so in some merit-based way rather than the "everybody gets a ribbon" model?
Replace "Non-Negotiables" with Evidence of Success There's a clear need for school districts to document those rules and regulations that are "non-negotiable." Autonomy is one thing, but teachers doing whatever they want whenever they want is a pathway to failure. So what if we replaced the goals of said rules (academic success in most cases) with something else? Let's try evidence of success with a focus on the persistent visibility of student work, and let's train those who do "walk-throughs" to more efficiently navigate that work.
The Way Forward – 4 part model visual• Rebranding teachers as passionate mediators of exciting content• Reconnecting with local communities in substantive ways• Seeking -- and supporting -- innovation rather than compliance from
teachers• Rediscovering the human elements of teaching and learning is
among the most powerful pathways forward.http://www.edutopia.org/blog/proposals-for-improving-teacher-morale-terry-heick
Next Step Resources are available at www.theCSCl.com.
Teachers who are enthusiastic and genuinely enjoy their job will typically see better academic results when compared to teachers who do not exhibit those characteristics. Every administrator should want a building full of happy teachers. It is critical that administrators recognize the value in keeping teacher morale high. They should have several strategies in place designed to boost teacher morale throughout the year.
It will take more than one approach to boost teacher morale. A strategy that works well at one school may not work well for another. Here, we examine fifty different strategies for administrators to boost teacher morale. It is not feasible for an administrator to try to implement every strategy on this list. Instead, pick a handful of these strategies that you believe will have a positive impact in boosting your teacher morale.
Leave hand written notes in each teacher’s mailbox telling them how much you appreciate them - Host a teacher cookout at your home - Give teachers a day off to celebrate their birthday - Allow teachers to showcase their strengths by modeling during faculty meetings - Support your teachers when parents complain about them - Put a treat in their mailbox with a short appreciation note - Allow teachers in the district to eat lunch and breakfast for free - Implement a casual Friday dress code for teachers - Organize some volunteers to cover teacher duties a couple of times a month to provide teachers with an extra break - Back the teachers 100% when it comes to a student discipline referral - Offer continuous feedback, support, and guidance for teacher improvement - Initiate a pot luck luncheon for teachers one time per month - Email words of encouragement or wisdom on a daily basis - Spread out extra duties evenly. Don’t put too much on a single teacher - Buy their dinner when they have to stay late for parent/teacher conferences - Brag about your teachers anytime the opportunity presents itself - Organize an over the top Teacher Appreciation Week full of goodies and surprises for the teachers - Provide them bonuses at Christmas - Provide meaningful professional development that is not a waste of their time - Follow through on any promises that you make - Provide them with the best resources and teaching tools that are available - Keep their technology up-to-date and working at all times - Keep class sizes as small as possible - Organize a night out for teachers with activities such as dinner and a movie - Provide them with a terrific teacher’s lounge/workroom with lots of extra comforts - Fill instructional material requests through any means if the teacher believes it will benefit their students - Provide teachers with matching 401K accounts - Encourage creativity and embrace teachers who think outside the box - Conduct team building exercises such as going to a ropes course - Do not dismiss any concern that a teacher may have. Follow through with checking into it and always let them know how you handled it - Offer to mediate any conflicts a teacher may have with another teacher - Go out of your way to offer encouragement when you know a teacher is struggling either personally or professionally - Give teachers decision making opportunities in the school by allowing them sit on committees for hiring new teachers, writing new policy, adopting curriculum, etc - Work with the teachers, not against them - Host a celebration BBQ at the end of the school year - Have an open door policy. Encourage teachers to bring their ideas and suggestions to you. Implement the suggestions you believe will benefit the school - Solicit donations of prizes from local businesses and have BINGO night just for the teachers - Provide your Teacher of the Year a meaningful prize such as a $500 bonus stipend - Organize a Christmas party for teachers with delicious food and a gift exchange - Keep drinks (soda, water, juice) and snacks (fruit, candy, chips) in stock in the teacher lounge or workroom - Coordinate a teacher vs. parent basketball or softball game - Treat each teacher with respect. Never talk down to them. Never question their authority in front of a parent, student, or another teacher - Take an interest in their personal lives learning about their spouse, kids, and interests outside of school - Have random teacher appreciation drawings with magnificent prizes - Let teachers be individuals. Embrace differences - Host a karaoke night for the teachers - Provide teachers the time to collaborate with each other on a weekly basis - Ask their opinion! Listen to their opinion! Value their opinion! - Hire new teachers who not only fit the needs of your school, but who have a personality that will mesh well with the current faculty - Be an example! Stay happy, positive & enthusiastic!