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Why Teacher Morale is Important and How It Can Be Improved

By Guest Author On May 14, 2011 Under Success Secrets

Teacher morale is perhaps one of the most important issues that every school should look into. When the teachers have low morale, the relationship between teachers and their colleagues and students will be adversely affected as well as their productivity. High teacher morale promotes a healthy faculty culture, hence influencing students to excel socially and academically. Given the significant role that teacher morale plays, schools must work continuously to improve teacher morale.

There are several factors that affect teacher morale – school leadership, workload, salary, student behavior and professional development. Effective and supportive leaders positively influence teacher morale. Teaching is not an easy job; it is draining mentally, emotionally, and physically. In addition to teaching, teachers have many other responsibilities such as curriculum development, recess supervision, extracurricular activities, marketing, fundraising and administrative paperwork. When a teacher feels that she is “spread too thin”, teacher morale naturally declines. Overworked and underpaid teachers are the last thing that a school would want. The different behaviors and temperaments of students are also another issue that teachers have to face. Lastly, access to professional development plays a crucial role in determining morale.

School Leadership – The job of a school leader entails a lot of responsibilities. A lot of people accept leadership positions without enough training. Even when a school leader is trained and experienced, he or she will still face extremely complex situations every day. Ongoing leadership training,  executive coaching and professional development are critical to enable school leaders to provide powerful leadership and ensure high faculty morale.

Teacher Workload: There may be no way of getting around the fact that a teacher’s workload is heavy. But if the members of the faculty are helping each other, hard work can be easily achieved.. One way to improve teacher morale is to involve the teachers with the decision making, planning, and solving problems while creating collaborative teams to share the workload with.
Remuneration – a competitive salary is important. But the secret to ensuring high teacher morale using compensation is to make sure that the system for determining salaries and increase is clear. If teachers feel that they are not paid what they are due, teacher morale will suffer. Fairness is perceived as the congruence between a person’s value to the school and that person’s salary. Fair compensation can be done if the school abandons the traditional “step” system and implement a more effective and fair one.

Student Behavior –  Everyday, teachers are challenged to handle and understand the different temperaments and behaviors of their students. From handling kids with antisocial behavior to apathetic ones, teachers experience behavioral problems everyday. There are two ways to handle this problem. First, it is essential to provide behavior management training for teachers who are struggling with discipline. Another way is for the faculty and staff to work as a team and address the behavioral challenges in school together.

Professional Development – A direct relationship exists between professional development and student achievement, and the latter is also directly related to teacher satisfaction. When teachers and schools value professional development, students thrive from a more positive environment. When students are making excellent academic and social progress, teachers feel the rewards of their profession. By providing meaningful and effective professional development to teachers, high morale and school success will not be difficult to obtain.

Learn how to overcome problems associated with starting a school by speaking to a school consulting professional.

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