4 Ways for Teachers to Uplift Other Teachers
By Laura Boyd, Educator
Elevating the teaching profession in today’s society will help teacher morale and retention. Here are some practical ways we teachers can uplift one another.
Model Appreciation and Celebration
Communicate this important message to your colleagues by first serving as a positive role model in your own classroom. Emphasize building relationships with all faculty members — not just teachers but paraprofessionals, office personnel, bus drivers, custodial and cafeteria staff. Commit to celebrating small and big victories alongside your colleagues. This can be accomplished by getting to know each employee of the school building and investing in them personally.
Build Community with Your Colleagues
Organize multiple social outings to build community. Some ideas include: Going out to eat, playing trivia, doing yoga after school, and throwing a winter holiday celebration. These events are just one way to build relationships among staff and have fun! Additionally, organize potlucks during the school day to include all faculty and staff. These potlucks provide opportunities for faculty and staff to get to know one another in a fun and relaxing environment. As a result, you can learn a lot about one another through a shared meal and conversation.
Make Everyone Feel Valued
Know the importance of improving teacher morale and strive to make everyone at your school feel valued and cared for. One way to start building relationships is to get a list of staff birthdays at the beginning of every school year. As the year progresses, send each individual an electronic card to celebrate their special day. These cards help brighten people's days and remind them they are cared for. Little acts of kindness can positively impact teacher morale. These tangible ways to uplift one another are applicable to new teachers as well as veteran teachers. Whether they’re new hires entering the building or the profession, these acts of kindness will improve morale. This can be successfully implemented in rural, urban, large, or small districts and can be made possible in every school setting.
Share Teacher Stories
With social media, it is important to share amazing things happening at schools with the public. On social media, post pictures of teachers and of student work. This gives the general public insight into what is happening in teachers’ classrooms and highlights student successes. Spotlighting individual teachers increases teacher morale and uplifts the teaching profession. Some posts from my community have included: Classified Employee of The Year, Student Art Work, Alma (our therapy dog), engaging science experiments, and music videos from Choir. These images positively contribute to teacher morale. Knowing that spotlighting teachers on social media outlets will help improve morale elevates the teaching profession as a whole.
I communicate with the general public about classrooms by using social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, and Edutopia to reach my message to diverse audiences across the various platforms. These social media tools help elevate a teacher’s voice in a positive light to the general public and make me proud to be an educator.
In conclusion, we all need and want to improve teacher morale and elevate the teaching profession in hopes to attract and retain the next generation of teachers.
Laura Boyd completed the two-year Teach for America program in Memphis, Tennessee. Laura currently holds a master’s degree in education with a focus on world language and Spanish and is starting her ninth year as a Spanish teacher for the Franklin Special School District. Laura is a technology presenter at the district, local, and state levels and has a passion for a classroom that produces superior learning as well as student engagement.
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To be reminded why your work is so very important and for more stories and advice, visit our collection of teacher perspectives at The Art of Teaching.