With budgets at an all-time low, classrooms bursting at the seams, and resources disappearing, teacher morale is suffering. Boosting morale and creating a friendly workplace has benefits all around; happier teachers, happier students, happier staff, and a more successful learning environment.
We’ve compiled some ideas to help you boost the morale of teachers, staff, and parent volunteers at your high school.
The Principal is the first source for acknowledging and celebrating teachers. The “captain of the ship” can lead by example and pave the way for others to spread joy at school.
Regular staff meetings, weekly or monthly, are a good way keep the staff connected and up to date. Besides the typical staff updates and “shop talk”, include some time for announcing accomplishments, socializing, possibly sharing a meal, snack or treat. Fun icebreaker activities can help the entire staff work together and get more comfortable with each other.
Celebrate teachers every chance you get, small gifts or tokens of appreciation will go a long way in making your staff feel appreciated.
Encourage social functions, after school gatherings or outings, to keep the staff connected.
Ideas for Improving Morale
- Social Gatherings
Get together on a regular basis, like once a month after school for fun activities like bowling, plays & movies, dinner out, progressive dinners, museums, motivational speakers, and book clubs.
- In-school Celebrations
Celebrate milestone anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, school successes, teacher accomplishments. Coffee and treats, lunch catered in or pot lucks are all great ways to get everyone together.
- Friendly Competitions
See which class gets the most parents to join PTA, the most box tops or labels collected, the best attendance, etc. Celebrate the winning teachers with fun prizes or silly trophies.
Sunshine club – some schools have great success with a “sunshine club”, a group of teachers or staff that help other teachers in times of need or celebration.
- Teacher of the Month
Have teachers nominate their peers for teacher of the month. Give the winner a special parking spot, a free day off, a “come in late “pass, a school shirt, mug or other imprinted item, a special trophy or certificate, or a gift to show appreciation.
- Secret Teachers
Similar to secret Santa at holiday times. Draw names and do something secretly nice for another teacher once a week, or once a month.
- Teacher Trivia
Have teachers fill out questionnaires about themselves that include their likes, their classrooms, etc. Post one question each day in the teachers’ lounge. It’s a great way to add some fun to the day and get to know each other.
Sometimes, it’s the little things that make the biggest difference. Try some of these ideas, and expand on them with your own ideas, to help improve morale of teachers, staff, parents, and volunteers at your high school.