Ways to improve student learning from teacher motivation

5 ways teacher motivation can improve student learning outcomes

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In today’s world, being a teacher is an incredible challenge. Beyond the day to day challenges of teaching and grading, teachers have to deal with students who have behavioral or family issues, learning difficulties and other issues. As a school leader or administrator, keeping teachers motivated is an important part of your role. Motivated teachers foster a collaborative culture and a positive environment for faculty and students.

Why do teachers need motivation?

Both high-and low-income countries around the world face challenges in both attracting and retaining quality teachers largely due to poor motivation and incentive structure. The common challenges faced by teachers are the lack of financial resources, inadequate teaching and learning environment, weak teacher management structure and limited career flexibility.

Here are 5 ways teacher motivation can improve student learning outcomes:

1. Encourage teachers to seek out professional development opportunities

Schools should offer professional development training for the teachers and also provide opportunities for each teacher to learn outside the school. This could include conferences, workshops, or specialized professional development training offered at the district level.

Approve all reasonable requests, make sure that you are also keeping an eye out for new opportunities and present these to all teachers at staff meetings.

2. Allocate some budget for small gifts

Consider buying something small, like coffee shop gift cards, to gift to teachers who go above and beyond. For example, if a teacher volunteers to take an extra supervisory shift, show your appreciation by giving them a small gift.

Also Read: Simple guidelines to improve teaching quality and effectiveness in the classroom

3. Provide opportunities to take short breaks

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Consider giving each teacher a form that can be used for a morning or afternoon off, no questions asked. This can be given out once a semester, but it must be arranged in advance so that someone can cover the class. This is a small gesture that doesn’t cost you much but lets your teacher know that you care about them and will go out of your way to make sure that they are happy.

4. Give teachers a Voice

Being left out of critical decision making that affects them is the easiest way for a teacher to lose motivation. Many teachers would love to be involved in these decisions if you gave them the opportunity.

Invite a teacher from each grade to be a representative during board meetings to get their opinion and learn about their proposed strategies. Also consider holding “open-door” meetings, where every teacher has the option to attend and listen during meetings even if they are not directly involved.

5. Create collaborative environment 

Encouraging teachers to work together can significantly impact their motivation. More experienced teachers will be recognized for their best teaching practices. Younger teachers will be given validation that they think that they are actually working. Consider creating professional learning communities within your school to create a more formal structure for collaboration.

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