For most Americans the only time teachers are “in the news” is during school board battles and budget debates. As Teacher Appreciation Week approaches it’s important to bolster the teachers in our community and give them much needed praise for their incredibly demanding and often thankless jobs. The best part (that everyone tends to forget, including the teachers themselves) is how easy it is, with minimum cost or time commitment!
Personal and Frequent Praise
Some of the most influential people throughout history can attribute their success to a positive experience with a teacher. In fact, some people attribute a teacher as their most important and sometimes only source of inspiration growing up. So, why don’t we praise our teachers more, beyond Teacher Appreciation Week? It’s because we get complacent.
This is a scary trend, however, since most of our new teachers are Millennials. This generation will not stand for work without praise, especially a demanding, often underpaid position like educator. As discussed in a previous blog, the main characteristic of the Millennial worker is “meaningful work”. What makes teaching meaningful? Feeling like the time/effort is worth the effort. The best way to indicate this is with personal and frequent praise.
Benefits of Praise
It is important to note that appreciation for a job well done in academia is not just about “feeling good”. When teachers receive personal and frequent praise, it impacts the performance indicators used to evaluate our very schools.
According to Gallup, Teachers who receive consistent recognition and praise:
- are more productive
- are more engaged at work
- are more likely to stay with their school
- are more likely to receive higher satisfaction scores from students and parents
Not only does it become a win for the teacher, the school benefits as well. However, teachers can take control of their well-being too. It is important to practice self-praise and often.
Self-Praise is a Necessity
The only person you can really control is you. This can be applied to recognition for a job well done in the classroom. Students are taught to be proud of their achievements. Teachers must, “practice what they teach” by:
- Taking the time to appreciate victories throughout the day
- Not waste time comparing yourself to other teachers
- Embracing their skill set and always strive for improvement, even if it’s small (e.g. explaining a concept to students using a new example or prop)
- Incorporating a little fun once in awhile to keep the classroom lively and the students on their toes
When teachers pat themselves on the back, students, coworkers, administration and parents will notice the difference. It will encourage all that come into to contact with them to notice their good work and bolster the praise.
Larry Lipman Knows the Importance of Team Building for Teachers
I am Larry Lipman of Fun Team Building. As a former teacher, I know first hand the importance of feeling appreciated for shaping the lives of our American youth. This is one of the reasons why I facilitate seminars that are interactive, learn-by-doing, and rich in content specifically for teachers. Call me today at 770-333-3303 and find out how I can customize a educator team building day specifically for you!