Most people have that one teacher that they will never forget, the person who taught them to think outside the box, to believe in themselves. Many communities have Teacher Appreciation Week. Sometimes, students buy their teachers gifts for the holidays. However, those are just a few days a year events. Teacher appreciation needs to be a year-round affair. Teachers who feel that they are appreciated have higher morale. This translates into a desire to work harder to make sure that their students succeed. Beyond that, appreciated teachers are less likely to quit their jobs. Showing our teachers how vital they are also improves the classroom atmosphere for everyone.
A teacher’s job is never easy. They have to deal with school restrictions, restrictions on their classroom funding, and depending on the school they may even have to deal with a lack of teacher support from their superiors. All these factors can really lower a teacher’s morale, making them feel like they are in an endless struggle to do their jobs. Teachers who feel as if their job is a constant struggle are more likely to quit their jobs to move to schools in which they are better supported or to leave the profession altogether. However, teachers who feel that their contributions matter are much more likely to stay at a school even if the support from the administration is low. In short, community support for teachers is just as important as support from within the school environment itself.
Showing Teachers They Matter
Teachers work very hard for their students. When their colleagues, students and parents show them that they have done well, it gives the teacher concrete proof that they are not teaching into a vacuum and that their students appreciate their efforts. The support from colleagues is especially valuable. It shows teachers that their co-workers also recognize what they are doing for the children under their care, and this show of support from parents, students and co-workers is important all year round, not just during Teacher Appreciation Week. Furthermore, if a teacher has positive feedback on their performance, they can use that input to tailor their methods to better assist the students. This then gives the students a better learning experience.
Teacher appreciation is very important. Under-appreciated teachers are 12% more likely to transfer to schools with better support. This transfer rate leaves schools with higher poverty rates and fewer resources understaffed. Teachers in less affluent districts who are not shown appreciation are also 10% more likely to simply leave the profession entirely. Showing teachers that they matter is an excellent way to increase their morale. Teachers who feel appreciated and supported report higher rates of satisfaction with their jobs and are therefore much more likely to stay at their current schools instead of moving to other schools or finding other professions to go into.
It is not just about morale though. Showing teachers that they actually do help students allows them to evaluate the things that they have done that have been a benefit and then to work to improve their teaching style. Without positive feedback, teachers would never know what they needed to improve or what they are doing well. Teacher appreciation does not even have to be complicated. Just a simple note to tell that teacher who helped you so much during high school is enough, and it will make you feel good as well.