Teacher smiling while teaching students.

How to Keep Teachers Happy

Are your teachers happy?

That is a tough question to answer lately.

But part of an administrator’s job is looking after teacher well-being, and ensuring teachers are motivated and feel appreciated. These efforts don’t have to be big. Small efforts to improve teachers’ happiness and job satisfaction helps them be stronger where it counts — with their students.

Here are just a few ideas to keep your teachers happy, so they can care for students:

Educator conducting a professional development session to keep teachers happy and productive.Recognize the faculty in small ways.

Greet them in the morning. Create a ShoutOut Board in your faculty room where teachers and faculty can share successes as they happen in real time. Create a time at the end of each week to be visible and responsive to the joys and tribulations of being in a classroom.

Make sure your interactions with teachers follow a five-to-one positive/negative ratio.

We can learn a lot from Disney theme parks in that respect. Walt Disney expected far more than five positives from cast members interacting with guests at Disney properties. Everything from the park structures, to the music, from the cleanliness and visual images — Disney planned it all to contribute to park-goers’ “happiness factor.”

While we can’t all live and work in that type of environment, we can cultivate a culture of wonder, excitement, and energy for our teachers and our students. And when we provide those “park structures” of support for teachers, they are reassured that conflict, stress, and school issues will be resolved with positive results.

Design meaningful, relevant and interactive professional development.

Find out where your teachers need and want to improve. Organize a committee of faculty members to provide teacher voice and choice in their learning. Then create a model of planned instruction based on research to answer that need. And of course, model the instruction that is wanted in the classroom.

Provide opportunities for educators to demonstrate their learning and teaching in a variety of ways.

There are as many teaching styles as there are teachers. Be willing to accept that not all attempts may produce desired results, so model the acceptance of the learning process. This simple act of acceptance of what didn’t work goes a long way to giving your teachers the emotional support for taking chances. Plus, it allows educators to stretch and try new ideas with less fear of failure.

Give faculty time.

Time to practice. Time to plan. Time to come up for air. Time to be still. Time to have fun. Time to change and grow.

Never forget your time in the classroom — keep in mind the efforts you took there to create a safe and productive learning environment. As an administrator, your classroom is now simply bigger. And as you create a safe and productive learning and working environment to keep teachers happy, it will create a culture of learning and growth for all who are part of the educational community.

To improve student and teacher well-being, check out our well-being curriculum.

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