School leaders are understandably keen to recognise the sterling work of their teachers and support staff. This is not completely altruistic however. Celebrating talent and dedication boosts morale. Happy teachers ultimately boost the school’s overall performance. This also helps employee retention, with the continuity of teaching this brings.
Sounds good? Okay, here are our top ways to reward the superstars of your school.
Be positive every day
Rewarding staff doesn’t have to be about grand gestures. Regular praise – even just a small thank you note – builds up a pattern of positive reinforcement.
Matching this with small surprises, such as leaving cakes in the staffroom on a Friday afternoon, can be very effective.
Remember, too, there are significant links between teachers’ wellbeing – thank-yous and cakes bring smiles – and the outcomes in terms of the school’s performance.
Sharing is caring
Head teachers often want to highlight particular talents they believe can help others. A great way to do this is asking if a member of staff might be willing to share their extra-special skills.
Explaining areas such as effective classroom management or top-notch admin skills can benefit colleagues. And by complimenting a star performer in this way, in front of their peers, leaders make teachers feel appreciated.
Of course, demonstrating their passion for education also builds personal confidence and productivity.
Be a career booster
Teachers are lifelong learners. By providing opportunities for professional development you can make them feel valued even more.
So offer well-earned time-out to attend education seminars and workshops. Not only will they enjoy the chance to learn new skills, your school will also benefit from their added knowledge and innovative methodologies.
Be sure to share their professional development accomplishments with colleagues to motivate the entire team.
The writing’s on the wall
Staff bulletin boards are a practical way for school leaders to post personal thank-you notes. It’s also a place where teachers can highlight the hard work of their own colleagues and support staff.
There may also be mentions of special projects where someone’s gone above-and-beyond to improve the school community.
Today, of course, we also have digital notice boards that perform the same function.
One of the best ways to show you value your star employees is to ask them to become more involved in the school’s decision making. When school leaders make too many decisions on their own they risk putting distance – or worse division – between themselves and teachers.
Rewarding achievement by involving teachers in policy making creates an environment where people feel properly included. They’re far more likely to show a genuine interest in school matters and offer advice and assistance.
Vote for the best
Teachers can be recognised for their outstanding work by being chosen to be Teacher of the Week, Teacher of the Month or even Teacher of the Year.
School leaders can open up the nomination process to staff, students and parents. This makes the voting truly democratic and also brings the community closer together with a common purpose.
Organise a field trip
A fun field trip at the end of term is not only for students. A day out of school will give star employees the chance to visit an historical site or building, tour an art gallery or simply enjoy a walk in an area of natural beauty.
If teachers travel as a team they can interact with one another in a non-stressful environment, building professional relationships that are not always possible to achieve in school.
Not only will you be rewarding hard work, you’ll also be creating a happy collegiate culture for the following term.