The vast majority of educators have a great passion for their job, and they work tirelessly all year long. However, managing a classroom, meeting demanding educational standards, and balancing their lives away from the classroom can take a toll. The daily highs and lows of the teaching profession can wear on even the most dedicated teacher. Offering praise for teachers can give them a much-needed boost.
For most school communities, Teacher Appreciation Week – typically held the first week in May every year – is a way to pull out all the stops and lavish staff members with praise and gifts. But why wait until the end of the school year to tell your teachers how much you appreciate them?
As an administrator, you can have a profound effect on how your teachers view themselves, their fellow teachers, and their work environment from the first day of school to the last.
Praise for Teachers All Year Long
When you recognize and celebrate your teachers regularly throughout the school year, you give them the motivation to keep going, even when things aren’t perfect. Here are five ways to continually celebrate your teachers:
1. Salute Their Efforts
Don’t underestimate the power of genuine praise. You don’t have to make a public declaration every time, either. Sometimes a quiet word shared privately can have the same effect. Take the time to hand-write a personal note and leave it in their mailbox. Tangibles are often cherished and kept on hand to get them through the rough days.
2. Celebrate Their Accomplishments
Teachers do a lot both in and out of the classroom. Maybe you have a staff member who has completed another degree or certification. Or a teacher who has led one of your school’s extracurricular programs for many years. Even those teachers who do things like train for a marathon or volunteer for local nonprofits will appreciate the acknowledgment of their efforts. Dedicate some wall space outside the office for this particular “hall of fame” and encourage your students to add positive comments to it. You might be surprised just how excited your students are to give praise for teachers.
3. Recognize Your Rock Stars
Each week, take the time to acknowledge those members of your staff who award the most points in your PBIS initiative. This is particularly helpful if you are encouraging your staff to recognize students more frequently. Increased recognition by teachers often produces more positive and productive classrooms. Acknowledging your top five points-givers can help to inspire the rest of your staff. PBIS Rewards can help you to quickly figure out who are your top teachers with our customizable reports, enabling you to give plenty of highly-deserved praise for teachers.
4. Honor Their Commitment
Many teachers arrive early, stay late, and go the extra mile for their students. Most will tell you they don’t do it for the recognition, but you can show your support for their commitment in a tangible way. A new coffee mug, a gift card, or even an offer to take over their class for a class period will let them know you see their efforts.
5. Feed Them
Almost no one will turn down a free meal. Whether it’s breakfast pastries or a catered lunch, food is a great way to let your teachers know how much they are appreciated. Work with your school’s PTO group to create regular meal events throughout the school year. Or create a raffle based on the number of points your teachers reward in PBIS and hold a weekly drawing for a meal gift card.
Using PBIS Rewards to Recognize Teachers
One of the keys to a successful PBIS initiative lies in applying it schoolwide. This includes making teachers a part of the recognition process.
PBIS Rewards offers a wealth of customizable reports that enable you to look at your PBIS initiative from many different angles. Teacher buy-in is a crucial element in the success of PBIS. The variety of reports found in PBIS Rewards provide insight into how well and how often your teachers are using the software. You can see how consistent your teachers are in recognizing students and identify those who need coaching. Fidelity is a significant factor in the success of PBIS. The consistency with which your staff uses PBIS Rewards benefits everyone. This is where your PBIS rock stars can encourage their fellow teachers.
Actively praising and encouraging your teachers can reap huge rewards for your school. When your staff feels appreciated, even the challenging days can feel productive. That’s why PBIS Rewards includes a teacher reward system as part of the base licensing for every school! In addition to praising your teachers each month, you can award points on an ongoing basis. Your staff can request and recommend points, as well. As these points accumulate, your teachers can shop in your school’s Teacher Store for rewards they want and will use.
It’s said that a person who feels appreciated will always do more than is expected. Why not offer praise for teachers and recognize those dedicated educators on your staff all year long? No need to wait for Teacher Appreciation Week – acknowledge their dedication every
month DAY of the school year!