Ask a teacher to describe a typical day at school and you will probably get laughter. In teaching, there is no such thing as a “typical” day, only certain days that have some sort of familiarity about them. When you work with children, the best you can do is be prepared. Rewarding teachers for their efforts, even as the goalposts keep moving, can be a challenge.
Still, most educators have a certain rhythm to their days. Lesson plans, grading, classroom management, and administrative tasks are all a part of the landscape. Actual instruction time might make up only a quarter of an educator’s day. It’s no surprise that teachers can feel overwhelmed from time to time.
Implementing a schoolwide PBIS program can feel like one more ball to juggle for many educators. But PBIS has the potential to radically change school climate for the better, so it’s important to have everyone on board.
Recognizing Teacher Effort
You know the effort that your staff members put forth for their students, and they do a terrific job. Still, you’ve probably got teachers who really go above and beyond for their classroom. These teachers don’t do what they do for praise and recognition, but that’s exactly what you’ll want to give them. What’s more, recognizing your best staff members helps to set the standard for performance, benefitting students and teachers alike.
Motivating teachers through recognition and reward can be a fine line to walk at times. Some staff members may be uncomfortable in the spotlight, particularly if the attention comes from administration. So how do you create an atmosphere of encouragement and recognition for your teachers?
- Peer recognition – Developing a way for staff members to share kudos for each other is very powerful. Teachers know whom they admire among their coworkers. Staff meetings are a natural outlet for a kudos session but think outside the box, too. A message board or “warm fuzzy” basket in the staff lounge will allow staff members to share their praise at any time.
- Peer guidance – There is a deep pool of talent in your staff. Ask them to share their knowledge. Things like classroom management, teaching techniques, and organizational skills can benefit the entire group and give staff members a turn in the spotlight that isn’t quite so intimidating.
- Team recognition – Teachers are often very willing to share the spotlight, because they recognize education as a team effort. Instead of singling out one staff member for recognition, honor the team effort.
- A simple thanks – Sometimes just taking the time to write a personal note of appreciation and put it in a teacher’s mailbox does wonders for morale.
How do you keep your teachers engaged in a PBIS program?
When it comes to a successful PBIS program, teacher buy-in is very important. If your staff feels burdened by an additional task in their daily routine, that buy-in can be difficult to establish. Simple appreciation for your staff’s efforts can make all the difference.
Give your staff frequent and honest feedback about the things they do well and share your praise with the whole school. Even your students and their parents want to know who your superstar educators are. Teachers who feel appreciated for the complex job they perform will be the biggest supporters of your PBIS program.
PBIS is for Rewarding Teachers, Too!
Establishing a schoolwide PBIS framework takes effort and forethought.
The behavioral standards you establish for your PBIS program will have a profound effect on your school’s climate. But building a positive climate in a school starts with your staff. If they’re not in it as a team, your efforts are going to fall flat. Recognizing and rewarding your staff with a teacher reward system will go a long way toward building a climate that benefits everyone.
Many schools operate a staff recognition system separate from their PBIS program. It’s not a bad idea, but operating two separate programs can be cumbersome. Fortunately, PBIS Rewards has a staff component that can make this effort infinitely easier.
PBIS Rewards’ add-on component, Workplace Rewards for Teachers, works to recognize teachers in much the same way that PBIS Rewards works for your students. You maintain a Teacher Store that’s stocked with rewards, which can be earned through the accumulation of points. We even created a huge list of teacher incentives, just to get you started.
When you include your staff in the perks of a schoolwide PBIS framework, good things happen. It’s human nature to want to receive praise and recognition for the things that we do well. Recognition is a core principle for PBIS, and it goes a long way toward encouraging your staff.
Do you have a teacher reward system in your school? How do you give recognition for the great things your staff members do?