Teacher's Rock: Building Teacher Morale in the Age of Accountability

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Are you wondering how to increase teacher morale in your school? In Dr. Preble's new presentation, you can learn how to reduce your school's burnout rate for teachers, lower employee stress, and generally improve the morale of you and your teachers today! Part of Dr. Preble's "6 Core Strategies." Visit this site to learn more: thecscldotcom.wix.com/corestrategies

Transcript of Teacher's Rock: Building Teacher Morale in the Age of Accountability

  • Building Teacher Morale in the Age of Accountability Happy, Positive, Enthusiastic Teachers ROCK! with Bill Preble, Ed.D. theCSCL.com - the Center for
  • PREMISE Adult culture in schools and teacher morale linked are each critical in achieving excellent results for children.
  • We know very well how to improve teacher morale: teacher morale is a by-product of being treated as leaders and being treated with respect. Teacher morale is the end product of empowering teachers to make decisions that affect their lives. ( Dina Strasser, An Open Letter on Teacher Morale, Ed Leadership Feb 2014. p. 13)
  • Teachers and their schools have been under attack for three decades. A Nation at Risk, NCLB, Race to the TOP, all began with the premise that schools, students, teachers are the ones that are failing.
  • This constant drum beat of blame for America's problems have taken their toll on teachers, students, and schools. In 2013, 51% if teachers reported feeling under great stress, that is up 15% since 1985. Five years ago, 62% of teachers reported being "very satisfied" in their profession, today just 39% of teachers do so, the lowest level in 25 years.
  • Less satisfied teachers are more likely to be in schools whose budgets have been cut, where professional development, and time for collaboration has been cut, and these cuts are being made nearly everywhere.
  • Many school leaders believe that NCLB, employs a leadership style that is punitive and threatening, and that ignores much of what is known about how to motivate people in organizations." (Brown, F. and,. Hunter, R.C.,(2006) No Child Left Behind and Other Federal Programs for Urban School Districts, Emerald Publishing Group, p. 162.)
  • Yet at the same time, many school leaders are themselves using heavy-handed leadership strategies based on what leadership experts call, a Directive Leadership style.
  • What is Directive Leadership? "The primary objective of Directive style is immediate compliance. This style relies on "directives" rather than "direction". and uses very little dialogue. Close monitoring is supported by negative, corrective feedback with an implied, if not explicit, threat. Efforts to motivate are focused
  • School reform discussions in the 21st century are grounded in a management style Theory X that was discredited and largely rejected in the corporate world nearly 50 years ago. (Harvery, James, Getting Beyond the Blame Game, Ed Leadership, Feb,2014, p. 28)
  • No wonder teachers in teachers rooms across the country sound like Debbie Downer! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hXmRJ7VrNss&list=PLEQ4qo5ubyw57eaenV7rlJjpy_NKlTXi_
  • This has created a morale crisis in many schools. Both the problem and the solution can begin to be better understood when we understand the role of Mirror Neurons.
  • Cynicism, complaining, depression as well as enthusiasm, happiness, positive attitudes, and openness to new ideas really are contagious!
  • Let's use the power of mirror neurons in the brain to change teachers' moods and the climate and culture in your school
  • Pain video and magic https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fl8Tc3qNhCc Yawning video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqG4G5Z02YQ
  • I promised you 50 strategies... Let's start with Glasser's 7 Caring Habits
  • Schools need to adopt new norms of teacher behavior and interaction based on these caring habits to improve respect, communication and collaboration.
  • Next Strategy: Happy, Smiley, Positive front end loader
  • Adult Culture Data Activity 20 minutes MVHS Case Study Activity
  • We propose school leaders work at three levels to address Adult Culture issues: 1. Interpersonal level 2. Building level 3. Systems level
  • Core Recommendations and Strategies 4vpart visual
  • Replace a Tone of Accountability with One of Innovation and Creativity Schools, especially low-performing schools, often seek relief from pressure through alignment, adherence and compliance with a certain program, curriculum, set of standards, approach to faculty meetings, and so on. While there is nothing wrong with having standards and expecting teachers to stick to them, when this is done wrong it can create a climate of "accountability" and "non-negotiables" that requires all teachers to prove they are in compliance on
  • "Brand" Content, Classrooms and Teachers -- Not Districts, Curriculum and Schools Today, it is generally the district, a selected curriculum or the school itself that gets the "branding," and is thus what parents and students discuss. To increase teacher morale, why not put the content areas (or unique classes based on those content areas), classrooms and teachers at the center of attention? This goes against tradition, where teachers shy away from acclaim and spotlight, but maybe
  • Replace Forced Collaboration with Reasons for Collaboration Teacher collaboration, in person or in professional learning communities and networks online, is a huge catalyst for teacher improvement. But forcing teachers to collaborate works about as well as forcing students to learn. Just as project-based learning works best under the duress of an authentic need-to-know, teacher collaboration works best under a similar need-to-collaborate, not through forced and
  • Use Project-Based Learning to Embed within Local Communities This would help with the branding mentioned above, but more importantly, it would put teachers in contact with the stakeholders they are most accountable to: the local community.
  • Replace Teacher of the Year with a Teacher Awards Ceremony Teacher of the Year ceremonies celebrate teaching by celebrating one teacher. Why not celebrate all teachers -- and do so in some merit- based way rather than the "everybody gets a ribbon" model?
  • Replace "Non-Negotiables" with Evidence of Success There's a clear need for school districts to document those rules and regulations that are "non-negotiable." Autonomy is one thing, but teachers doing whatever they want whenever they want is a pathway to failure. So what if we replaced the goals of said rules (academic success in most cases) with something else? Let's try evidence of success with a focus on the persistent visibility of student work, and let's train those who do "walk-throughs" to more efficiently
  • The Way Forward 4 part model visual Rebranding teachers as passionate mediators of exciting content Reconnecting with local communities in substantive ways Seeking -- and supporting -- innovation rather than compliance from teachers Rediscovering the human elements of teaching and learning is among the most powerful pathways forward.
  • Thank you!
  • References
  • Next Step Resources are available at www.theCSCl.com.
  • 50 Strategies for Improving Teacher Morale by Derrick Meador http://teaching.about.com/od/admin/a/Fif ty-Ways-For-Administrators-To-Boost- Teacher-Morale.htm?r=et Enthusiasm is contagious! Teachers who are enthusiastic and genuinely enjoy their job will typically see better academic results when compared to teachers who do not exhibit those characteristics. Every administrator should want a building full of happy teachers. It is critical that administrators recognize the value in keeping teacher morale high. They should have several strategies in place designed to boost teacher morale throughout the year. It will take more than one approach to boost teacher morale. A strategy that works well at one school may not work well for another. Here, we examine fifty different strategies for administrators to boost teacher morale. It is not feasible for an administrator to try to implement every strategy on this list. Support your teachers when parents complain about them - Put a treat in their mailbox with a short appreciation note - Allow teachers in the district to eat lunch and breakfast for free - Implement a casual Friday dress code for teachers - Organize some volunteers to cover teacher duties a couple of times