It’s no secret that morale can get pretty low in a school environment. Teachers are faced with impossible obstacles, impossible deadlines, and are burning the candle from both ends of the stick.
But when everyone is so tired, so burned out, and feeling low, how can you keep morale up?
Did you know that low morale can also affect the energy you have?
Yep. Being unhappy can cause you to be physically tired and can cause other unwanted side effects such as high blood pressure and more.
Easy Ideas for Improving School Morale–What Teachers Really Want!
I asked teachers this question in my Facebook group and they shared ideas that their schools have done!
Read on to hear their easy ideas for improving school morale, and grab a free download that you can use (at the end of this post)!
Overwhelmingly, food seems to be a popular way to boost staff morale.
These are some of the food ideas teachers shared.
Having a random potluck, not tied to a holiday can be a lot of fun.
If you are in a large school, each grade level can take turns bringing some special potluck dishes to the teachers’ lounge.
If you are in a smaller school, grade levels can team up and take turns.
Wow! I was surprised to hear about this idea, but how fun! Some administrations organized for food trucks to visit during lunch hours.
One teacher shared that a local school paid a donut truck for donuts and coffee for all teachers. Other schools had a taco truck come!
A teacher’s to-do list is never ending, and what’s worse than having tons to do while having to sit through an hours long meeting? Teachers really appreciated when their admin reconsidered the meetings.
Here are some ways they adjusted meetings to support their teachers:
Some principal let teachers meet for less time than required, and allowed them to plan or work on their own during the remaining time.
I really liked this idea. Instead of having an in person meeting, the principal prerecorded herself going over the information, sent the video recording to teachers so they could watch it, and then had a follow up Q&A session. Teachers were able to “attend” this meeting in their own time.
Food at Meetings
This speaks for itself. When you just can’t avoid the long, in-person meeting, what better way to keep morale up than more food? Snacks, candy, drinks, etc…
Because, sometimes an email is enough!
Teachers appreciate when their precious and limited time is valued and respected.
Random acts of kindness were another popular way school morale was boosted. Here are some of the different ideas that were shared.
Some ideas for staff getting prizes were, 5th teacher to reply to an email gets a prize. The 10th teacher who buzzes into the office in the morning gets a prize. Prizes given out at the end of staff meetings.
Jeans Day/Week are always a hit, and are especially fun when they are random and not just tied to a break or holiday.
Getting a handwritten note in the classroom or mailbox is a fun way to feel appreciated. When admin or another teacher takes the time to write you a note, it can be really uplifting.
Just like handwritten notes, a random, kind email is also very uplifting.
A little bit of encouragement goes a long way. Encouragement doesn’t just have to come from administration.
Getting encouraged by fellow teachers can really make a difference in someone’s day. Take a moment to stop by another teacher’s classroom and encourage them.
Another fun idea was when music was played over the intercom during the day.
Paired partner surprises
Some schools match staff members up, and each month you leave your secret person a little surprise (and a clue about your identity). At the end of the year, you can reveal who your secret person was. (One school called this Secret Sidekick.)
Another thing that made teachers feel appreciated is when needed materials were acquired. This could be classroom supplies, fun supplies (like glitter, playdoh, etc…), or even gift cards to purchase resources from TeachersPayTeachers.
(Did you know you can email gift cards through TpT for amounts as low as $5?)
Some of the ideas in the post are really extravagant! But overwhelmingly, teachers told me, it’s the little things. Words of encouragement, feeling appreciated and understood, and thoughtful surprises really go a long way.
If your school morale is low, ask yourself what you can do to improve it.
But, what do you do when you aren’t supported in your school? Learn more.