It’s all about morale!
As a school administrator, I’ve learned that although we can have amazing educational programs to reach our students, and although we can have the best facilities, and although we can have great technology, we will not have success as a school if staff morale is low.
Any school administrator who has been in the job for a while will tell you that one of the biggest frustrations is trying to motivate staff to do something extra.
We know that if there is going to be any kind of movement forward in our school, in a business, and even in our personal life, we can’t keep doing what we’ve always been doing. We have to do extra. So, as school administrators, in order to move forward as a school, we need our staff to be willing to do more than what they’ve been doing, so we share with them the details of a new program or software, and we tell them about the benefits of implementing it, how it’s going to lead to more success for our students, and then we tell them about the “extra” that they will need to do, and we go back to our offices and hope that we’ve done a good enough job of inspiring them to do that “extra.”
Inspiring others to do extra, however, can be impossible if the morale of the staff is low.
I heard about a school where the staff morale was so low that a group of teachers, with the support of a group of parents, went to the district to complain about what was happening at that school. There was blame to go around, but ultimately, the principal was reassigned and a new principal started the year at this school. Imagine how difficult it would be for that new principal to try and implement a new program that would require the teachers to do “extra.”
That new principal’s most important goal must be to improve the culture of the staff. Morale has to be first on the principal’s agenda, or else there will be no change.
Hopefully your school is not in this extreme situation, but you know that it only takes a few small negative events to have a debilitating effect on the morale.
Every school, business or organization can be paralyzed by poor morale if it’s allowed to infect the staff.
I love Simon Sinek’s book, Leaders Eat Last. In his book, Simon shares that if people love where they work, research has shown that they will do their best work. That is why focusing on creating an environment where morale is high, especially in education, is so important. In business, when workers aren’t happy, production slows, and it has an effect on the company’s bottom line. In education, when teachers aren’t happy, and production slows, it has an effect on the future of our society – our children. The stakes are so much higher. As school administrators, our primary focus must be on making sure our teachers love where they work, so they can do their best work, because when teachers do their best work, amazing things can happen.
What I want to do in the next few blog posts is share what I’ve been learning about on how to create an environment where teachers and staff love where they work. Below, I’ve listed some of the books, like Leaders Eat Last, that have been so instrumental in my recent education.
Thank you for all you do for our teachers and our kids.
Until next time, here’s to your journey toward School Administration Mastery!