11 Simple Teacher Morale Boosters for Going Back Into the Classroom - girl attending class online at a laptop computer

11 Simple Teacher Morale Boosters for Going Back Into the Classroom

Amelia Wilcox
January 5, 2023
October 9, 2022

When heading into a school year or returning from a much-needed summer or holiday break, make sure to give teachers the support they deserve! Whether your school is in person, online, or hybrid, these teacher morale boosters are sure to lift up your staff.

How To Improve Teacher Morale

One of the best ways to boost teacher morale is to support them in the areas of wellbeing.

There are 8 areas of wellbeing to keep in mind when working to improve teacher morale:

  1. Occupational
  3. Physical
  5. Social
  7. Spiritual
  9. Environmental
  11. Financial
  13. Intellectual
  15. Emotional

By helping teachers take care of themselves in these areas, you'll help them stress less so they can put more energy into supporting their students, helping to improve teacher morale.

There are many ways you can support employees in the 8 areas of wellness. The tips below focus on teacher emotional health, physical health, social health, and occupational health, especially for teachers.

11 Teacher Morale Boosters

What better time to show teachers you care about them than right at the beginning of the school year or after a break? Some teachers may be dealing with extra stress and anxiety as they make the necessary preparations for the upcoming semester. You can help them return with one (or more!) of these morale-boosting ideas.

Try out some of these stress-relieving and teacher morale-boosting ideas as we head into the new school year!

1. Offer a flexible schedule

Flexible work arrangements go beyond remote teaching.

Allow teachers to have flexible hours to grade work or have conferences with parents. 80% of workers say that flexible work and schedule options would make them more loyal to their employer.

Flexibility is critical to parents. Many teachers are parents themselves, and this flexibility won't go unappreciated!

2. Do a mental health check-in

Teaching is strenuous. 1 in 20 teachers will struggle with a diagnosable mental health issue that will last more than a year.

As a school leader, you have an excellent opportunity to support your teachers in this area.

A great first step is to start talking about mental health at work. During your next staff meeting, take 15 minutes to talk about how everyone has been doing and coping with their stress. Share things that have helped you overcome your stress and anxiety. Discussing ways that you can support each other on the job is another excellent way to improve teacher morale in schools.

You can take this a step further by talking to your teachers one-on-one and touching base on the state of their mental health.

You can start these conversations by talking about yourself first. This will help teachers feel more comfortable talking about their mental health in a professional setting.  Emphasize that when teachers take care of themselves, they'll be able to serve their students better!

3. Bring in an onsite massage service

If your school is doing class in person, consider bringing in corporate massage for your team!

Massage is a powerful way to reduce stress, improve emotional health, and increase teacher morale. Just a 15-minute chair massage can make a massive difference in these areas for teachers.

This is an incredible way to show teachers that you appreciate them and care for their wellbeing.

4. Have a potluck

Potlucks are an excellent way for teachers to get to know each other and have some fun!

You could frame this as a teacher appreciation gathering, or kick-off for the new school year, or a safe place to support one another during this time.

If your school is online, hold a virtual happy hour or coffee hour!

5. Exercise together

Encourage teachers to get moving together in groups. Exercising with a buddy is great for physical health, mental health, socialization, and mental health. A short walk outside can make a big difference in how calm and grounded you feel.

You can even gamify the experience by tracking how many steps each team gets over a set amount of time. Whoever wins could get a gift card, free lunch, or a free massage!

6. Support one another

Encourage your teachers to give shout-outs to their coworkers on a board in the hallway. You can also use a virtual whiteboard or online employee recognition tool.

43% of highly engaged employees receive feedback at least once per week at work. Coworker feedback is just as crucial as manager feedback when it comes to school staff morale and engagement.

7. Provide self-care ideas

Provide teachers a list of self-care ideas during your next staff meeting. Challenge everyone to add one of the ideas to their daily routine starting today.

During your next staff meeting, talk about how prioritizing self-care has helped your stress.

8. Hand out cards

Have students sign cards and leave a small note of appreciation for their teachers. It is fun for students and is a great way to show your teachers you care about them.

For an additional teacher morale booster, encourage other teachers to leaves notes in the cards as well.

9. Find ways to cut down on meetings

Meetings take up precious time that could be spent on grading or doing lesson prep. Try holding some staff meetings in alternative formats. Try using instant messaging or email to communicate instead of Zoom meetings or in-person meetings.

You can also encourage your teachers to try some alternative formats for parent-teacher conferences.

10. Create a buddy system

As we mentioned before, the idea is to pair teachers up to support each other, work towards their goals together, and navigate any teaching challenges together.

Buddy systems are a great way to encourage teachers to get to know each other deeper, boosting teacher morale and satisfaction. This is especially powerful for remote work environments that don't have spaces for these relationships to develop naturally.

11. Provide an employee mental health or wellness program

Our last tip on how to improve staff morale in schools not only improves teacher morale; it can improve lives.

If you really want to knock it out of the park, give teachers more options to take care of their mental health outside of work.

Employee wellness programs are gaining popularity—and for good reason! More and more people struggle to get affordable, simple access to counseling and other mental health services.

If you get an employee wellness program (EAP) or wellness program like Nivati, you'll be able to provide counseling, yoga, meditation, and so many more services to teachers as well as their families!

Not sure how to choose an EAP or wellness program for your staff? This article on the EAP implementation and search process will help.

So there you have it—11 teacher morale boosters for schools. Start by implementing just one and see how teacher morale and happiness improve!

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Amelia Wilcox
Amelia Wilcox
Amelia Wilcox is the Founder and CEO of Nivati, a leader in corporate massage and employee mental health support since 2010. Her high-growth B2B company provides employee stress management tools that arm businesses with actionable data and positive employee experiences to improve wellbeing, boost morale, and increase engagement. Amelia has exponentially grown her company from a solo living-room service business to an international technology brand.