How to Keep Your Teachers Motivated in the Digital Classroom
Last week we took a look at the ways to help your classroom teachers become online teachers as your language school transitions into an online language school. As we mentioned, maintaining morale for your team is an essential element to creating a wonderful language school experience for your students and your staff.
I think we all have traumatic childhood memories of that one teacher who hated their job. The difference was, we couldn't drop out of elementary school every time we were assigned an unhappy teacher, but your language learners can! Good teachers make for good classrooms (even great at-home classrooms) and good classrooms make for growing schools and returning customers.
Of course, during COVID-19, keeping up morale goes deeper than just getting a good espresso maker in the staff room and giving good Christmas bonuses. Many teachers are teaching online for the first time and for experienced educators, being a beginner again can be very frustrating. Let's look at the best ways to keep morale high for your teaching staff at your language school.
In this article, we'll discuss:
- Fun ideas for putting a smile in your teachers' day
- Staff parties
- Learning to laugh together
- Recognizing hard work
- Celebrating success
Top Ideas for Team-Building, Morale-Boosting Fun
Nothing keeps morale up like a big smile! There are a lot of ways to create a moment of fun in the workday without having to spend a lot of time, effort, or money. Your language teachers know how to have fun - that's why they work at a language school! But these tips are some easy little ideas for how to keep their spirits up by encouraging them to have fun together. Because remember, a team that plays together, stays together!
- Song of the day: Create a rotation schedule of your language teachers so that every weekday it is someone's turn to pick the song of the day. Start a group conversation on your school management platform or an e-mail chain or slack chat. Each morning, one teacher will send a song to the chat for everyone to enjoy. You can pick weekly themes (motivational songs, winter songs, your favourite dance song, your favourite pop classic) so that your staff can have fun both choosing and listening.
- Weird Word of the Week: Every week, you and your administrative team can get in on the language learning fun by sharing your choices for weird word of the week with your teachers. Pick a strange word you didn't know and share the word and definition with the team in a group chat or email. These are always good for a laugh, but also can inspire some great ideas for the language classroom.
- Staff Party: Once a month, organize an online get together for your teaching staff. Instead of just a free form cocktail hour, set a scheduled time (1-2hours at most), pick a theme that can spark conversation (Hawaiian beach cocktails, Your favourite coffee, Destination drinks) and consider preparing a short game (a pub quiz, charades, or scattergories).
- #OnlineTeachingFail: I mentioned this one in last week's article about tips for transitioning your teaching school and teaching staff online, but I think it bears repeating. Encourage your teacher to laugh at their mistakes and to share their learning-curve embarassments with their colleagues to take the shame out of human error.
- A Little Recognition Goes a Long Way: If you manage a language school, you know how important some good old fashioned recognition is to your teachers' morale. This can be really simple. Send a teacher a note any time you get positive feedback from a student. Or find an occasion every month to tell each teacher something you appreciate about what they bring to your language school. Be specific and honest in your compliments and they will go a long way.
- Celebrate: Another way to give a little recognition and boost morale is end of class celebrations. If you have your teachers doing something like the #OnlineTeachingFail challenge, you can give out "awards" at the end of the session for silly things like Best Zoom Accident, Funniest Teaching Tale, or Silliest At-Home Error.
If you are running your school online, we'd love to hear what is working for you in the comments below. If you are new to running your language school online we'd be happy to talk to you about our free school management software which can help streamline your communications with your staff as well as you billing, attendance, and CRM.
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