Is it impossible to motivate teachers?
Another term is upon us and teachers up and down the country will groan as they awake from a half term break and have to drag themselves to work.
And yet I won’t. I love my job and I often feel that we don’t like to admit that. There is something about teaching that has always appealed to me and resonated with me.
5 Things That Should Motivate Teachers
There are so many things that motivate me and so I thought I would share some of them with you. Here are my top 5:
1. The school environment
There is something about the school environment that I love. The way a community of staff and students come together to learn, play, rehearse, practise, eat, run, discuss and analyse.
I love walking around at break times and seeing everyone interacting. I love those moments in between lessons as everyone moves to the next lesson. I just really enjoy the community feel of school, the feeling that you are part of something.
2. My classroom
I love my classroom and it is one of my favourite places to be.
You might think that rather sad, but over several years it has become a huge part of my life. Sure I wouldn’t choose to spend my holidays in my classroom, but when I am at work I am glad to be in that room.
There are so many memories from that particular space and I look forward to making more and I love to think about all the lessons I have taught in there.
3. My colleagues
I love the staff I work with, they are such a wonderful and diverse group of like minded people.
Every staffroom has its characters and I love working with everyone. I like the challenge that they offer to me and I love the fun and enjoyment. It is great to work with a body of people who are all striving for the same thing. If you stop and think about it, everyone fundamentally wants the same thing. I love that aspect of teaching and I love it that I have a great support network.
4. The joy of teaching
I love teaching because there is always something to work towards, an end goal.
This term will be dominated by coursework and exam preparation. It is challenging, but I like the challenge. I like to push myself and try to improve on last year. It motivates me to think about the students.
5. Young people
Fundamentally, I love working with young people. I think they are brilliant. They are all different, with diverse personalities and possibilities. Of course some are more challenging than others, but they are there and need us teachers.
Some of them come from challenging background and situations and they need us to be role models and to help them get the best shot in life.
Some are highly academically driven and need us to challenge them and motivate them. But young people are great and we have the privilege of speaking into their lives and helping them mould themselves into a someone ready for the world. There is of course only so much we can do in the short time we teach them, but I am motivated every day by the thought that I will make a difference.
Now, I am not sure if I have motivated you at all. But maybe I have given you cause to stop and reflect on why you do this job.
It might be that you have fallen out of love with it all. Well I urge you – forget Ofsted, Targets, Date, Planning, Reports & deadlines. Just forget those things for one minute.
Now remind yourself what you love about this job. Remind yourself why you started it. Put that as your motivation. Things will come along and get in the way and there will be frustrations, just like in any job. But I motivate myself by thinking about my clients – the students in front of me.
I want to do the best I can for them and that won’t happen if I stop remembering that I am there for them. I want to go into next term motivated!
Writing this blog has motivated me to keep going and reminded me that I love teaching. Is it impossible to motivate teachers? I hope you have a great term! I can’t solve all your problems, but I can challenge you to be motivated by what matters.