Don’t Worry About Making Teachers Happy

Happiness workshops and growth mindset training for teachers are on the rise. These are neurotic behaviors in effort to soothe teachers’ anxiety. We are treating the symptoms and ignoring the cause.

Don’t worry about making your teachers happy. Instead, do this:

Give teachers a viable salary. Eliminate stressors of paying bills, working multiple jobs, and supplementing livelihood with debt. Teaching is a demanding job with enough stress. Pay them enough to provide them emotional well-being. This includes beginning teachers; they should not have to work 10-15 years for a district before they reach that level. (Besides, many of the best teachers won’t. They will leave.)

If you take care of teachers, they will take care of our students.

Give teachers autonomy. Free teachers from textbooks and the culture of overvaluing standardized tests. If you are recruiting and retaining the best teachers, they know what is best for students. Many teachers are suffering under test prep, worksheets, carrot and stick reading programs, scripted lessons, and other nonsense.

Stop trying to make teachers happy, and begin by not making them miserable. Give them this and you will set them on being content and fulfilled.

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Yancy

Using what I know about learning to help others.

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