5 tips for valuing your staff

Simi Rai

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Teachers who feel appreciated feel valued. When they feel valued, they are more likely to go above and beyond for their pupils and remain in their schools. When leaders overlook opportunities to connect with their teachers, they lose a secret weapon in building a dedicated and committed team and lose their most valuable teachers.

According to the Department of Education, lack of support from leadership was cited as one of the main reasons why teachers left their schools, so here are 5 ways to show your teachers some appreciation:

1. Give them ownership

Ask for their advice and take their ideas into consideration in staff meetings - they spend the most time with pupils, so use their expertise. Teachers need to feel like they are being included in decisions (both big and small) in all aspects of school life.

Consider their skill sets and strengths and assign them to specific projects – they will feel empowered and are more likely to succeed if they feel valued.

team animation

2. Mentorship

There is no greater compliment than being asked to mentor; to train teachers to mentor trainee teachers. Create a mentoring programme which incorporates all 8 teaching standards and shows them how to observe their lessons and give their mentees successful feedback.

You could also pair your teachers with a member of the leadership team in a casual buddy system or mentorship programme. This is a useful way to train teachers aspiring to join senior leadership and gives them an insight into the wider aspects of school life.

3. Connect

Senior leaders are often so busy with duties and meetings that they are not around to connect with. Leaders have a lot of responsibilities and it is easy for them to get caught up in their work, so it is important they take the time to connect with their teachers.

Whether it is a simple “hello, how are you?” in the corridor or a compliment in a staff meeting, take the time to show them that you care. Teachers like to feel that they belong and are appreciated, so take some time out to thank them for their efforts.

team work pink

4. Use personal and specific praise

As the saying goes, a little goes a long way. Praising a teacher for their behaviour management with a challenging pupil or for their class results can make all the difference. Rather than using generic praise like “well done” or “good job,” tell them specifically what it is that impressed you.

For example, “I was so impressed by the way you dealt with that incident, have you considered joining the pastoral team?” This gives teachers a real sense of appreciation and encourages them to consider their progression, which also helps their longevity in the school.

5. DON’T micromanage

Show your teachers that you trust them and can delegate. Avoid looking over their shoulder and controlling them. Teachers should feel like they are capable of making important decisions and that they are being trusted by their managers and leaders, so give them opportunities to shine (big and small). Offer leadership roles, or CPD workshops for them to run, so that they are in control.This will definitely win the hearts and minds of teachers!

Most importantly, be honest. Sometimes leaders believe it best to hide bad news or remain eternally optimistic, but you should deliver those hard truths. Give transparent feedback and find solutions to those problems together, as this will garner the best possible results and gain your respect.

After all, you share the same vision and want the best for your pupils, so work together. Ultimately, once your employees know how much you value and appreciate them, there is nothing they won’t want to do for their pupils or the school!



About our Community Expert


Simi Rai
Community Expert

Over 5 years of experience in educational settings throughout London, Madrid and Barcelona. Whilst studying English Literature and Language at King’s College London and the University of North Carolina, she fell in love with her subject - both the study of literature and craft of writing.

After graduating, she completed the Leadership Development Programme with Teach First, whose mission is to provide equality through education, and attained her PGCE in Secondary English at Canterbury Christ Church University. She was then appointed as Deputy Head of English at one of the highest performing schools in England in a London inner-city academy.

Following this, she completed her Leadership and Management MA at University College London (Institute of Education) and became the director of an English Language company based in Barcelona.

Opogo is a community platform designed to help schools attract and retain the talent that’s right for them. Our social hub is packed with rich content from our community experts. And through our ever-evolving Smart Match technology, teachers can be booked for work simply and quickly.

Sign up for FREE