I’ve overheard administrators make statements about how they don’t worry about teacher morale because they focus on kids. I agree that students are the focus and rightfully so, but there is a fatal flaw in neglecting our teachers. Research supports that a highly effective teacher has an enormously positive impact on student achievement. The reality is that the best teachers can work anywhere. Only average and below-average teachers will stay in an environment where the are unappreciated and their development is neglected.
The fact that we want the best for students should encourage us to spend more time creating an environment where the best teachers will not only stay, but thrive. Sir Richard Branson says to “train people well enough so they can leave” and “treat them well enough so they don’t want to.” The truth is that everyone wants to feel valued and wants the opportunity to grow. My friend Jimmy Casas says that “nobody wants to be average” while pointing out that “the world is full of average”. Many schools neglect teachers and relegate their students to the world of average while believing they are focusing on the kids. Let’s never lose site of the fact that teachers matter…a lot. Our kids will be better for it.