Teacher Appreciation Week

Survey of Principals Lists Their 'Most Effective Strategies' to Boost Teacher Morale

Taking Things off Teachers' Plates Ranks First; Just 16% Listed Pay Raise as a Solution

A survey of 557 K–12 principals across the United States revealed the “most effective strategies” administrators are using to boost teacher morale — putting this week’s National Teacher Appreciation Week theme into focus.

The research was conducted during the first quarter of 2022 by Unruly Studios, the Boston-based creator of coding-and-play technology instruction. No respondents were known customers of Unruly Studios, the company said.

Key Findings of the Survey

  • 70% of principals responding to the survey said their top concern was teacher shortages.
  • 58% said their No. 2 concern was teacher morale.
  • 68% said their most effective strategy to boosting teacher morale was “taking things off their plate.”
  • 45% listed “teacher shout-outs/praise” as their most effective strategy for boosting teacher morale.
  • Strategies listed as third-, fourth-, and fifth-most mentioned were “teacher treats” (44%), ensuring teachers feel seen and heard through implementing their suggestions (41%), and team bonding activities (20%), respectively.
  • Only 16% of respondents listed increasing teacher pay as an effective strategy to boost teacher morale.
  • 58% of respondents agreed that using the right technology in the classroom can limit teacher stress.

“This survey confirms many of the trends we hear every day from school leaders: Principals are concerned about staffing shortages and getting creative to boost teacher morale,” Unruly Studios CEO Bryanne Leeming told THE Journal. “Educators are overwhelmed by a prolonged period of uncertainty and high stress. Principals agree that the most effective way to support teachers at this time is to help them narrow in on what’s important so that teachers can do what they do best: teach and inspire learners.”

Download the full survey report at the Unruly Studios website.

About the Author

Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].