Motivation and the teaching environment

In an age of intense scrutiny of teaching standards in our schools and a seemingly endless pursuit of achieving national targets it may seem unsurprising to some that the ability of our teachers to maintain that expected level of motivation to keep on top of the needs of the learning environment can become clouded.

We all reach those times and especially moments when the pressure to achieve in our work is such that no matter what we do we may not achieve what we wish to. Our tolerance for the work place can be eroded with an inevitable retreat towards any place we identify as a comfort zone. Our approach to the work place does not only affect us it has a potential impact upon significant others too.

High achieving organisations harbour a learning culture (Tony Faulkner, Provelop Ltd). So the question remains as to how we maintain our motivation required to have a positive impact upon the environment and ensure our enjoyment of our work?

Following a presentation to the management team of the newly opened Connell College in Manchester in October 2013 the discussion that followed centred on the very aspect of maintaining a level of motivation that would help elevate the college into that category of becoming a high achieving organisation.

An understanding amongst the team was evident of the responsibility that they had towards each other’s development and therefore the developing strength of the team. A culture is developed by all within it and a management team is central to that development, a point stressed strongly by the team.

There can be fewer greater affirmations of ‘being wanted’ than being successful through the interview process and taking up post as a member of a newly formed team and the endorsement of an organisation seeking and appointing those skill sets to help develop its culture.

A culture where trust, honesty and the ability to challenge each other is pivotal to developing a successful organisation. When motivation declines or is weakened there can naturally be a decline in the standards of work. This is often personified by other such factors as:

  • Enthusiasm
  • Communication skills
  • Inability or desire to recognise humour
  • Additional contributions cease

In addition it is easy to create a blame culture where excuses and conflict arise. One should also consider the effect that our own lifestyle issues can play to add to a lack of motivation for the day ahead.

So what can we do to help maintain personal motivation? A simple five-point process was discussed:

  1. Setting the highest of standards and demanding quality of each other, agreeing never to allow bad practice from themselves or others.
  2. Using previous personal successes as affirmations to recount when required.
  3. Ensuring personal expectations are appropriate for themselves and others.
  4. Re-affirming those expectations regularly and with a need to modify them accordingly.
  5. Taking personal responsibility to ensure their role in making the work environment a fun place to be or where ‘pleasure beats pressure’ (Bill Beswick).

Comments are closed.

 Call us on 01625 478028