Skip To Content

Providing Recognition Teachers Value Most

photo of a woman shaking hands with a man, co-workers applauding in the background

Specific acknowledgment of good work is the best way to boost teacher morale and support their mental well-being, according to a national teacher survey from EdWeek Research Center.

Verbal feedback that was specific in nature was the highest-ranked type of recognition teachers value. Specific written feedback was a close second. Verbal praise with general compliments was also appreciated by the teachers surveyed as was general written feedback, but anything that was generic was not as highly valued.

Teacher Appreciation Week

Teacher Appreciation Week is the first full week of May each year providing an opportunity for district leaders, parents, and students to show appreciation and recognition for teachers and their hard work.

Keeping in mind the recognition teachers most value will help make the week more meaningful. While rewards such as gift cards, food, or a “jeans day” are appreciated, most teachers feel most respected when others recognize their efforts, pedagogy skills, effectiveness, and time put into the job.

Interestingly, the survey noted about two-thirds of educators did not value public shoutouts of their work as they don’t want to be seen as the “principal’s pet.” Many teachers stated they feel uncomfortable with public praise, especially if it is not a regular part of the workplace culture. Private recognition, whether verbal or written, was most favored.  

Other Supports

Teachers reported other impactful ways to show they are valued are:

  • Providing pay raises
  • Being supported by administrators when working with difficult parents and students
  • Listening to teacher suggestions
  • Providing an overall collaborative culture

For more information on teacher recognition, see Employee Engagement in the HR Services Resource Library (member login required) as well as the following articles:

Was this article helpful?
Cheryl Hoover
Cheryl Hoover

Cheryl Hoover joined HR Services in 2018. She assists with staffing and HR reviews, training, and other HR projects. During Hoover’s public school career, she served as an executive director of curriculum and principal leadership, executive director of human resources, principal, assistant principal, teacher, and coach.

Hoover earned her bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin and obtained her master’s degree from Texas State University. She is a certified PHR.

HR Services

TASB HR Services supports HR leadership in Texas schools through membership offerings in specialized training, consulting, and other services.
HRX Logo

Subscribe to HRX

Stay up to date with all the latest HR news and trends by joining the HRX mailing list!