Teaching is a difficult and demanding profession. Doing the job well requires that teachers give of themselves intellectually, emotionally and physically. It is also a very important job. The future of a society is in the hands of those who teach society‘s children and youth. Yet in spite of its demands and its importance, in many countries, teaching is not well paid compared to other professions. As a result, teaching cannot attract well-qualified people by salary alone. So what does motivate teachers?
Teacher motivation refers to the different professionally related factors within the school context that encourage teachers in their work. Teacher motivation sustains teachers when difficulties arise and may help them feel satisfied and proud to be a teacher. Motivational factors can include:
Support from supervisors
Support from colleagues
Opportunities to learn
Opportunities to participate in decision-making on school-related matters
Regular, reasonable compensation
Opportunities for vocational and skills trainers to expand their businesses
Understanding how these factors influence teachers is a key to providing them with the encouragement and support they need to be effective teachers.
Teacher motivation is one of the three interconnected pieces defining who a teacher is and what attitudes he or she has toward teaching. To explore/review the other parts of the puzzle – teacher identity and teacher well-being – you can use the menu on the left.