Skip to main content

Teacher Motivation

*Jackson, R (2013). Never underestimate your teachers: Instructional leadership for excellence in every classroom. (pp. 70-114). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision & Curriculum Development. Available for purchase at

In Chapters 4 and 5 of this book, the author seeks to aid school leaders in developing teachers through understanding, identifying, and addressing teacher will. The author defines teacher will as the driver that propels a teacher to improve their craft and persist with students, or the peripheral behaviors inhibiting teachers’ growth that result when a driver is not stimulated. In order to appropriately identify and address teacher will and provide constructive instructional feedback, the author identifies and defines four drivers that impact teacher will: autonomy, mastery, purpose, and belonging. The author offers a series of tools that can help administrators identify and address each driver. These underscore the importance of understanding the teacher’s motivation through active listening, including efforts to decipher the underlying needs of teachers beyond surface issues expressed, and cultivating a relationship between teacher and school leader. In addition to understanding teacher will through the driver lens, the author presents Karla Reiss’s framework of the five main reasons teacher will wanes and offers suggestions for how understanding these reasons in the context of building teacher will can help school leaders provide adequate support for teachers.  

*Priority Reading