A great way to motivate

Published 12:24 am Sunday, January 29, 2012

Many of Suffolk’s public school teachers will show up at work on Monday in pajamas and bedroom slippers. A significant number of them will probably skip the morning shower and the makeup they normally apply before leaving the house.

That’s because many of Suffolk’s teachers will be working from home tomorrow. Monday was always intended as a teacher workday, with students out of class while their teachers entered grades and performed other end-of-semester clerical tasks. But school system administrators decided last week to give teachers a chance to do that work remotely for a change, meaning that they will not be required to spend seven hours in their school buildings doing work that could just as easily be done on a laptop at home.

It’s a job benefit that a growing number of people in the private sector enjoy and one that is growing in popularity at school systems around the nation, but it’s an entirely new thing here in Suffolk, and nobody is quite certain how it will all work out. School Superintendent Deran Whitney has said he’d like to make more teacher workdays into work-at-home days, but he’ll first have to judge whether productivity suffers from the change.

Email newsletter signup

Considering how long it has been since the city’s teachers received a pay raise, it’s good for administrators to be looking for new ways to reward them for their loyalty and their hard work. The private sector has long known that money is not the only way to motivate employees. Giving them the respect that is implied by occasionally allowing them to work comfortably and unsupervised from their homes is one way to motivate teachers and other employees that doesn’t cost the fiscally-challenged school system a dime.

Enjoy your workday at home, teachers. You’ve earned it.