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Ensuring Teachers Matter

Where to Focus First So Students Matter Most

By: Shelly Wilfong, Ryan Donlan

Teachers are critical to the success of students. This book helps K–12 teachers understand how mattering is useful when examining some of the common problems educators face today, including high stress levels, job dissatisfaction, the pressures of public opinion, and the lack of a sustainable wage.

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The research-based concept of mattering and how teachers benefit when they feel meaning

Teachers are critical to student success, but the profession of teaching is in crisis. When teachers feel a sense of purpose or meaningful significance, it leads to better student achievement, less burnout, and higher job satisfaction. Drawing from original research, this practical resource introduces eight essential elements of mattering that schools need to have for teachers to feel they matter.

This book will help K–12 teachers:

  • Learn how to integrate less pleasant aspects of the job with one’s values to achieve a goal
  • Use the foundational elements of mattering survey and other tools to effect substantive school change
  • Make smaller-scale changes to the work environment to meet individual needs
  • Understand the purpose and importance of each element of mattering
  • Learn about leaders’ obligations when it comes to mattering and what teachers should expect from them
  • Explore the implications of all eight elements of mattering for teachers and leaders

Related Topics

LeadershipTeacher Efficacy


Additional Information

Product Code: BKG111, EKF656

ISBN: 9781954631915

Published By: Solution Tree

Ensuring Teachers Matter is a powerful look at education through the lens of teacher mattering—fostering school cultures where teachers feel valued and are empowered to contribute to their communities. Wilfong and Donlan offer a unique, systems view of educational reform, offering a pathway for teacher well-being, retention, and stronger school communities. This book is a must-read!”

Dr. Sarah Bennison, CEO, The Mattering Movement; Founder, Trinity School Office of Public Service (NYC)

“This is a magnificent and timely book, destined to become a classic among teachers and educational administrators. This volume has the potential to revolutionize the teaching profession and the education of the next generation. It should be mandatory reading for all educators and parents.”

Isaac Prilleltensky, PhD, Professor of Educational and Psychological Studies, Mautner Endowed Chair in Community Well-Being, University of Miami, Florida, Co-Author of How People Matter: Why It Affects Health, Happiness, Love, Work, and Society

Ensuring Teachers Matter: Where to Focus First So Students Matter Most is an urgent call to rethink the directive students first. Teachers are first responders to their many students’ struggles. To meet this demand, Shelly Wilfong and Ryan Donlan persuasively argue that teachers themselves need to feel like they matter, to feel that they are valued by families and colleagues and that their contributions to the community are appreciated and valued. Do your teachers feel like they matter? Do your teachers feel valued? Do they have a community where they are cared for? Wilfong and Donlan offer a groundbreaking framework and an accessible blueprint that any school can use to bolster teacher mattering so that teachers can be the critical sources of support for their students.”

Jennifer Wallace, New York Times–bestselling author of Never Enough: When Achievement Culture Becomes Toxic and What We Can Do About It

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