Taking the Temperature: It’s October. How are we doing?

I was at a workshop yesterday, and we were having a conversation about the fact that being an educator is one of the hardest professions out there. There are so many facets to the job. It’s more than kids (though they are the most important factor) but it’s parents, and community, and curriculum, and assessment, and grading, and so much more! The list could go on and on. Knowing that education is a challenging profession, what are we doing to ensure that our teachers feel appreciated? How are we ensuring that their morale isn’t diminished before the end of the year? How are we creating a culture and climate in our building that is positive, supportive, and conducive to learning and growing at all levels?

Those are heavy questions with heavy implications and there are no easy answers or fixes. However, we have been doing some things to try and take the temperature of our team and to ensure that we keep pushing ourselves and our students toward excellence and finishing strong!

  1. Creating a Sense of Team

We want our school to be a highly functioning team; therefore, we need to do what highly functioning teams do. We try to:

  1. Connect (Team Gatherings, Potluck, etc.)
  2. Share ideas and strategies (PLCs/Department Meetings)
  3. Celebrate one another (My Boss Thinks I’m a Big Deal Award)
  4. Motivate and Encourage (Using Remind to Send Motivational Text Messages)
  1. Show Encouragement in the Small Things
    1. Affirmation in our weekly staff email
    2. Showing appreciation in our conversation (Telling staff and students “I appreciate you for doing ….”)
    3. Getting to know one another (Taking a minute to ask about weekend plans or to ask about family.)
    4. Posting Funny/Motivational Thought Bubbles on Staff Lounge Mirrors
    5. Candy Grams with handwritten notes/affirmations (M & M – Many, Many Thanks for all you do!)

Check out this quick slide show of some of our efforts. https://goo.gl/sHkqm5