We want to be a welcoming school, a place where all students feel safe, happy and inspired. We cherish our kids, greet them in the hallway and take a special interest in anyone who needs it or just happens to be in our path. We recognize achievements, we assemble and build community, togetherness and pride in ourselves and each other. We discuss how to do it better, more, bigger. How can we reach each kid to make them feel appreciated, acknowledged and valued? And yet, sometimes we forget about the teachers.
We are so busy always focusing on the achievements of the kids that the natural success of fellow staff members becomes something that slips our mind or is an entirely taboo topic depending on your staff climate. Why? Shouldn’t teacher accomplishment, whether big or small, be the first place we start when we discuss success in our school? Don’t we want to be part of an active community where you hear genuine praise in the hallways, classrooms and staff lounge? We forget to share or assumptions are made that no one wants to hear it. I some places, jealousy can rear it’s ugly head and people learn to not share, to not divulge that they did well on something.
Enough of this fear of acknowledgement! Ban the temptation to not share or highlight. Praise others as you wish your students would praise each other. After all, our students learn best by example, think of the great learning experience it will be for them if they hear natural praise every day between staff members. Start small, be genuine, be brave and take the first step; tell someone you noticed, you cared, you were inspired. Praise someone and set the example, start a movement.