The week of May 5th through May 9th is National Teacher Appreciation Week. This is the time when we should demonstrate our appreciation and gratitude to those on the front lines. Those people who give blood, sweat and tears to make sure that the students you are in charge of are successful. Not just on whatever test is up next, but successful in their lives. Students are more than a test number, and our teachers are the ones who establish those relationships, guide and instruct the young people who walk through the door every day. And while the week is a good time to thank your staff, what do you do during the other 35 weeks to show how much you appreciate your peeps? Here are five things that you can do through out the year to make sure your staff feels appreciated.
A few summers ago, I spent about an hour going through my staff roster. I put every birthday of every staff member on my Google calendar and added it as a repeating event. Each morning, I scan my calendar and if there is a birthday that day, I send a quick e-mail wishing them a happy birthday. Simple, quick, and it doesn’t cost you a penny.
Write Thank You Notes
I keep a stack of school stationary in my desk and at my home. My goal is every week to write at least two personal thank you notes to someone on my staff who has done something outstanding. It takes me about five minutes, but the impact is huge. I cannot count the number of rooms and offices that I walk into where a note that I wrote is displayed prominently.
Whenever you can, do something out of the ordinary and unexpected. At our school, we have walked from room to room and served hot chocolate, delivered bags of candy, and served ice cream. It does have some cost to it, but the surprise and novelty of it are priceless.
Say Thank You
This is self-explanatory. Say these two little words every time someone does something for you or your school. Say these words after and NEVER be skimpy with them.
ALWAYS Have Their Backs
I tell my staff at the beginning of each year that I have their backs. I will support them and defend them to the bitter end. The only thing I ask is that they not put me in an indefensible position. As long as they do not do that, they know I will support them. Now, there are always times when I will have to go to them and tell them that I have backed them, but don’t put me in that position again. But the key is that they know that I am going to protect them.
Enjoy Teacher Appreciation Week. Make sure that your peeps are well taken care of. Leave me a comment and tell me how you honor your people.