The world seems so much smaller these days because of social media and the ability to contact people anytime anywhere. But walking in schools, I still get the feeling sometimes that classrooms are each in their own silo. Reaching out within a school does not often seem to happen as much as reaching out on Twitter or Facebook. Maybe it is because we are more concerned with having our teaching styles judged by those we see daily? But to build a cohesive culture within our schools we need to reach out to each other for support, encouragement and celebrations.
With this goal in mind, I started adding a new piece in my weekly emails toa school I consult with. I now include a celebration segment. This could be a photo or video or just a description of something that was great or a lesson that went better than expected, or small measure of joyfulness in a classroom during the past week. I am hoping to generate a culture that sees the process and the excitement of learning as a reason to celebrate.
In my former role as Principal in my daily emails to faculty, I would often thank teachers for programs they put on with their students. I felt it that just like students, hearing appreciation out loud should happen frequently. Real praise that states what is being appreciated resonates beyond the moment into those times that we need to remember that we are capable and accomplished.
I have learned that the small successes are what life is built upon. I also tried to encourage the teachers to visit other classrooms to see how certain things were being accomplished. This way I was not the only “coach/expert” in the school. Encouraging teachers to talk about their classrooms with each other made the walls disappear and cultivated not just a feeling of congeniality among the teachers but substantial support for teachers who needed a lift, idea or just a smile.
How do you celebrate achievements or ‘good tries?’ Leave a comment or join the conversation on Twitter or Instagram, @edtechease.
Orginally posted on Thursday, 13 September 2018.