Weekly Coaching Roundup: Thank You, Teachers!

2021-11 Roundup Header - Thank You Teachers

Welcome back to TeachBoost's Coaching Roundup! The holidays are an excellent time to spread cheer and thanks, especially to educators. This month we're looking at a few ways you can show gratitude and appreciation to your staff. ❤️

Building a Culture of Appreciation

Brandy Alexander shares how you can use "affirmation stations" to thoughtfully and creatively spread love and appreciation to all of your staff members this year. 💌

"At first, we planned to label one larger envelope for the lunchroom staff and one larger envelope for the custodial staff, but we wanted everyone to feel personally included. Therefore, we hand-wrote an envelope for every - single - staff member. . . . You don't have to wait until Valentine's Day; affirmation stations spread kindness across the school any week of the year. In fact, it's an excellent way to start the year off on the right foot."

Affirming to Cultivate Growth

Vicki Collet encourages us to sideline some of the negative traits we notice to focus on and celebrate teachers' positive practices.

"When we affirm, it's helpful to be explicit about both the practice and the purpose behind the practice. . . . These affirmations invite thoughtful rejoinders that sustain effective practices. By shining a spotlight on things the teacher does well, we build their confidence and encourage more of the same.What we focus on grows."

Celebrating Wins and Shared Goals

Sherry St. Clair covers a handful of tactics that leaders can use to praise individual and shared goal progress to help cultivate a culture of learning.

"An administrator or teacher leader might volunteer to compose a monthly newsletter to staff and families dedicated to celebration. . . . Giving teachers the opportunity to publicly shine a light on their peers' growth is a strong trust- and relationship-builder. If students are involved, they get a unique insight into how hard their teachers work to grow in order to be better for students."

The Power of Affirmation

Jenna Moller highlights why affirmation is important—both in our personal and professional lives—and how taking a moment to acknowledge others every day fosters strong coaching relationships.

"This profession is tremendously rewarding and challenging at the same time, making it crucial to affirm others in small ways to ensure teachers feel appreciated and connected—and remain in the classroom. . . . I leave these affirmations in mailboxes, on computers, or hand-deliver them depending on the teacher's schedule. Teachers continue to partner with me with the desire to learn and grow because of the positive relationships built on affirmation."

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Coaching Conversation Hearts

Stephanie Affinito uses hand-written notes with personal messages to acknowledge and lift the spirits of her peers.

"Coaching Conversation Hearts are exactly what they sound like: cute, candy-like love notes in the shape of a heart just for teachers. . . . You can even bring teachers into the fun! At the start of a faculty meeting or grade level meeting, pass out the conversation hearts and encourage teachers to write personal messages to themselves and their colleagues."

Thanking Our Teacher Heroes

Kristin Houser passes along four techniques that you can apply to give teachers some props for their hard work.

"Handwritten notes go a long way in making teachers feel special. I still keep a file of all the notes I’ve received through the years, looking back through them every now and then with a smile. . . . It's a fun way to build culture and community in your school, and you can initiate it!"

Going Beyond Teacher Appreciation Day

Elena Aguilar believes a healthy school culture starts when all staff members take the time to recognize and verbalize the amazing qualities of one another.

"On day one, teachers drew the name of a colleague whom they secretly observed throughout the day. And at the end, they shared appreciations -- recognizing a behavior or action that had a positive impact on the group. . . . Now they draw the name of a colleague at their staff meeting each week, observe the colleague throughout the week, and share the appreciation at the start of the following week's meeting. I might argue that this simple practice has profoundly changed the staff culture."

How do you show appreciation for the staff you support? Share it with TeachBoost and we'll highlight it here!

Topics: Coaching Roundup, Coaching Relationships, Teacher Retention, Affirmation, Teacher Appreciation, Roundup Topics, Affirmation Stations

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