Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sing the Praise of Other Teachers

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.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Isn't that our oath as educators? If your are looking for praise for completeing your job duties on a monumental level, then why teach grade level eduacation. Look higher, or does that inadequaltely satisfy the competitive ego?

Cheryl Lynn said...

It is amazing how encouragement can inspire even more greatness. My principal is FANTASTIC at doing this - and sets a phenomenal example for the rest of us... CELEBRATE others! I couldn't agree more! :)

Julie Cunningham said...

Thanks for this post! It's exactly what I needed to hear today. :)

Mrs Ripp aka 4thGrdTeach said...

I agree that when principals acknowledge and staff meetings becomes forums for sharing, it garners more positive energy for a building. So think what it would really do if everyone in a building praised each other when there was an opportunity. Positivity breeds more positivity.

Anonymous, I am not quite sure what you mean. I don't see a problem with praise for doing your job, but I was referring more to outside accomplishments etc. And I honestly think that your comment on the "competitive ego" is exactly the sort of negative comment we don't need more of. Thanks for proving my point.

yourjoyismylow said...

What a wonderful post! You are right, as a learning community, we should treat everyone the same way, students and teachers, and often that is not the case. And it is easy to blame management and administration, but we can all start with ourselves, I can assure you it will be noticed! Sometimes it is the support of colleagues that gets us much further than that of administration.
Thanks for posting and reminding me of the importance of praising!

Mrs Ripp aka 4thGrdTeach said...

Hi Jessica,
Thank you for commenting. I agree that we just need a reminder once in a while. Often I blog simply because I need to remind myself so when it resonates with others, it is such a delight!

Amy said...

I just started teaching at a new school and one thing the principal does well is that at the start of our monthly staff meeting, he issues "certificates" to people for jobs well done. So, if a coach has a winning team, or a class does something cool, he comes up with a whimsical little certificate to share with the staff. It's amazing to see fellow teachers acknowledged.

 

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