What a school year this has been! By many accounts, this year proved even more challenging than the previous two years, leaving many educators exhausted and discouraged. And yet, you keep showing up. You continue to be present and attentive to the needs of your students. Even though you may feel depleted, you keep dipping into a deep well of patience and commitment.
At Sound Discipline, we see you! We are grateful for all that you do. For Teacher Appreciation Month, we celebrate you for the heroes that you are!
Hopefully, your students, families, and colleagues are appreciating you all the time, but especially this month! We were also curious about the ways educators practice gratitude, which is a way to help ourselves and our colleagues to feel appreciated. This Edutopia article, What Educators Appreciated About Each Other This Year, is full of stories about teachers who made a positive difference for each other through a very trying year.
Here are a few simple ideas for celebrating yourself and your colleagues:
Look for reasons to compliment your colleagues. Compliments lift up the giver as much as the receiver. The many benefits of compliments are explored here.
Get bold and ask for encouragement. When you ask for a compliment, you model for students that it is ok ask for what you need. One way to do this is the process used in classroom meetings. Use the sentence starter, “I’d like to ask for a compliment for_ (fill in something you have done that should be appreciated and celebrated) _____.” A colleague or student can then reply, “__(Name)_, I’d like to compliment you for__ (that thing you did or the way that you are!) ____.”
Do positive calls to families to show appreciation for their child. Start a ripple of positive feedback that may just come right back to you. Families will be surprised and thrilled! Check out this video of a real-life phone call home and the heartwarming response it generated.
Set the stage for regular gratitude practice. One teacher practices “GratiTuesdays.” She and her students come prepared to share in class one thing for which they are grateful. Students learn about their teacher and one another. They start looking for things in their lives to be grateful for and start the day on a positive note.
Help to create a schoolwide culture of authentic gratitude. Research shows that practicing gratitude leads to sustained happiness. This Edutopia article contains 4 easy ideas for sharing gratitude with those who matter to you.
Need some inspiration? Because of a Teacher: Stories of the Past to Inspire the Future of Education is a book full of heartful and uplifting stories. Or watch this video of the newly announced 2022 National Teacher of the Year.
Celebrate yourself. Intentionally carve out some time to reflect on the small victories and the larger wins, recognizing the growth achieved by yourself and your students. Despite the numerous challenges, you have made a difference in many lives this year, and we are grateful to you and appreciate you!