Respecting

This Ed. Leadership article, "Respect - Where do we start?" from the ASCD has inspired me to stop and take note about how we respect staff and students - every day.  This article led me to consider:

How does what we say and do - and not say and do - speak to our respect for educators and students?

Often when a teacher is starting to feel sick, they frequently will say to me, "I cannot take a day off, I need to be here for my students and to do X, Y and Z..." to which I respond, "You must take care of yourself if you want to take care of others!"  Before an educator can respect and take care of students, they must first take care of and respect themselves.  When staff members are overwhelmed and stressed out, students can perceive this - middle schoolers are smart cookies!

This article has encouraged me to stop and take inventory of how I support teachers to be their best.  What can I do better and/or more of to remind teachers of the positive impact they have every day on students' lives, and encourage them to take care of themselves, so they can be their best?
  1. The gift of time: there is simply never enough of it!  I will offer to cover more classes (which allows me more face time with kids - a gift in and of itself) so teachers can accomplish more collaboration and collective tasks required to be a successful educator.
  2. Stay positive: Regardless of my own day or my level of stress, I will remain positive in  my interactions with students and staff.
  3. Thank you: Such a simple phrase, but it is wonderful to be thanked.  I will spend more time writing thank you notes to staff members for the impactful things they do with students each and every day.
  4. Fun: Instead of discussing  the best way to have fun, I will work with staff members to create schedules and events that intermingle staff members and allow them to connect with their colleagues.
  5. Students' Voices: As a teacher, the most valuable gift I ever received was a heartfelt note from a student thanking me for making a difference (and I still have those notes!).  I will work to facilitate this more with the student body.
  6. Technology Use: I will use our newly created Twitter and Facebook pages to not just share upcoming events, but to highlight excellent learning and teaching!  (Thanks to @Matt_Gomez and @gcouros for the inspiration here.)
Any thoughts?  Examples to facilitate more respect, enjoyment and fun in schools?  I'm all ears!

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