Last week, the assistant principal at Legacy Elementary put up a “Give Thanks” board in the teachers lounge, encouraging teachers and staff to spread love and thanks during the weeks leading into Thanksgiving break.
Legacy Elementary Assistant Principal Stephanie Nations said she wanted to do something to boost morale and build up staff.
“This year has been a tough one on our staff, and all year long I have been looking for different ways to just let them know how appreciated they are,” Nations said. “ I listen to weekly podcasts and follow different blogs for school leaders to continually learn and find new ideas. Throughout everything that I have read and listened to, the reoccurring theme seems to be the power of a written note.”
Nations explained that she has made it her mission this school year to improve on being intentional, specifically with written notes.
“I came across the ‘Give Thanks Board’ on one of my blogs and thought it would be perfect for giving our staff the opportunity to build each other up by writing notes of gratitude to each other,” Nations said. “The evening of November 8th, I sent out an all staff email directing them to find the ‘Give Thanks Board’ in the workroom. They were told to take an envelope off of the board, write a note of gratitude to that person and hand-deliver the note to the staff member, or place it in their box. I explained that often times writing notes of gratitude build you up just as much as receiving notes of gratitude, so hopefully they got the double ‘feel good.’”
Nations said she has monitored the board each day and sends out reminders to keep everyone involved.
“Within those email reminders, I also shared little tid-bits that I had heard from different staff regarding the letters they wrote or received,” Nations said. “As the envelopes became fewer and fewer on the board, I even had staff members reach out asking if they could take a second note from the board because they wanted to ensure that everyone got their spirits lifted before this week was over.”
Nations said this is just one way that she and Legacy Principal Carole Kidd can keep staff engaged with each other.
“Little things like this help to keep our large staff connected,” Nations said. “It’s easy to find yourself just talking to or reaching out to those you work closest to, so this allowed staff to reach out to others across the building that they may not interact with on a daily basis. It gave them the ability to see that their hard work does not go unrecognized. Part of mine and Carole’s jobs are to recognize and encourage everyone in our building to keep going and push through one of the hardest but most rewarding jobs around – being a teacher. This gave individual members of our staff the ability to do that as well!”
Nations said she has enjoyed this experience and hopes that the staff and teachers at Legacy know just how valuable and loved that they are.
“I hope that this helps our staff realize that their words, either spoken or written, have power and importance,” Nations said. “I hope that they remember how much it filled their bucket to write and receive words of encouragement and gratitude. I hope they take it upon themselves to continue to build each other up as the school year continues. We will continue to empower each other as we encounter new challenges, because our students deserve only the best from each one of us!”