Lisa Meade is a high school principal in upstate New York. You can follow her on Twitter @LisaMeade23.
This Teacher Appreciation Week, I’m feeling especially grateful for all the ways teachers are going above and beyond, especially in the building I am fortunate to be a part of – Granville Jr./Sr. High School, located in Granville, New York.
With all the challenges we’re all facing, the teachers on my team are operating from a place of grace – and they never stop thinking of ways to inspire our kids. They’re offering flexible assignments, constantly learning new tools and applications, meeting with students one-on-one virtually and making cute videos of encouragement. One teacher sent seeds to students for a fun planting project. Our band teacher is offering music lessons through Google Meet. Teachers are setting up virtual field trips and arranging guest speakers.
I know so many of you are also leading amazing teams of educators. Just like teachers are getting creative about ways to connect with kids, I’ve been thinking about ways that we, as leaders, can get creative about connecting with and encouraging teachers.
Here are 5 ways I’m working to maintain positive connections with the teachers on my team:
- Each week, I take 10 photo memories from the year and turn them into a video for teachers. It helps us remember all the good times we’ve had together this school year and hopefully inspires them to bring some of that good into their ongoing connections with kids.
- I maintain a Google Classroom for teachers, where I post a weekly update and resources to help support their work.
- I send personal emails to teachers to remind them I’m thankful for their hard work. I’ve also sent some postcards home with encouraging messages.
- Each week, I share a check-in survey. Teachers share how they’re feeling, which kids they are worried about and what kind of help they need from me.
- And finally, we meet as a whole faculty once a week, to check in, so we can continue to be together and grow as a group.
There are few better feelings as a principal than when you see teachers giving students what they need – and I am trying to give that back to teachers, too. Now more than ever, I’m so thankful to work with teachers who really get what is important. Even in these challenging times, we are surrounded by good.
Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!