One of the things I love most about working in education is that there is a start and an end of the school year. Those milestones allow us to re-energize over the summer and start fresh each August or September.
I firmly believe that the first month of the school year sets the tone for the whole year -- so our goal should be to make those first days fun days. Let me share some ideas that schools throughout the nation have implemented.
LETTER TO YOURSELF
Have staff members write goals for themselves in areas such as curriculum, classroom management, and parent communications. Have them set a goal for building or supporting colleagues too. Each staff member should write those goals in a letter to her or himself. S/he is the only person who will read the letter, which will be placed into an envelope with her/his name on it before sealing. Collect the sealed letters and then "mail" them to staff members at the start of the second semester. At that time, ask staff to reflect on what they have done toward achieving their goals. Then have staff members reseal their envelopes and give them back to you to store until the end of the school year. At the end of the school year, hand out the envelopes once again and ask staff to review and reflect on them as they set goals for the following year.
Getting back into the routine of the work week may be challenging for some staff members -- and students. Suggest that they leave viocemail messages, including music and more, to start the day. This works well for co-workers and kids, too.
Have business cards made for all staff members: teachers, administrative assistants, paraprofessionals, maintenance staff, transportation staff -- everyone! Creating those business cards might be a great opportunity for students in technology programs to practice their desktop-publishing skills.
GRIN AND SHARE IT!
A child came home from his first day at school.
"What did you learn in school today?" his mother asked.
"Not enough," the child replied. "They want me to come back tomorrow."
Drive your staff happy!
Article by Diane Hodges
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