I hope our staff knew just how much they are appreciated, if not, I hope they do now.
Today (Thursday) we passed on all the messages of thanks and appreciation that we had collected from parents and students to our staff (well almost)*. With further messages of recognition sent from our National Support Office and our Regional Principal. We added a small token of appreciation to staff pigeon holes (Chocolate bar – complete with a Unesco WTD label) and we hosted a well-being raffle.
What I learnt
The messages we received from parents and students were diverse and some common themes. Out of respect I have redacted the messages where appropriate.
a fair few messages highlighted “smiles” and “warm welcomes” and this had some relation to staff visibility,
Mr ________ Thank you for your consistency and kindness.
Mr Still -Thank you for greeting us with a smile on the school drive on the first day back in September!!
Mrs ________- thankyou for always sounding happy when you answer the phone!!
a handful of comments focused on handling discrete issues or particular events or situations, seeing and issues through or feedback was often coupled with the act of support,
Just wanted to say a big thank you to Mr Still for always listening when I have a problem, working with me to resolve it and following me up.
Mrs _______ Thankyou for reasurring my child and resolving a problem quickly.
a good handful on particularly units of work, teachers recognising students, or recognising staff idiosyncrasies; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Horror Stories, French Resources, Poems, Public Speaking
Parents did not differentiate the role of “teacher,” with all the other staff roles right across the school. This is something we need to reflect upon. Certainly, we did not preclude these positive messages. We also received to comments for staff that had since left the school. All of these comments / postcards were sent onto the staff concerned.
Mr ________ the caretaker – what a star, thank you for the care and hard work you put into campus, truly admirable. The children have such respect for you, standing at the gate beginning and end of each day!
I also noted that many of the comments shared with lower school staff from parents reflected on the previous year
Mr _______. For last year. For inspiring a dreamy boy to achieve beyond expectations.
Staff visibilty and communication was/is important to parents
Mr ______- took time to type out and post personal letters to parents commending and thanking students for good behaviour and effort. In our household it was a real boost… refreshing to see time and effort rewarded.
Later today (Thursday) – I have received a significant number of additional nominations and messages, in excess of twenty or so. I personally delivered these messages to the staff concerned.
I have yet to seek the feedback from staff, however, I do feel that World Teacher Day 2017 at Hindhead Campus communicated the right sense of and genuine appreciation of our community.
What we did
Raised awareness with our Regional Principal. This led to a National Support Office email to all staff recognising their efforts.
Created bespoke school artwork (Thank you, school Values postcard).
Provided an easy way for parents and students to convey their reflections via an online form on our website.
Visited classrooms with #WTD17 postcards for students to write personal messages.
We have over 100 cards on display, with 150+ messages. Those postcards I collected from students often had multiply messages. We found positive comments for all staff (with the exception of one new member of staff who I thanked for the first week of her employment with us).
We added a chocolate bar with the #WTD17 label to all staff pigeon holes. Four smiles for £1. (Don’t tell staff about shrinkflation).
Three staff were the lucky winners of £50 worth of well-being vouchers.
What I aim to do next year
All of the above.
Just writing up my reflections. Next time around, I plan to work with, and coordinate, a OneSchool Global message to our teachers.
I plan to forewarn the organisation and my RP.
Write again, to the two teachers in my experience made a difference, even though I told them so already.
Include all staff – some how. This was the right way to go (Thank you – Bryony Atkinson).
Keep things hand written, there is a real sense that this adds a personal touch.
World Teacher Day was a rewarding and positive experience for me, to see so many grateful staff and excited students.
The week ended with… gratitude paying back with a healthy dividend.
Thank you for promoting this day within the school. It was a great feeling reading the cards that the students had written for the teachers, and I really value their comments and your effort in organising the display.
Also, while winning the vouchers was a much appreciated bonus, the day gave me lots of the good stuff that money doesn’t buy.