I am not completely blameless here. I too have fallen into the trap of talking about others and tearing them down when I knew the whole while that I should be building them up. This is what we try to instill in our students, so why is it so hard for us to do. I have a few theories on this, but am no expert.
The truth is, happy teachers encourage those that are around them, because a happy person wants others to be happy too. Instead of breaking one another down and placing every action under the microscope why don't we change our mindset and work to encourage one another. We can encourage each other to do better and be better.
How Happy Teachers Encourage Others
- Actively listen to what they have to say. So often we get caught up in what we are doing and forget that others have things going on too. Take the time to ask a coworker how they are doing and really listen to the answer and respond thoughtfully.
- Smile! It is amazing how just getting a smile from across the hallway can lift you up.
- Write a positive note. Handwritten notes have kind of gone the way of the dodo bird, so they are that much more special when received. Personally, I have saved many quick notes that were just jotted down on a sticky because they said what I needed to hear at that moment in time.
- Compliment them. Ideally the comment would be something deep, but if you are struggling a compliment on someone's appearance is always safe.
- Recognize accomplishments. No matter how big or how small everyone deserves to have their achievements celebrated. There is nothing worse than feeling the high of success and no one else noticing. It doesn't take much to recognize someone's accomplishments. A simple high five, pat on the back, or general woohoo will get the job done!
- Say thank you. Let your coworkers know that you value them and their efforts. It goes a long way.
- Value their time. One of the easiest ways to encourage someone and let them know that they are valued is to tell them that you appreciate them spending their time on a task and respect that they have other things they could be doing. We are so busy as teachers when someone gives up their time to help with a task they deserve to be recognized.
- Recognize people's strengths and put them in appropriate leadership roles. Instead of just assigning roles at random allow teachers to take on leadership roles that interest them. This will undoubtably encourage their participation.
I know that this list is just the beginning of how you can encourage others, and teachers are the absolute best at coming up with creative ways to celebrate others! What other ideas do you have for encouraging others on your campus?
For more information on working towards being a happy teacher check out 11 Things Happy Teachers Don't Do.
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