THE RAMBLINGS OF
Did you know there are 138 “national celebration days” in the month of March alone?
Some of our personal favorites are:
Let’s assume that there is an average of 100 National Days a month. In total that would mean there are 1,200 National Celebrations a year. Now, we all know as teachers, we receive an official day of recognition as well. But in reality, that means that we receive the same amount of recognition as a pickle.
On a more serious note, as educators we know that we are not often recognized for the blood, sweat, and tears we pour into our profession.
However, somehow a stigma has arisen over teacher recognition.
Many teachers have been shown that it is wrong to be recognized or to be held as an example or role model. Some teachers have been alienated by their peers and shamed for their hard work and willingness to be recognized.
Do others really think we became teachers for the attention and glory?
Make no mistake, there is nothing that can match those brilliant moments when a parent or student lets us know how our teaching has affected them, but this doesn’t necessarily happen as often as it should and many become disenchanted and lose their way.
Why can’t we celebrate and recognize each other between these moments?
If you walk through any school on any given day, you’ll find examples of student success: bulletin boards overflowing with exemplars, congratulatory announcements over the intercom, etc.
But, in your school or district, how often are teachers recognized in this same manner?
Teaching can seem like working on your own remote island, with your own curriculum and your own students. Having a peer group, school, district, or state who collaborates, offers ideas, and most importantly acknowledges your efforts and achievements can make all the difference.
What small things can we do to recognize each other?
1. Teachers should kick off staff meetings with celebrations.
2. Praise peers after classroom visits. Publicly or personally.
3. Continually call out extra efforts in newsletters and social media posts.
4. Send an email to the staff or parents on ClassDojo after witnessing a teacher’s impact on students.
5. Ask teachers to share their areas of expertise.
6. Have someone cover their duty.
7. Have a member of the support staff takeover for the last thirty minutes on a Friday.
We need to become more intentional about recognizing and celebrating each other. Teachers are consistently overworked and underappreciated, that they struggle to celebrate another teacher who is recognized for things they have done in their own classroom.
If there is nothing else that you can take from this post, please remember this:
You are worth, every bit of recognition you receive and more.
Do not be ashamed of it. Be proud of your hard work and that of your students. Do not let others dismiss it or lessen it. We must remember that meaningful recognition focuses us back on our work and that work is to amplify, inspire, and push our students forward.
Finally, remember, not everyone can do what you do. Not even Hugh Jackman.