Positive Recognition for Staff

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Positive Recognition for Staff

  1. 1. Promoting a Positive Environment: Positive Recognition for Students and Staff Patti Kinney Associate Director, Middle Level Services National Association of Secondary School Principals Reston, VA 703-860-7256 kinneyp@nassp.org
  2. 2. "No significant learning occurs without a significant relationship.” Dr. James ComerReflection: What impact does your own cultural identity and/or upbringing have upon yourexpectations of your students and colleagues? How does this impact your relationships withothers?Making Deposits – Making WithdrawalsRelationship problems occur if you make a withdrawal without first making a depositTESA (Teacher Expectations and Student Achievement) identified 15 behaviors that teachers usewith good students. The research study found that when teachers used these interactions withlow-achieving students, their achievement made significant gains. 1. calls on everyone in the room equitably 2. provides individual help 3. gives “wait” time (allows student enough time to answer) 4. asks questions to give the student clues about the answer 5. asks questions that require more thought 6. tells students whether their answers are right or wrong 7. gives specific praise 8. gives reasons for praise 9. listens 10. accepts feelings of the student 11. gets within an arm’s reach of each student each day 12. is courteous to students 13. shows personal interest and gives compliments 14. touches students (appropriately) 15. desists (he/she does not call attention to every negative behavior)
  3. 3. Elements of a Positive Environment“The quality of employees will be directly proportional to the quality of life you maintain for them.” --Charles E. Bryan Safety Y Physical Safety Y Intellectual Safety Y Emotional Safety Y Social Safety Change Y Provide a climate to support change Positive Attitudes Y Climate Busters Y Climate Manipulators Y Climate Cruisers Y Climate Improvers Open Communication Y Listening Y Speaking Y Reading Y Writing Y Thinking Y Feedback Human Relationship Skills Active Participation by All Positive Public Relations To Build a Healthy Climate Y Plan time for “me” and “we” Y View problems as challenges Y Don’t be a finger-pointer Y Analyze your stresses and frustrations Y Set personal and professional goals Y Be involved Y Find positive role models and mentors Y Choose your battles Y Project confidence Y Enjoy life Adapted from If You Don’t Feed the Teachers, They Eat the Students by Neila Conners
  4. 4. Ideas for Student RecognitionPositive Postcards: Design and print off a variety of simple postcards so staff caneasily mail home a positive note to parents.Print a set of mailing labels and place them in the staff room along with enoughpostcards for all students. Challenge the staff – during the next two-week period,the parents of every child in the school should receive a positive note about theirchild.Student of the day – Put every student’s name in a jar. When the announcementsare read, draw out a name. That student is announced as “Student of the Day” andis asked to come to the office for a treat (generally a small snack, pencil, etc.)Purple Tickets (you choose the color): Each week, all staff members are given twotickets and a postcard to use to recognize students. The postcard is mailed hometo the parents and the student is given the ticket to bring to the office for adrawing. On Thursday, two names are chosen from the jar. These students mayinvite any staff member of their choice to lunch the next day. Lunches aredonated by local restaurants – if you can get 4 – 6 to participate, they only givelunches every 4 –6 weeks.Birthday recognition – On a hallway bulletin board, post a list of birthdays for themonth; summer birthdays can be done on half-birthdays. On their birthday,students are delivered a birthday card and a birthday pencil.Honor Roll recognition – All students who make the honor roll are delivered acertificate and a giant chocolate chip cookie. The first time we did this, it becamean instant tradition by student demand.Recognition Assemblies – Periodically hold assemblies to recognize studentachievement and/or participation in sports, clubs, out-of-school activities, etc.Publications – Include news about school and non-school achievements in yourbulletin, school newspaper, and parent newsletter.
  5. 5. Perfect Attendance – Have a party for all students who had perfect attendanceover a given period of time.Student-of-the-month – Staff nominates one student from each grade level forstudent of the month recognition. A committee makes the final determination. Allstudents nominated are invited to an ice cream party and receive a letter mailedhome that includes a quote from the nominating staff member. Students-of-the-month are invited to a luncheon given by a business partner and have a specialevent planned for them at the end of the year.Lunchtime recognition – Playground and cafeteria supervisors have tickets to giveto students who are seen cleaning up after themselves/others or doing anothergood dead. These are put into a drawing for a prize at the end of the week.Be creative – Don’t limit formal recognition to academics or sports. Give awardsfor Being a Good Friend, Showing Responsibility, Making Improvement, DisplayingGood Citizenship, etc.Notes:
  6. 6. Ideas for Staff RecognitionThe important thing to remember is to recognize ALL staff on an on-going basis.Your office staff, aides, custodians, cafeteria workers, etc. are vital to thefunctioning of your school and deserve recognition every bit as much (if not moreat times) as teachers.At the beginning of the year…If you are bringing a large number of new staff on board, invite them and theoffice staff to a bar-be-que or simple dinner prior to the beginning of school.Bring food to the first staff meeting!Put a “first day of school” treat on their desk to greet them the first day withstudents. Bottled water is a big hit. A personal note from the administration isalso a nice touch.Give every one a “Welcome back to School” survival kit, Suggested items: Tea bag – to remind you that you are “tee-rrific” Paper Clip – to help you keep organized Rubber Band – to remind you to stay flexible Band Aid – to mend hurt feelings Tootsie Roll – to remind you how sweet you are Two Pennies – so you always have the “cents” to know how valuable you are Crayon – to color your days cheerful and bright Lifesavers – to remind you to think of family, friends & colleagues as your “lifesavers”, to care about each other & help each other during tough times! Eraser – to remind you that we all make mistakes & with an eraser they can be erased, as can our human mistakes be overcome! Tissue – to remind you to see the tears and needs of others Candy Kiss – to remind you that everyone needs a daily word of encouragementGive new staff a Certificate of Survival after their first week. Attach a pack oflifesavers.
  7. 7. Take a photo of every staff member (don’t forget student teachers as well).Mount on poster board with their name and position. Put in a display case or hallbulletin board (cover with heavy plastic) for staff, students, and parents to see.Make sure it’s up for open house.Introduce new staff in a fun way. At the first staff meeting, break into groupswith a new staff member in each group. The group learns about the person and isresponsible for introducing them to the large group in an interesting way.Find out what people did over the summer and create a “people bingo” board to useat the first staff meeting. Each square has a phrase and you must get a signatureof a person who matches the phrase. ie: traveled in England, had a new baby, etc.Staff MeetingsStart your meetings with “Accentuate the Positive” giving everyone an opportunityto share a personal or professional positive about themselves or some one on staff.Use Kudos bars for those deserving of “kudos”. Or pass out rolls of lifesavers tothose who’ve helped someone out.Raffles – give a raffle ticket to everyone who showed up on time. Have thedrawing at the end of the meeting. Use posters, pens/pencils, office supplies,items collected at conferences, etc. as prizes.Give silly awards for mundane things – Standing bus duty in the rain, Most faithfulto greet students at the door, Always wearing a smile. It’s a good way to recognizepositive behavior and encourage it in others.ATTA BABY – Pass around a lifelike doll (Atta Baby) to a staff member who hasdone something special. Each month’s winner is responsible for passing it on thenext month. Variations on this include passing a spirit stick, a hat (hats off to…),or other appropriate items.
  8. 8. Rotate the location of staff meetings to a different classroom each meeting. Thehost or hostess begins the meeting by sharing a few minutes about what’shappening in their room.Have a box in the staff room for people to write thank yous or praises to others.Read at a staff meeting and distribute.Trivia Time – Give prizes to those who can answer trivia questions about the schooland/or school happenings. Other topics work as well.Perfect Attendance Awards – give recognition to those who had perfectattendance for the period of time between meetings. Extra special gifts can begiven for a semester or year’s worth of perfect attendance.Give someone a standing ovation at a staff meeting.Holiday CelebrationsSecret Santas, Cupids, etc – Set up a secret pal system for a short period of timebefore a holiday. Reveal the secret pal at a party on the holiday.Christmas Cookie Exchange – All interested can sign up to bring cookies. Once thenumber of participants are determined, have everyone bring enough packets ofcookies (3 – 4 cookies per packet works well) to exchange with each other. You geta great assortment of cookies and only have to bake once.Halloween – give prizes for staff members with the best costumes. Encourage“theme” dressing for a group. One year our science teachers dressed as an eyeball,a skeleton, and a blood vessel (she gave out capillaries (skinny licorice) tostudents),Ornament Exchange - Everyone brings a wrapped Christmas ornament. Packagesare given numbers, people draw numbers to determine who get which package.Easter Egg Hunt – Organize an Easter egg hunt for teachers. Hide plastic eggsfilled with candies in rooms and common areas. Leave a sign at the site designatingit as an “Official Easter Bunny Visitation Site”.
  9. 9. Holiday Breakfasts, Lunch Potlucks, etc – Try a baked potato bar for St. Patrick’sDay, Mexican Buffet (with virgin margaritas!) for Cinco de Mayo, Chinese food forChinese New Year, pies for “pi” day (3/14), sausage and bratwurst for Octoberfest-- be creative in your celebrations!Appreciation Weeks (teachers, classified, secretaries, etc.)Administrators and parent’s group wash teacher cars during the day!Hire a massage therapist to give neck and shoulder massages during lunch.Have the administration and classified staff host a luncheon or breakfast forteachers. Oftentimes a local restaurant will give a good deal if you tell them whatit’s for.Give roses with the note “This bud’s for you, for all you do.”Send your teachers on a “world tour” for the week. Each day decorate the staffroom in the theme and give a little treat from different countries – leis fromHawaii, chips and salsa from Mexico, fortune cookies (with appropriate messages)from China, croissants from France, etc.Thanks for the Hand – Put a piece of candy in the fingertips of a disposable gloveand fill the rest with popcorn. Attach a note saying, “Thanks for the hand.”Give out boxes of Crackerjacks (or put a BIG bowl in the staff room) along with anote reading “This is a Crackerjack staff!”Hold a special luncheon for classified week. Teachers bring in food and if at allpossible, take their duties so they can all eat at once.For Secretary’s Day, the administration and the dean’s take the secretaries tobrunch. Someone from the district office comes over to “hold down the fort.”
  10. 10. Celebrating with FoodWhenever possible, make food a part of every meeting.Ideas for potlucks, etc. Try holding something special every month. Put up a signup sheet for two months and tell everyone to sign up only once. Or have a team orgrade level be responsible for each month’s social.Pasta bar – Cook the pasta at school, have several others bring various pastasauces, salads, etc.Baked Potato Bar – Bake the potatoes at school, everyone brings a topping.Pie Social – bring your favorite pieSalad Bar – Buy bags of pre-cut greens. Everyone brings items to go on top!Sundaes on Friday – Host a Sundae party on Friday afternoon – bring a variety ofice creams and toppings.Special Deliveries – The office staff puts together a cart with coffee, tea, juiceand goes “on the road” to deliver a drink to each staff member in their classroom.Deliver paychecks to classrooms in costume or take along a decorated cake and givestaff a piece with their check. The kids love seeing this happen,In “Espresso” of appreciation – Bring an espresso machine to school, make anddeliver lattes to staff members.Birthday Celebrations – Celebrate monthly or quarterly birthdays with a cake inthe staff room. Deliver a cupcake or candy bar with a candle in it to the birthdayperson. Get a group and take in balloons and sing happy birthday. Decorate theirdoor with birthday signs. Post monthly staff (and student) birthday’s on a bulletinboard in the hall.
  11. 11. Progressive Dinner – 3 staff members agree to host the parties. First stop is forsalads, second is for soup and bread, and we have dessert at the 3 rd house.ALWAYS have food on the staff table the morning after a late evening –conferences, open house, etc.Brownie Points – Take someone a brownie to acknowledge something special.Way to Go, Cup of Joe – Include a certificate for a latte in a positive note.Miscellaneous IdeasAsk your leadership club or student council to form an “Appreciation Committee.”Kids and staff love it. On staff birthdays, students create and outfit from thecostume closet, deliver a treat and beverage to the staff member, and sing themhappy birthday. Celebrate your custodians and maintenance workers with a day oftheir own. Kids bring treats, decorate their office door and help out with theirwork. Make ornaments or gifts on special occasions or holidays. Take ice creamsundaes to the school board. Prepare and serve a luncheon for the administrativeteam. Celebrations are endless!Give coupons for free time or no duties. Administration does the duty or takesover the class.“Staff Member of the Week” – put all staff member’s names in a jar and draw oneout each Friday. The “winner” fills out an information sheet, a Polaroid picture istaken of he/she wearing a silly hat and holding a certificate and balloon. Post theinfo sheet and picture outside the office for a week for all to enjoy. Winner alsogets a certificate for a donated lunch at a local restaurant.Make a big deal of getting grades or progress reports done on time! Bring treatsor cold beverages in for a celebration.Have a Bulletin Board Contest for Back-to-School Night. Give awards for theoldest living bulletin board, the traveling teacher with on board, best bribe for thejudge, etc. Have fun with it!
  12. 12. Sport’s Pools – Organize pools for football, baseball and basketball playoffs. Drawa grid of 100 squares. Charge 25 cents a square and pick winners at half and theend. Winners split the pot. At one school, if you win you have to bring donuts foreveryone.Medicine Drawer – Keep a supply of aspirin, etc., throat lozenges, Emergen-C, teabags, etc. for the unprepared.Door hangers – Create “door hangers” to leave on doorknobs. Write a positive noteand leave hanging for the staff member to find.Candy dish – Our front secretary keeps a candy dish filled with seasonal treats forthose who need a lift.Pat on the Back Bulletin Board – Designate a bulletin board in the staff room wherepersonal and professional successes and accomplishments can be acknowledged.Recognize special years of service with a special gift.Hold a “Can’t Talk about Education” Social – Anyone caught talking about school,students, or educational business is fined $1.00 to help pay for the treats.Notes:
  13. 13. Sport’s Pools – Organize pools for football, baseball and basketball playoffs. Drawa grid of 100 squares. Charge 25 cents a square and pick winners at half and theend. Winners split the pot. At one school, if you win you have to bring donuts foreveryone.Medicine Drawer – Keep a supply of aspirin, etc., throat lozenges, Emergen-C, teabags, etc. for the unprepared.Door hangers – Create “door hangers” to leave on doorknobs. Write a positive noteand leave hanging for the staff member to find.Candy dish – Our front secretary keeps a candy dish filled with seasonal treats forthose who need a lift.Pat on the Back Bulletin Board – Designate a bulletin board in the staff room wherepersonal and professional successes and accomplishments can be acknowledged.Recognize special years of service with a special gift.Hold a “Can’t Talk about Education” Social – Anyone caught talking about school,students, or educational business is fined $1.00 to help pay for the treats.Notes:

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