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It’s Time To Celebrate

One of the things we don’t do well in schools is celebrating. Even when we achieve success and have clearly made progress, the celebration tends to be short lived. We can almost be flippant as we deflect the glory and then eagerly look for the next problem to solve.

I think this happens for a number of reasons.

1. We are always busy in schools with a lot to do, especially at this time of the year.

2. We are constantly working at improving our schools. We look for problems or issues as they highlight potential areas for improvement. Even if our school is doing great things, we tend to be on the lookout for where they “could be even better!”.

3. Our work in schools is never ending. There is always MORE that could be done….more planning, more consultation, more research, more professional development etc.

Recently I came to realise that I am envious of tilers. At the end of their week they can SEE what they have achieved. There is a clear and VISIBLE end to their work and they move off to their next project.

NOW is the time for leaders in schools (and their staff) to take stock on what has been achieved, the changes that have been successfully implemented in their school this year, the problems that have been solved and the DIFFERENCE that has been made in the lives of so many young people.

2020 has been a particularly challenging year. The uncertainty and anxiety that staff have had to deal with has put huge pressure on schools as the hub of their community. It was refreshing to read Dr Adam Fraser’s research that indicated that 91% of parents said they had a greater level of respect for teachers following the COVID-19 lockdown. The study of over 1000 NSW parents of primary aged students found that 99.7% of parents were satisfied with the work of their child’s teacher and 98.5% were satisfied with the communication they received from the school. That is phenomenal news!

There is no doubt that 2021 will be another busy year in your school. To increase the chances that our staff will engage in the school improvement agenda, continue to get satisfaction from the important work they do and keep turning up to take on the challenges we face in schools every day, it is important that we celebrate our work.

So HOW will you celebrate with your staff?

What have you achieved this year?

What progress have you made?

How will you share a laugh together?

How will you reflect on and acknowledge the great work of so many?