Happy schools start with happy teachers
One of the biggest challenges we face, as educators, is learning how to put our health and happiness first. My first thought was that I needed to put the students’ well-being first, but I discovered that I needed to start with my staff instead. If we didn’t dig in and find the pieces that educators are passionate about and connect them back into this building, we knew they would quickly burn out.
Inspired by the house system in the Harry Potter books and the Ron Clark model, we held monthly house meetings that focused on one of the 7 Mindsets. These mindsets come from Scott Shickler and Jeff Waller’s book, The 7 Mindsets to Live Your Ultimate Life, and include affirmations such as “everything is possible” and “the time is now.”
The mindsets helped us develop a mental-health strategy. We created a Positive Learning Environment (PLE) committee consisting of one person from each grade level to focus on one mindset a month and decide how were going to roll that out to the whole school. For example, during spring break this year, the PLE team had all of the teachers write inspirational messages for the students. We posted those messages on the walls in the school, so that when the kids came back from spring break, they all saw a special note to them on the wall of the school, written by their teacher. It was really cool.
—Tracey Smith…Read More