Noteworthy Voices 2-MIN. READ

Celebrating Teachers: Building Connections and Sharing Successes

By: Sari Laberis 05/07/2024
Learn how to foster a culture of support by celebrating teachers with these four strategies.
A group of teachers smile while holding up a number one.

As educators, we understand the immense dedication and hard work that goes into shaping young minds. In a recent Extraordinary Educators™ Podcast episode, our CEO Rob Waldron shared his deep appreciation for teachers, drawing from his personal experience as the son of a teacher. While Rob saw how committed and creative his mom was at helping students overcome obstacles and recognize their potential, he also came to realize that as a teacher, his mom wasn’t the exception—she was the norm.

You focus on your students all year long, but fostering a culture of support with other teachers can lead to greater joy and success in your classroom.

In light of the amazing contributions you make every day—yes, every day, even in the summer when you are recharging, lesson planning, and coming up with new and innovative ways to reach your students—I’d like to share four strategies you can use to connect and celebrate your colleagues. 

  1. Establish Collaborative Spaces
    Creating opportunities for teachers to come together and share your successes and challenges can be immensely beneficial. Whether through regular department meetings, grade-level collaborations, or informal gatherings in the teachers’ lounge, fostering a sense of community among colleagues is key. Encourage open dialogue where you can exchange ideas, strategies, and resources with your colleagues. By building collaborative spaces, you can tap into the collective wisdom of your peers and gain valuable insights and support. Additionally, consider leveraging technology to facilitate communication and collaboration, such as online forums or shared document platforms.

  2. Recognize Achievements
    Demonstrating appreciation for the accomplishments of fellow educators not only boosts morale but also inspires others to strive for excellence. Encourage a culture of recognition within your school or district by highlighting individual and team achievements. This could take the form of shoutouts during staff meetings, feature articles in newsletters, or social media spotlights. Recognize teachers who demonstrate innovation, resilience, and dedication in their practice. By shining a spotlight on success stories, educators feel valued and motivated to continue their professional growth journey. Check out this blog about celebrating teachers for more ideas.

  3. Promote Peer Learning
    Peer learning is a powerful tool for developing professional skills, allowing you to learn from each other’s experiences and expertise. Establish peer learning communities where you can engage in reflective practices and collaborative inquiry. This might involve peer observation and feedback sessions, action research projects, or buddy mentoring programs. By tapping into the knowledge and skills of your colleagues, you can enhance your instructional practices and address common challenges more effectively. Peer learning also fosters a sense of camaraderie and collective responsibility for student success.

  4. Create Social Connections
    As a teacher, you need other teachers to boost you up when you’ve had a tough day, to remind you of your tremendous talents, and to validate how much you matter. We’re all human and need human connections with other adults so we don’t feel isolated. Getting together socially with your peers regularly during the school year and over the summer will help you get to know each other as people outside of work. Find out who you can lean on when your hard drive crashes, who always has extra wipes, and who can give you that supportive ear when you need it. None of us can do this alone, and knowing you have a friend down the hall is reassuring. Summer is a great time to connect with peers.

Celebrating other teachers and their contributions is essential for fostering a thriving educational community where you can share successes, and ultimately elevate your practice. As Rob Waldron aptly stated, “Teachers need to learn from each other on what’s working.” Let’s embrace this ethos and cultivate a culture of celebration, support, and continuous improvement within our schools and districts. Together, we can empower each other to make a positive impact on the lives of your students and inspire the next generation of learners.

Want to hear more from Rob? Listen to his episode of the Extraordinary Educators™ Podcast on celebrating teachers.