Create a Culture of Appreciation

When each staff member models social awareness by expressing their appreciation for their peers’ efforts, a culture of appreciation is created. Staff who receive recognition for their learning and collaboration efforts are more satisfied with and engaged in their work (Cataldo, 2011) and are more likely to continue modeling social and emotional competencies for peers and students.

The SEL team can recognize staff for honoring the shared agreements by creating consistent opportunities for private and public appreciation. During these opportunities, staff make specific connections between the agreements that have been honored and how that benefited them or the group. This process creates a model for how teachers can build positive classroom environments and strengthen their relationships with students.

Appreciation Strategy Ideas:

  • Start a compliment campaign in which staff share ways their peers are fulfilling the staff shared agreements on a bulletin board. For example: “Thank you, Dean Pride, for facilitating Tuesday’s powerful Circle, which shows your restorative approach to working with students!”
  • Create opportunities for staff to verbally acknowledge fellow staff members for honoring a specific shared agreement. Not sure how to acknowledge a fellow staff member? Ask them how they prefer to be acknowledged.
  • Challenge staff to choose one shared agreement that they’ve been struggling with. Ask that they dedicate effort this week to working toward honoring that specific shared agreement, and then check in on progress at the next staff gathering. Setting this kind of personal goal can be supported by having an intention partner you connect with about goals between meetings.
  • Invite staff to write positive affirmations on slips of paper and place them in a paper bag that has the staff’s name written on it. At the end of the day, that staff member gets to take their bag home and read their affirmations.
  • During particularly stressful weeks (e.g., during testing or conferences), provide coffee and tea or snacks for all staff with a note referencing a relevant shared agreement.
  • Send out a confidential survey that asks staff to evaluate how well the staff feels the group is following each shared agreement. Celebrate agreements that staff has done a good job following. Choose one or more challenging agreements and collaboratively make an action plan to acknowledge and appreciate each other when they see their peers honoring those particular agreements.

Tool Download

Creating Shared Agreements

This tool provides guidance for creating staff shared agreements through a collaborative process, to articulate core mindsets and values that will guide staff members’ interactions with colleagues, students, and families.

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