Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Note of Thanks to Our Staff

As educational leaders, building principals, central office administrators, lead learners (or whatever term you choose to identify yourself with when in a role of administrator in the world of education), it is imperative to stop what we are doing, take a few minutes out of our day and show thanks and gratitude to those we serve. One of the most important places to start is by showing thanks to the staff members in the buildings we are blessed to be leading.

Our teachers, teacher aides, custodians, main office staff, nurses and other staff members are taking on the daily challenges of doing what is in the best interest of children - and that is no easy task. Educators (and all other support staff who work in schools) are literally making hundreds of decisions each day that directly impact the children in that space and many of those decisions, and their subsequent consequences (which are generally positive) often go unnoticed and unrecognized. It is during this time of year, at the very least, that we should take a few moments to express our gratitude for all of their hard work and their dedicated efforts in being an integral part of that proverbial village that it takes to raise and educate our children.

This is an excerpt of what I sent out to our staff today... my attempt at expressing how grateful I am to serve them and how thankful I am for their daily efforts...

Dear Friends,

I would like to wish you all a Happy & Healthy Thanksgiving holiday! May it be filled with delicious food, great memories with family and friends, maybe some football (lets go JETS), and some much needed rest and relaxation – unless you plan on hitting the stores on Black Friday- but that’s a whole other story!

This time of year always makes me smile because I am reminded that I have so much to be thankful for – my incredible family, supportive friends, my health and of course, each of you! I cannot really express how much you all mean to me and how honored I am to be the lead learner/principal/administrator of this incredibly special place! Although the daily pressures and demands can be extremely difficult at times, you could never tell while walking around this building because each of you handles everything with such grace, high levels of professionalism and selflessness. Each of you manages to put the needs of our students and colleagues at the forefront and that is what makes Cantiague so special! This was exemplified recently after Hurricane Sandy. Although many of us were impacted by loss of power or minor damage to our homes, some people suffered greater losses and when we came back together on the morning school re-opened, our primary concerns where those who suffered significant damage to their homes. This is what makes Cantiague so special – we rally around those who need the most support and give whatever possible (regardless of whether the person in need is a child or adult - we are all part of this community of learners)!

Thank you again for all that each of you do every single day. THANK YOU for your making our Curriculum Fair so awesome last week; THANK YOU for your presence at the Board Meeting last week – it meant the world to me; THANK YOU for your support in my current doctoral studies at Penn – I could never do this without your support and encouragement; THANK YOU for your support of my family and for always asking about our son – that means the world to me; THANK YOU for all that you do and know that I extremely thankful that each of you are in my life!




So, I am not saying that what I wrote is the best example of how to show thanks but it is what I chose to do today in my feeble attempt to express to our staff how much their daily work is appreciated! So, I challenge you to take a few minutes out of your busy schedule in the next week or two and show your staff how thankful you are to be working with them!