Teacher Appreciation

May 2023

Hello Friends,

Congratulations on making it to May! It has been a long and trying year for many, but you persevered. Great job!

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I started this newsletter to share teacher appreciation ideas that are not in my book. However, with it being May it is prime time to talk about staff surveys.

If you know me or have seen me present, you know my feelings on surveys that ask you to rate things on a scale. If you ask the question, “Do you feel supported by your administrators?”, and you get an average of 4.3, what the heck does that mean??? It literally tells you NOTHING about why your staff rated you as they did or what you can do to get to a 4.4 or a 4.5.

I am a huge fan of open-ended surveys. There are lots of benefits to open-ended surveys as well as a few pitfalls. Let’s start with the benefits.

If you are new to your campus a few great questions that would be great are:

  • What is one thing you would NOT change about our school?
  • What is one thing you would change about our school?

These questions will allow you see what your staff thinks is working and not working for your campus. The input will be huge when you start planning for the 2023-2024 school year.

For everyone, the following questions are amazing:

  • What constructive feedback do you have for Mrs. Eckert?
  • Then restate the question for each campus administrator, counselor, and instructional coach.

You will learn a LOT from these questions. I have my campus administrators, counselors, and instructional coaches create one goal for the following year based on their survey input. It can be anything they want. Meaning, it could have been mentioned once or it could have been mentioned five times.

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When using these questions there are a few things you need to think about. First, front load by discussing what constructive means with your staff. Second, you MUST have thick skin! A lot of teachers will say you are doing great and give you awesome compliments, but some will be honest from their point of view and leave tough comments. Some of those tough comments will not actually be true, but it will help you see how some of your staff sees you. Third, don’t let yourself get hung up on the negatives! Read them, decide what you can learn from them, work on a few of them, and move on. I cannot stress enough how important these three items are!!!

As a school administrator I learned a lot about how my staff viewed me as a leader as well as how they viewed the direction I was steering the school though these types of surveys. If you want to read more about staff surveys you can find them on page 6 of my book, School Transformation Through Teacher Appreciation.

If you decide to do this type of survey and want to talk through the input you receive I would love to assist you. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me!!! Email me and we can schedule a video or phone conference that works for you. (Especially if you get negative input. I would love to help you work through it.)

Bring me to your district!

I am available to work with campus leaders on teacher appreciation and teacher retention. If you would like me to come work with you and/or your district let me know. You can find more information about presentations and workshops on my webpage.

If you enjoy my newsletters please share them with others and encourage them to sign up on my website!

I am always looking for teacher appreciation ideas. If you have any you would like to share email me at Kathleen.Eckert@iCloud.com

Thank you for loving teachers,

Kathleen Eckert

Follow me on Twitter @EckertKathleen