Saturday, December 16, 2017

The Real Reason behind the 12 Days of Christmas for Educators

Every December I love my job even more. The reason is because of the 12 days of Christmas. This is an initiative that I started about 10 years ago as a principal, and each year I have found it even more valuable than in the first year I began the tradition.

The reason that I like the 12 days of Christmas is not so much because of the gifts that I give, but the value that I can add to our employees. Teachers and support staff are the reason a school excels or fails; therefore, the value that we add to our teachers is huge especially if we want them to stick around even longer. Teachers deserve to hear, see, and feel how valuable they truly are, and teachers deserve to see receive gifts of appreciation even if it’s in the smallest form.

Beyond the Gift

But let's go to an even deeper place with my mission within the 12 days of Christmas.  It’s about the kids, and our students need to see and hear how valuable teachers are and how much they mean to us leaders. Teaching is by far one of the hardest jobs there is, and our students cannot fathom how much effort teachers put in each and every day to prepare students for the future. Students need to see that teachers must be revered, and students need to see that the leaders of the school hold teachers in the highest regard.

Last our parents and community need to see that we don't subscribe to the false narrative about "our failing education system".  Our parents, students and teachers all need to definitively know that the teaching profession is not what is perceived on the media and in Hollywood. They deserve to see and feel our heart-felt appreciation of teachers and all that they do to shape each student and the future of our country.

To accomplish this goal, we leaders must be in every classroom every day showering our educators with not only gifts but our narrative of why teachers are amazing.  We must leverage the power of social media to tell the story about how outstanding teachers are.  We should tell every student why they should hold teachers in high regard.  If we don't do it, no one will.

Give the Gift of Appreciation
The 12 days of Christmas is about gifts sure, but the greatest gift that we could give our teachers is not a material present.   The greatest gift every one of them should receive is affirmation, appreciation and the message that they matter.

This week I challenge everyone to tell and show every teacher, support staff and educator that they are a gift to mankind.  They certainly deserve it.

Merry Christmas to all the teachers out there, and thank you for what you do to shake each child day by day year-by-year.

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