This type of “March Madness” is really not so fun, but could it be? Let’s look at some things campus leaders can do to lighten things up and win the day.
1. Change up the game plan
Take a look at everything teachers have to do. Is there anything you can take off of their plate? If you can take even one thing off, that would be a great thing! Think twice, even twenty times before you add anything else to their already heavy load. I recently heard a teacher say “if they add one more thing to my plate, I’m done, I’m quitting”. Any one of your teachers could be saying this, so, seriously, don’t add anything if you can absolutely keep from it.
2. Get new uniforms
Lighten up your dress code. Maybe you already have “jeans Friday.” Beside the fact that it’s Friday, wearing more comfortable clothes just makes the day better. Maybe you can’t break from district expectations every day, but maybe you could add an extra day here and there.
3. Load up the snack cart
Imagine how happy teachers will be to see you or another member of the leadership team at their door with a selection of treats! Monday, March 6, 2023, was National Oreo Day and principals loaded up a rolling cart with different types of Oreos and milk – ya can’t have Oreos without milk! I’ve seen this on several chats and pages, and it was a hit! Start the morning off right with muffins or donuts and coffee. Popcorn or chips with a soft drink is a fun treat too. Of course, you’ll always want to make the rounds with chocolate. Some days you could load the cart with fruit and other healthy foods.
4. Join them on their “home court”
Visit teacher’s classrooms to check in with them. Take a second to just say hello and ask them how they’re doing. This is HUGE because they rarely get check in visits. Leave a note on their door or in their mailbox to let them know you “caught them doing something good” or just to say thanks for all they do.
5. Honor the MVP’s
This is the time of year when Teachers of the Year are chosen. Sometimes, just a single teacher from a campus is chosen, but aren’t they all MVP’s? Take a moment during announcements to give a “shout out” to a teacher who has done something good that week or just to acknowledge that you see them and you think they’re doing a great job. This really makes their students happy to hear their teacher’s name on the announcements, after all, they already know their teacher is the best!
6. Bring in a furry mascot
Maybe your school already has a mascot, but wouldn’t it be cool to bring in some sweet pups for teachers to enjoy. Who wouldn’t love a chance to “decompress” with a fluffy puppy? Contact a local rescue to arrange for a few dogs to visit campus for a day. Set them up in a room so teachers can come pet them and maybe even a pup or two will find a home.
Of course, this doesn’t have to be limited to March, you can do this year round to keep things positive and enhance the climate on your campus. Everyone wins!
Teia Hoover Baker is an educator, published author, and entrepreneur. She is an innovative, devoted educator whose career has been dedicated to coordinating programs that support struggling learners. Her passion is meeting students where they are and guiding them to excel. Her main focus is always what is best for children. Teia holds a Bachelor’s in Journalism and a Master’s of Education. In her spare time, she enjoys being Lovie to her growing grandchildren.