In Feedback and Professional Development

As a leader, how often do you take the time and effort to recognise and celebrate your staff achievements?

Tim Hodges (2017) “According to Gallup research, only 29% of teachers strongly agree with the statement, “In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.”

Recognising and celebrating success can be very powerful in motivating and engaging staff, improving performance as well as building relationships.

If you have a staff member who has achieved a milestone or something important, a celebration can be as simple as a handwritten thank you note or treating them to a breakfast and discussing their success.  Here is a list of Educator Impact’s ideas for helping leaders make a positive impact with recognising their staff achievements.

Make the celebration public

Caught in the Act of Greatness: Create a board and encourage all staff to participate in posting photos of staff caught in the act of doing something great!

Standing Ovation:  Privately arrange for staff to stand and simultaneously applaud the achievements of a worthy staff member.  Follow-up with a handwritten card signed with messages from staff.

Grow Gratitude:  Talk to students at assembly when staff are present about the power of gratitude.  Invite students (and regularly remind them) to thank their teachers either verbally, during, or after lessons or in writing for all that they appreciate.

Breakfast & Brag; Invite staff to breakfast to share personal successes or triumphs to celebrate with their colleagues.

Host a Whine & Cheese party – Bring everyone together and let them WHINE or Quack with cheese and drinks. Start a timer and when the time is over everyone must shift to positive talking.

Be Thankful

Time Out: Place a Time Out chocolate bar in every staff members’ pigeon hole just before the holidays. Include a thank you note wishing everyone a restful break.

You Plant Seeds: Place a packet of seeds e.g. herbs, in every staff members’ pigeon hole at the start of a new term. Include a note of thanks for staff in anticipation for all the important seeds of knowledge and wisdom they will plant during the term to help their students.

You Deserve Brownie Points: When someone has done something admirable, surprise them with a large brownie and a note of thanks!

Celebrate with Token Gifts and Prizes

Lucky door prizes:  Start staff meetings by drawing prizes. This is all about having fun and it helps encourage staff to attend meetings on time in a positive way.

Staff Meeting Raffle:  Coupons are selected in a raffle at staff meetings and could include;

‘Take a Teacher to Lunch’- school provides a coupon for a local café.

‘Free from Duty’ – Principal and Executive cover the duty of the teacher who wins this coupon.

‘Please take’ – Teacher can exchange this card with Principal or Executive for a release time coupon.

Awards with a difference

Awards can be adapted to individual school values and the culture you wish to promote, however a few examples could be;

T.E.A.M – Together Everyone Achieves More

G.I.R.A.F.F.E – Sticking your neck out for kids or a worthy cause.

T.G – Thank Goodness for…..

Educator Impact gives Leaders and Teachers the ability to recognise the success of others, through constructive, meaningful 360 feedback.  For more information about EI, or to learn more please do not hesitate to contact us today.


Tim Hodges (2017), Why Appreciating Teachers Is More Important Than You Think.

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