Schools can be a thankless place at times. Therefore, maintaining a positive approach to things can sometimes be challenging. Jason Borton recently reflected on the steps he has put in place at his school to improve staff well-being. Some of the things included:
– Family Friendly Week once a term with no after school meetings. Staff are encouraged to leave by 4pm each day this week.
– Fruit supplied weekly by the school for the staffroom to provide a healthy snack option
– Foam rollers provided for staff to use for low-impact exercise
– Weekly after school fitness sessions provided by an external provider and funded as part of the school professional learning budget
– A commitment by all staff to providing healthy options for all staff morning teas/lunches etc
– Agreed work hours to avoid excessive workload
– Engage a massage therapist from the Canberra Institute of technology (TAFE) for staff massage
– Purchase a smoothie machine for staff use
– Broker a deal with Active Leisure Centre gym for discount staff memberships
– Subscribe to the Happy Schools weekly newsletter
Although what Jason has done is fantastic, sometimes the challenge of maintaining morale can be easier said than done.
My approach is to address the small things. I may not be able to organise gym memberships or influence work hours, but I can place a smile on people’s faces. For example, I started this term by giving each staff member in my office a Lego mini figure. I am not sure if it is the reminder of childhood or the seemingly silly nature of it all, but there is something about Lego which always makes people smile. Releasing endorphins into the brain (without the calories of chocolate!)
There are many ways to improve staff morale, however sometimes the smallest things can be the most meaningful. As Steve Brophy pointed out in a recent post,
An impromptu morning tea, an email to a staff member to thank them for their efforts, a kind word or an after work shout can all lead to improved morale.
So what about you, what are you doing? If you are struggling, Angela Stockman has compiled a fantastic list of simple acts of kindness.
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