It is amazing how quickly a school year goes by! Often, we feel like there is not enough time to complete all of the tasks we planned. But if you are staying true to your Long Range Plan, it’s a sure bet that you’ve been improving throughout the year and should communicate and celebrate the work that’s been done!
For an effective activity to reflect on your committee’s achievements, try addressing “Where have we been? Where are we now? Where are we going?” Post three large pieces of paper around the room (poster size if you have it), with one of the headings “Where have we been?” “Where are we now?” or “Where are we going,” divide your committee into three groups, and assign each group one of the posters, and, consequently, one of the questions. Ask them to think about the question to which they are assigned and write their answers on the poster. Then, you can either ask the groups to share out now, or they can rotate posters and add to them before sharing out. Make sure to have someone record this information in the minutes and communicate it to the rest of the district, and even the public!
Not everyone can sit in on your committee work and may, therefore, misunderstand the intent, or even the results, of your work. Take the time to communicate your successes to the rest of your stakeholders. Make sure to do this in multiple ways; perhaps in a staff meeting, through email updates, on your website, and even in the newspaper. Make your community proud of the great work that you are doing to improve teaching and learning!
Do not forget to have meaningful celebrations for those who are doing the hard work. During the last day of committee work hold a potluck lunch, or cater it if you have the funds. On the last day of school for teachers, use the last hour or so to thank all teachers for the work they’ve done. Bring food (of course!) and make an example out of the teachers who did excellent work. Perhaps award them with some school swag like a shirt, hat, or jacket with the school logo. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you point out the specific things you’re celebrating. It’s ineffective for you to leave the recognition with a blanket statement like, “Thank you for all you do for our students.” Make sure your celebration is meaningful.
Photo credit: Jason Leung