Recognising the ledger of our daily work

‘I Guess we all like to be recognised not for one piece of fireworks, but for the ledger of our daily work.’ Neil Armstrong

Have been meaning to respond to @leahmoo  ‘s story about end of year gifts for some time now (that phrase always reminds me of Agent Smith). 
In a nutshell, I don’t do gifts for either students or staff at the end of term. It would be impossible for students – there are over a thousand of them. However, I do believe that recognising and thanking staff is important. To me, this links with this year’s obsession with wellbeing. I’m also always aware of perception – I’m SLT so therefore should be able to afford gifts or if I give gifts, does that set a precedent and expectation that others do the same? Also, I’m not in the habit of thanking people for being mediocre.
Now before I’m accused of being a grumpy member of SLT, here are a few things I try to do throughout the year.
1. As a Head of Department I used to arrange a collection. This money was used to but a small gift and card from the department to the support staff at the end of each term.
2. I have postcards with a quote on the back (currently ‘Progress is impossible without change and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.’ by George Bernard Shaw) and choose my own photos for the front – my next set will feature student work and field trips. This is the only time where Selfies do not feature. I give these out as hand written thank yous with a quote or two – to me thanks needs to be specific and personal otherwise it’s meaningless. I send these to students too. The effort of making my handwriting legible is a mission!
3. When I know that someone has been amazing I buy a nice, glossy book and write something nice inside.
4. I’ve just purchased a load of cards based on Year 8 bird designs.
5. I offer tea or coffee in my office.
6. As a school we thank staff during briefing.
Mainly, I often wish that I were a primary teacher to be able to build the relationships with students in order to give them a gift, or even still a tutor.
Oh, I also don’t do ‘fun’ lessons at the end of term either 😉

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