A is for Appreciation: Challenge Accepted

A is for Appreciation


You realize early on as a principal that you are only as good as your team. I am fortunate to have a strong team that ‘anchors’ our school. That’s when I read about Shelley Burgess’ and Beth Houf’s #leadlap challenge on twitter, I knew I had to tackle it.


When you read “P is for Pirate” by Dave and Shelley Burgess, you will read that A is for anchor. We have an inherent belief as educators of the premises that are showcased on this page: Every child can learn. Every child possesses enormous potential. Every child will rise or fall to our level of expectations. The #dgsroyals teachers are the anchors of DGS. They demonstrate these values in their classroom instruction, their professional and collaborative conversations, and personal triumphs to overcome obstacles and challenges.

The letter ‘A’ is also for Appreciation. Shelley and Beth challenged school leaders to take 30 minutes to drop anchors of appreciation to staff. I willingly took the time to complete this valuable task to recognize my staff for their individual contributions to DGS.

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This challenge inspired me to recognize each staff member from classroom teacher to custodian. From kitchen staff to speech language pathologist. From counselor to aide. What I noticed was clear. There is a staff in my building that comes armed to do their very best each day. They empower and engage students. They maintain the effective order of our facility. They ensure our students are safe and nourished. What I also noticed was that by writing short notes of appreciation that I became inspired and reinvigorated. By spreading a positive message to my staff, I myself felt more positive and engaged. Writing the notes was a highlight of my day. Walking the hallways and delivering them to classrooms and mailboxes also was a bright spot.

Not only does the emotional affect make an impact, there is also research that supports employee appreciation and recognition. When individuals are recognized for their efforts, they are inspired to achieve more, feel valued, and serve as exemplary models for their colleagues. Service awards have the potential to ignite employee engagement and recognize staff loyalty.

Organizations that excel in employee recognition are:

  • 12 times more likely to produce stronger results
  • Experiencing 14% improved employee engagement, productivity and customer service
  • More likely to have employees motivated to work harder when they feel appreciated

I encourage you to accept their challenge, drop your own anchors and spread your appreciation to those within your circles. You’ll be amazed at how your staff reacts and how you feel.


You can read a post by Shelley Burgess at: http://shelleyburgess.com/2015/10/19/leadlap-monday-challenge-drop-an-anchor-a-is-for-appreciation/

You can read a post by Beth Houf at: http://principalhouf.blogspot.com/2015/10/a-is-for-appreciation.html