Teachers and other school leaders: Please consider promoting these ideas in your school…
High-Five Fridays – Students, staff, and teachers make a point of giving “high fives” and compliments to each other every Friday. It is a way to make everyone in the building feel visible and acknowledged before the start of the weekend.
Mindfulness Mondays – Start the week with helping students get into the right head-space for the start of the week. Rather than ending morning announcements in a rush, leaving students (and teachers) feeling frenzied and stressed, a moment of relaxation and deep breathing can help set the tone for the start of the day and the week.
Wall of Happiness – Students write happiness “graffiti” that changes every 2 weeks.
Positive People Group – A group of student leaders randomly leave Post-it notes with positive messages around the school building.
Gratitude Board – Provide places in the hallways and the teachers’ lounge where people can post notes expressing their gratitude for each other’s actions.
30 Days of Kindness Challenge – Challenge all school members to perform 30 acts of kindness in 30 days.
Culture Club – Expose students to food, language, and experiences of people from different cultures. Have students (staff, teachers, and parents) from those cultures help lead the way and become the guides.
Student Ambassador Program – Recruit current students to act as guides and mentors for students who are new to the building.
Take a Break Station – Place these stations around the building and in almost every classroom. This allows students who recognize that they are not ready to learn because they feel stressed or overwhelmed to go to a specific place to calm down and refocus. Ultimately this helps build and reinforce essential self-monitoring skills that are useful for a lifetime.
There are many different ways that schools can help build a positive climate that helps students, staff, and teachers feel connected. Creating school-specific rituals and traditions that are fun and meaningful for students, staff, and teachers can be simple and cost-effective. For example, the first day of each month might have a special tradition that everyone comes to expect and enjoy.