Our work is hard, and it is harder some days than others. It is harder some years than others. The best schools I have ever been to are comprised of staff who lift each other up, who make our hard work a joy (most days), and who are there for each other always.
Have you ever approached a colleague feeling like you are in the depths of despair and walked away from them with a reignited spark of hope? With the weight of the world lifted from your shoulders?
Last week, I posted this tweet.
I also asked the same question of the teachers at Quincy Elementary.
Here are 28 things that colleagues have said to them to instantly help them feel better.
- It’ll be ok.
- What you’re feeling is completely and totally normal.
- It’s okay to not be okay!
- I know it’s hard. It’s okay to admit that.
- Can I do anything for you to lighten your load? Are you all set? Need any help?
- I wrote a hard email that included an apology for something that I felt I completely dropped the ball on. I tried to explain what had happened, but feared I had only made it worse. The other person wrote back with “No worries. Just hugs. You’re doing a great job.”
- Sometimes, the strength within you is not a big fiery flame for all to see, it’s just a tiny spark that whispers softly “You’ve got this, keep going.” -Diana Haymond
- What can I do to help?
- I still have confidence in you.
- “You always look so cute! You can pull off anything you wear and it always fits your personality.” This was on a day I threw my hair in pigtail messy buns, threw on slacks with a random grab shirt, and did the Princess Diaries shrug as I left the mirror.
- Run mad as often as you choose but do not faint. -Jane Austen
- I was working hard as our local union leader and a lot of negatives happened all at once. A good reminder to go hard, but take care of myself so I can keep up the work.
- I wish I write grants like you!
- I got the next round.
- You always have my back.
- You’re a visual reminder to me to interact positively with my students.
- “Is this your mountain to die on?” I tend to get worked up and I have one colleague who can always bring me back to what matters!
- Don’t say something permanently stupid because you are temporarily upset. -Toby Mac
- I appreciate you.
- “We got this!” Collaborating and working together to help student learning always made our first grade team strong!
- You always have kids best interest at heart.
- You really give all your heart and soul to help the students.
- Continue to be courageous.
- Today at work when I felt unhappy about myself, a coworker said to me, “That is a good sign, because it means you care about your students.”
- If you’re not positive, not we have a problem!
- “I hear you,” followed by, “How can I help? What can I do? What do you need? I’m here no matter what.”
- An honoured email after a tough day
- Any variation of, “Me too.”
Our words have so much power. We can easily add to each other’s load inadvertently by complaining or being negative. These 28 statements are examples of how we can use our words to lessen each other’s burdens. If we all look for one way to support a colleague each day, we can make it a habit.
Our kindness is like a boomerang, it has a way of making its way back to us. How can you lighten a colleague’s load today?
About Allyson Apsey
Allyson is passionate about celebrating the strengths in the staff and students she serves. She has been an educator for over 20 years, spending 15 of those years as a school leader. She has worked with students from preschool through high school, and is currently an elementary principal. She is transparent, vulnerable, eternally optimistic, and she doesn’t ask questions unless she is open to the answers.
Despite the fact that she never wanted to step foot in a school again after graduation, there is no where else she’d rather spend her days. You will find her dancing with students in the hallways in the mornings with her JammyPack, and in classrooms throughout the day. She doesn’t have a chair at her desk because you won’t often find her there.
Allyson’s background includes being certified in William Glasser’s Choice Theory, being a Certified Trauma-Informed Practitioner in Education, and she is the author of The Path to Serendipity. In addition, she serves on the Executive Board of Directors for the Michigan Elementary and Middle Schools Principals Association as the State and Federal Relations Coordinator.
Allyson is the author of The Path to Serendipity, released by Dave Burgess Consulting INC in May of 2018.
Official Site: www.allysonapsey.com