All teachers are busy, but it only takes a few seconds to say “good morning” and see how someone is doing.  A little kindness goes a long way! 

What is your co-worker’s favorite pick-me-up drink?  Iced Tea with lemon, Chai latte, McD’s Coke with extra ice… It will only cost a buck or two, but it will make their day!

It’s so much easier to plan BEFORE we’re sick, exhausted, or in some other emergency. If you’re organized and prepared for this – sharing one of them could be the kindest thing you can do!

We’re used to every student noticing if we have something wrong with our hair or if we were the same shirt too often… it’s a really treat for someone to notice when we look nice!  

Enough said. We have ALL had days like this. (Weeks for some of us.)

Going to a conference can be a great team building experience. You don’t have to spend every minute together, but you can all come back refreshed and loaded up with new ideas to inspire students. 

Even nice teachers can become hoarders when supplies get scarce. It’s good to remember that markers don’t last forever, tech can be shared, and books/magazines can be read by multiple classes. If you have something you’re not using, you may want to mention when it is available for others to borrow. It might just make their day. Bonus: They may even return the favor down the road. 

A quick text or call only takes a second! Just knowing someone cares might be the best medicine of all. 

Are you a teacher who knows everybody? Then start the introductions! Teachers are happier when they have friends and connections at their school or district. 

We all know wars are started over copy machines. If you can fix the jam for the next teacher, you are truly the teacher’s lounge angel.   

It’s good to get your mind off grades, challenging classes, and/or the million things you want to do in the classroom. A good book can do that, so tell a teacher friend if you have a good one you’d recommend! 

See an amazing historical documentary on Netflix? A funny joke about Chemistry? Share it with that teacher down the hall. It shows you care about them and their class, too! 

Mr. White was one teacher at my last school that always stepped up to help others when they were in a jam. It wasn’t for recognition, bonus cash, or fun… he was just a great guy who wanted to help others. Step up and help out – it won’t be forgotten! 

Every teacher has unique skills and can add something special to whatever you are planning. We’re better together – let’s prove that.

Create a circle of support in your department or school. Did a teacher apply for a grant? Tell her you hope she gets it! Did a teacher win an award? Celebrate it at lunch with 3 cheers (or a cake)! Is the teacher next door trying for her National Board Certification? Tell her you’re proud!

Teaching isn’t a competition. We’re in this together! 

You can be serious about learning AND still have fun, you know! Hats off to those teachers who lift our spirits, make us laugh on the toughest days, joke with students and staff. I’ll never forget working with some jokesters… they dressed up, laughed a lot, loved the occasional prank and made work FUN! 

We are different. We all have a unique area of expertise. Listen and consider others’ perspectives and ideas. It may be a work in progress, but so are most great things!

Did you sign up for free resources? TODAY IS THE LAST DAY! I’m so grateful for teachers who send a quick email reminder or pop by my room to see if I turned in something that was due. Lifesavers! 

How’s it going with your goal to < walk during your plan, take less work home, use ______ strategy > ? Just checking in on your co-workers can help them feel more motivated to tackle their goals. 

This only takes a minute, but it means so much. Thank your mentor teacher, your principal, your custodians, volunteer parents! Plus, it’s a great reminder for you to see how lucky you are to have great people around! 

Continue to be a good professional friend to the teachers around you!

YOU make a difference! 

Who are your favorite PROFESSIONAL FRIENDS? Share the love with a PROFESSIONAL FRIENDS FOREVER tattoo.

We’ll send a few PFF tattoos to the first 3 teachers to comment below, because nothing says “forever” like a temporary tattoo.  

 

11 Comments

  1. Sara McCutcheon

    Thanks for the reminders! My professional friends have become some of my best friends outside of school!

    Reply
    • Megan Smith

      You’re very lucky to get to work with such a great team, Sara! Hope all is well, amiga! Can I send you some tattoos?

      Reply
  2. Sheila Schmitz

    Every suggestion you made has merit! The Department Chair especially needs to remember these, and hopefully the others will emulate these actions.

    Reply
    • Megan Smith

      You’re right, Sheila! Good to see leadership doing these things, but don’t forget… they can also need a little encouragement at times!

      Reply
  3. Kirsten

    Excellent suggestions to slow down for a minute and support each other!

    Reply
    • Megan Smith

      Yes, that’s the perfect way to say it! 👏🏻 Kristen!

      Reply
  4. Carissa

    Great and simple suggestions to spread kindness! I like to leave surprise thank you post its for my coworkers to find!

    Reply
    • Megan Smith

      That’s so sweet! Good job, Carissa!

      Reply
  5. Anonymous

    A great reminder of things that we all probably already know, but forget in the midst of the day to day!

    Reply
  6. Kerry Fautsch

    As an FL Department chair, I love these ideas for my team! Especially good-natured practical jokes… that’s our team!

    I get many squeals of delight with a piece of chocolate or a cup of hot tea brought to the classroom, if possible in front of the students, because they see their teacher is esteemed.
    Sometimes I’ll write on the board in the TL ” You students are lucky to have Mr./Ms.___!” “Mr./Ms. ___ is an amazing teacher!” etc.
    I have emailed the class the day before a birthday to encourage them to say Happy birthday, etc. I have a special birthday sign for the classroom door.
    As a team, we try to really celebrate each other with class serenades (they learn an easy one first 6 weeks), involving students, cards,
    Filling out an “About Me” form at the beginning of the year, just as we do with students, and sharing with the team, let’s us know the little things that delight our colleague.
    A little perk after progress/semester grades are in seems to lift spirits – it can be a few tea bags, pretty flower, tinted chap stick, fun pen, succulent, etc.
    A Team WhatsApp helps us share funny classroom stories and memes, prayer requests, important info.

    We try to do one group family activity each year. Maybe the latest Disney movie matinee or a Christmas hay ride.
    I now build all this into my calendar, and do spontaneous as well, as able.
    Knowing when to give a teacher space and NOT contact them is important to.
    And having zero tolerance for clear gossip (not discreet concerns) in order to build trust is super important.

    A little good will invested in the “bank” really helps when we must deal with sometimes sticky professional stuff and exhortations!

    Reply
    • Megan Smith

      Thanks for sharing, Kerry! Great example of ideas to build community with colleagues!

      Reply

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