Whether we admit it or not, we all like to be affirmed in what we do. Especially if what we are doing is important to us.
At our faculty meetings we give out "fish." At the beginning of every year there are a certain number of stuffed fished that are given out and throughout the year and the [way to many] faculty meetings that we have they are passed on to another teacher. It is supposed to be a part of the "fish" philosophy...There are 4 different reasons you can pass on the fish to another teacher. It can fall under one of the categories of the "fish philosophy" [I just googled it to make sure I was getting it right]:
Be There is being emotionally present for people; respect that improves communication and strengthens relationships.
Play taps into your natural way of being creative, enthusiastic and having fun.
Make Their Day is finding simple ways to serve or delight people in a meaningful, memorable way. It’s about contributing to someone else’s life, not because you want something out of it, but because that’s the person you want to be.
Choose Your Attitude means taking responsibility for how you respond to what life throws at you.
The main idea is that through The Fish Philosophy, we build stronger relationships with the team members we work with, and the students we teach.
[At this point I have to throw this out there: As my dad would say, it's a little bit of "Kumbaya," but it is a nice part of our monthly faculty meetings].
Last year I got a fish for bringing laughter to our lunch group and lightening the, often too stressful, mood.
But last week, I got a very thoughtful "fish" from our school's literacy coach. She typed it up and gave me what she shared at the meeting.
The staff member to whom I would like to pass this fish truly makes a difference in the lives of her students. She is energetic, caring, and is there for her students, in addition to providing rigorous, engaging lessons every day for her community of learners. It is evident that she has a passion for teaching and her content. Not only is she there for her students, but for her team as well. I have the privilege of co-sponsoring yearbook with her and I don't know where I'd be without her in that endeavor. Kelsey... thanks for all you do for the students of S. O. You have certainly been a wonderful addition to our staff the last 2 years.
Your friend and colleague, Kathy
It was affirmation I needed during what I call a "dry spell." I know we all have these moments in our careers, or lives, where we still feel our work is valuable, but maybe not valued.
I pray that, even if you don't get a "fish" from someone at a faculty meeting, that you still feel affirmed in what you are doing.