The Value of Being Valued

A teacher will never, ever, know the impact they have on the lives of the students in their classroom. At times, a student will come back into your life and show you, but for all of the students who have reached out, there could be many more who never do.

The ability we all have to show students their value is part of what makes our mission in education so inspiring.  A 2018 study by Wolters Kluwer Health shows that 1 in 20 US children and teens have anxiety or depression.   In fact, the American SPCC cites suicide as the 3rd leading cause of death in children from 10 to 24 years old.  These alarming statistic show how important positive adult relationships are for students today.

“At the end of the day we all just want to feel loved and appreciated, seen for who we are and loved.  Give the gift of love and appreciation and it will come back to you.”

We all want to feel valued and appreciated.  How can we create a culture throughout our schools that communicates the positive contribution each person makes to the organization?  From teachers, to students, to parents, and community members, let’s put value on showing that EVERYONE is important. If a teacher feels valued and the value of the school community is communicated, this will in turn create a culture in which students feel appreciated and recognize their contributions to the school community.  Our school is not the same without you!

Graham Weston said, What we all want is to be valued members of a winning team on an inspiring mission. This quote sums up nicely our need to feel valued by our community.  Let’s break it down into 4 manageable steps for showing value and building a positive school culture.   

Communicate What Makes “US” Great

The more you can highlight what makes your school great, the more people will appreciate it.  If you compliment the great things about students, co-workers, and staff, then the more you will see of that behavior.  A kind word is never wasted. Taking a moment to compliment a smile or an act of kindness breeds greatness throughout your organization.

Value the Collective Community and ALL of Its Members

We all want to belong to something, be a member of a team.  We are all in this together and just being a member of the community is enough to be valued.  For our community to be strong we must value each and every member of that community regardless of their ability, their history, or their perceived worth.  We are all an important and valued member of the collective community and we must work for our members to understand and feel a connection to the group.

Communicate a Common and Inspiring Mission

Success breeds trust, and a common and inspiring mission will absolutely bring people together. People will work hard to achieve something important.  Does your school have a common goal? Is there a mission that your whole community is working towards? If you have a common mission, does everyone (and I mean EVERYONE)  know what those goals are? Can your students articulate the mission of the school? Are the parents on board? What about your half time health assistant, are they are board?  Create an inspiring mission and shout it from the rooftops!

Seize Opportunities to Show the Value of Others

There are three things that leave and never come back, words, time and opportunities. Never miss an opportunity to show others you value them. Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth however, if you were constantly reminded of your value, your sense of value increases tenfold.  Remember, you will never, ever, know the impact they have on the lives of the students in their classroom. Take the time, the benefits are worth it. The value of being valued is too great.

Want to go deeper into this effort of building a culture where EVERYONE feels valued?

CLICK HERE for a free staff (or student) activity on how to demonstrate the importance of valuing each other.

Sarah Hayden
Instructional Coach, TEEN TRUTH

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