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  • Bradley James Davies

W is for Winter is Coming?

“Winter is coming,” proclaims Ned Stark from Game of Thrones lore. Clearly the Lord of Winterfell never worked in a school.

Coming? Nope. Winter isn’t coming. 

Winter is here.

Regardless of the weather, when it comes to teacher and staff morale, winter has arrived. 

As the school leader, please know that it’s not your fault, the windchill’s fault, or even the White Walkers’ fault for that matter. Winter is here, and with it your school’s morale is as low as the temperature outside. It just is, and it happens every year.

Admit it, you feel it too. And if you don’t, well, I guess I’ve never met anyone like you before.

So, what should school leaders do to combat the toughest time of the year, the dreary winter months replete with snooze bar struggles and Sunday evening blues?

Double and triple down on appreciation.

Embrace your role as Chief Appreciation Officer by partnering with parents and students to make it pour down gallons upon gallons of love and light on your teachers and staff.

How? The sky is the limit. For starters, email appreciation challenges for families, notes of gratitude campaigns for students, consistent food surprises (bring on the bagels!), random prize drawings, surprise duty coverages, and the list goes on and on. Dream big and then go for it!

Why? First, because your role as the CAO is crucial to your school’s success. Second, because winter most certainly is here, and it ain’t no wonderland nor “the most wonderful time of the year.” Instead, it is the toughest time of the school year for your team.  

So, school leaders, be mindful that every year around this time your team’s morale will be low. In response, rally your community of parents and students to share as much sunshine as possible to help your team rally through the dark days of winter and toward the hope of Spring Break and beyond.




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