By Anita Devi
It’s that busy time of the year when SENCOs / SEND Leaders are coordinating access arrangements in examinations, planning for next year, managing in, out and up transitions, as well as finalising their SEN Information Report 2019. This is all on top of the day-to-day stuff, that carries on as usual.
Therefore, we decided to focus this month’s #senco5aday blog on making time to celebrate and celebrate how much each of you shine!
“Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.” ―Malcolm Forbes
Three good reasons!
Celebrating your accomplishments is critical to your own on-going success. So here are three reasons why you need to celebrate:
#1 Celebrating changes your physiology and strengthens your psychology
Positively acknowledging progress releases chemicals of joy in your body, which makes you feel physically good, as well as psychologically in a good place.
I regularly receive motivational emails from Michael Hyatt. Contributing to Micheal’s blog, Erin Wildermuth writes the following:
“Endorphins are the chemical searing through your body when you finish a run. That giddy feeling of being on top of the world? That is endorphins in action. Dopamine is your own personal motivation machine. It is the secret to getting pumped and hitting goals. Serotonin regulates mood. Depression is linked to deficits in serotonin, and healthy levels keep you happy. Endorphins can be triggered by laughter, dopamine by reward, and serotonin by community. Celebration is a medley of all three triggers.”
Isn’t it time you drank the cocktail of laughter, reward and community?
Consider the adverse: denying yourself the opportunity to celebrate is robbing yourself of joy!
#2 Celebrating empowers your team and grows your network
How you celebrate is a personal choice. However, celebrating with others and sharing the fun factor accelerates growth and deepens a sense of belonging.
Many of you may have heard me speak on ‘The SEND Team’ – it is the largest team in any setting! So, when celebrating becomes everyone’s celebration, we renew the message of teamwork.
Consider the adverse: celebrating on your own isn’t fun & doesn’t help to build teams.
#3 Celebrating attracts further success
“Perception becomes reality. As you celebrate your wins, others look for ways to participate in what you have successfully built.” – Bill Carmody
Everyone thrives on being part of a successful team. It helps to build relationships and memories, both incredibly valuable when the tough times hit. The reality is, our lives will be full of ups and downs, but we have a choice to celebrate the ups to get us through the down times.
Consider the adverse: if a SEND Leader is always complaining, why would anyone want to support them?
In summary, collective celebration enhances team buy-in and loyalty to your vision.
Making ‘celebration’ part of your lifestyle choice!
It’s great to look back at the end of the year and celebrate all the things that have gone well, but how can we make ‘celebration moments’ part of the everyday? Here are a couple of things I did/do as a SENCO / Leader:
#A Create a ‘Win’ Folder
One of the folders in my email Inbox is labelled ‘Win’. Every time I receive a positive email or kind feedback, I file the email in that folder. This enables me to access celebration moments easily and share them in a timely way with others.
With my current team, #FeedbackFriday is how we share.
#B Drip feed the joy!
I am a great advocate of ‘Bitesize regular SEND CPD’. As part of the strategic planning for this, I encourage SENCOs to include sessions, where team members share ‘impact stories’ i.e. I did – this was the impact. This helps create and sustain a ‘can-do’ culture.
With my current team, I use technology to make sure we continue to share impact stories.
This is one of the #senco5aday pillars for welbeing. As a SENCO, I would regularly leave a post-it-note with a glass gem for staff, thanking them for going that extra mile. The day I left the school, a staff member told me, how they had kept all the notes and gems and whenever they were having rubbish day, they would use them to lift the mood.
Other variations I have seen in schools include ‘Staff celebration board’ – staff members post Gratitude Notes to thank colleagues for their support, encouragement and creativity. Imagine the face and joy of a colleague reading a positive note about something they did, that made a difference. #Priceless
With my current team, part of our weekly updates include team celebrations.
A few reflective questions for you to ponder:
- Do you make time to celebrate?
- Who can you share your achievements of 2018-19 with and how?
- How can you make ‘celebration’ part of your everyday ABC?
Enjoyed reading this blog? Then DO something different …
To make choices about your time management, download the FREE SENCO Time Management Book entitled ‘Take control of your time’ #senco5aday
Also, out for pre-order, 2019-2020 SEND Leader Planner
As a former SENCO, Senior Leader, School Improvement Adviser and local authority SEND Advisory Teacher, Anita Devi carries a wealth of experience in developing leaders of learning. Her own teaching career spans early years to post grad in the UK and overseas and Anita lives her why through her belief in the joy of learning. Anita served on local and national posts for the National Association of Special Needs (nasen) for 10 years (2004-2014). It is during this period; Anita started the dialogue around SENCO wellbeing at a nasen AGM. In 2016 wrote a SENCO Time Management Book and in Anita launched #senco5aday. The same year, Anita was awarded the prestigious international Influential Educational Leaders Award for her SEND Pipeline strategy developing professional from initial teacher training to advanced and experienced SENCOs. Currently a PT PhD student, Healthwatch Trustee and Changemaker Education Consultant #TeamADL Twitter: @Butterflycolour