The Year My Staff Forgot it Was Principal Appreciation Day

Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again, Rejoice. Philippians 4:4, NIV

I walked into the staff meeting and was greeted by the usual demands and expectations, just like any other day. Yet, there was a noticeable absence—an absence of acknowledgment for the day set aside to honor school leaders. As I scrolled through social media, seeing posts from other colleagues in the district receiving lunches, cards, and gifts, I couldn’t help but feel a sinking sensation. I felt overlooked, undervalued, and unappreciated. What was meant to be a day of celebration had turned into a day of being forgotten.

Has this ever happened to you—you anticipate a day of appreciation from others, and then you end up feeling forgotten? 

As we approach teacher appreciation days, end-of-year celebrations, retirements, and farewells to colleagues moving on to other positions, I challenge you to reframe your perspective of these appreciation days. Let’s shift our focus from seeking validation from others to finding our worth and significance in Christ. Instead of longing for recognition from colleagues, let’s seek fulfillment in knowing that our work is seen and valued by our Heavenly Father. 

Likewise, as we honor and appreciate others, let’s do so with a Christ-centered perspective, recognizing each individual’s divine purpose and calling. And let’s remember that true appreciation goes beyond mere gestures or designated days; it is a daily practice rooted in gratitude, humility, and love.

The following are three ways to show Christ-centered appreciation in May:

  1. Uplifting Cards: Consider sending personalized cards with inspirational messages or verses to colleagues and coworkers throughout the month. Whether they’re handwritten notes or printed cards, expressing gratitude fosters the grace and compassion God calls us to embody in our interactions.
  2. Words of Encouragement: Words of gratitude can go a long way in uplifting and supporting those around us, fostering a culture of appreciation and compassion as the school year draws to a close.
  3. Acts of Service: Organize service projects or acts of kindness initiatives to spread Christ-like love and compassion in practical ways. Don’t forget to extend appreciation to other service professionals in the district, such as paraprofessionals, bus drivers, central office staff, and supervisors, whose contributions are often unrecognized. 

By incorporating uplifting written messages, kind words, and acts of service into the month of May, you can demonstrate Christ-centered appreciation and foster a culture of gratitude, humility, and love within the school community. While the coffee gift cards, t-shirts, and cake are nice at the moment, rethinking appreciation to be something bigger will have a lasting impact on you, your school campus, and the Christ-like culture you are building. After Principal Day came and went, I used the rest of the week to make positive phone calls home, sit and talk with students in the cafeteria, and add a few extra prayer requests to my morning devotional. These actions helped me refocus on what truly matters and let go of what doesn’t.

If someone forgot to tell you this week, I want you to know I appreciate you and am grateful for your God-given gifts being shared with your students and families on campus!

SavED by Grace

A fun and encouraging blog community designed to highlight the stories and testimonies of Christian educators, empowering and encouraging them as they faithfully serve each and every day in their schools. 

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for this reminder. My school didn’t do anything for teachers last week during teacher appreciation week. We got an email notice that we should come to the kitchen in the morning on Friday before school for a teacher appreciation surprise. Everyone skipped breakfast, assuming it was a breakfast treat (this is something that has been done before so we weren’t off base with that assumption). We got there and there was nothing. We waited 10 minutes and finally someone explained that a parent wanted to bring in a cake to say thanks to the staff but apparently she was running late. So we all left… hungry, confused, a little upset that this surprise wasn’t even coming from the school… it was coming from a parent (who arrived a few minutes after we all left – but we ate the cake for lunch and it was amazing!). There were several lessons to learn that day. 1) Don’t expect to be appreciated. You may be disappointed. 2) People can still appreciate you even if they don’t think or know how to show it. 3) Don’t make assumptions – especially about food. Have a back up granola bar just in case! 4) Admin doesn’t always think the way teachers do. They didn’t tell us what the morning meeting was about because they didn’t want to ruin the surprise for this mom. And 5) When someone messes up or lets you down, give grace. Guaranteed, you’ll let someone down sometime too, and I’m sure that’s how you’d want to be treated.

    1. Melissa, such a powerful response to a situation. Thanks for the reminder of the importance of giving grace….and I am so glad that cake was wonderful. Appreciate all you do to end the school year with encouragement.

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