Here is a fun way to recognize colleagues who go above and beyond to be helpful. It involves creating a special award that is passed from person to person, often with much aplomb.
To implement this program, find something you can use as an award – ideally something kitschy from a yard sale or a thrift shop. We used a duck made out of some sort of rattan material. Another group used a statue of a dog that was encrusted with puka shells. If your staff has a sense of humor, then try to find something truly tacky. It should be sturdy and about the size of a shoe box. Give it a fun name. We called our duck Dulcinea.
Start by presenting this lovely object to another staff member who has done something nice for you or nice for the school. Ideally, do this publicly, during a staff meeting, for example. Be sure to explain why the award is being bestowed – pour on the praise.
The lucky recipient of the award must then display it proudly and prominently somewhere in his or her classroom (or office for administration) for at least three days but no longer than ten days. Before the ten days are up, he or she must present the award to another staff member who has earned it by doing something helpful or particularly stunning in some way. If you have weekly staff meetings, then passing on the award could be part of the meeting. If not, then it could be passed along privately between meetings. If you have a large school, then you might consider circulating two awards.
It is a simple thing to do that has the potential to bring a little more morale to your school, which in many states is running pretty low these days.