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Personal photo – Fireworks display, Okoboji, IA – July 4, 2012

Celebrations are all around us. Social media provides us the opportunity to share our celebrations with others near and far. We are able to stay connected to the mile markers and new chapters in the lives of friends, family, and professional colleagues. Acknowledging the personal and professional milestones of others and ourselves brings us together.

As mentioned in my previous post, educators interested in instructional leadership and coaching join together each Wednesday evening at 9:00 CST. Chats are focused around predetermined topics. Each chat starts with inviting participants to share recent celebrations and successes. These events draw questions from other participants and new learning transpires. This simple addition to our #educoach chat has developed into yet another way to develop positive relationships among participants. As the #educoach chat nears its 1 year anniversary it is great to see that it has grown to a very supportive and welcoming network of educators.

The practice of starting the #educoach chat with celebrations started from observing a school start off each professional development session with the same concept. The large elementary staff was invited to share personal, professional and classroom celebrations. I observed the value in this practice and watched it grow and develop into a favored part of each week’s professional development session. Not only did teachers share their own successes, but they soon began to share acknowledgements of others. They grew into a very close-knit staff.

This same practice could transfer to so many settings. Students could begin or end a class with celebrations. Professional organizations could share successes at meetings. Families could acknowledge these positive thoughts during a family meal. The more you praise and celebrate your life (and the lives of others), the more you have to celebrate!

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