Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Share a Cup of Success: A HyperDoc to Build an Inclusive Community

What would you do if you walked into a staff meeting and you were greeted with smiles, tables cloths, coffee, tea, and appreciations? Wouldn't it just energize you for the day or maybe even inspire you to try the same activity with your students or other colleagues? This is what my colleague, Julie Twisselman did for me during our last coach forum of the school year. She coordinated such a thoughtful meeting that allowed our team to reflect and set new goals for the next school year. This is what she did.

The purpose of the meeting was to review the results of an online survey of the teachers that we had worked with all year. Reviewing specific anonymous feedback can sometimes be difficult to do because people are truly honest about their feelings. However, being brave enough to ask and review results is also an important part of the learning process. As a mindful mentor, Julie planned a special event for us to reflect on the comments from the survey. Her lesson helped to build community and inclusion so that we were open to truly listening to the feedback and personally growing in our educational practice. We started the meeting by viewing the video "Share a Cup of Success."

After the video, she explained how she had sifted through the feedback from the end of the year surveys and printed off one positive comment about each individual coach. She read the first comment aloud. Once she was done, she invited that coach to come up to a table decorated with a tablecloth and an assortment of different colored coffee mugs. The coach was invited to choose a coffee mug and pull from a pile of comments to read aloud about another coach. We each took turns reading aloud the words about our colleagues and walking away with a coffee mug. The room glowed as each educator had a public moment of appreciation. 

After this activity, we partnered up with a colleague and we were invited to fill our mugs at the coffee and tea bar. Using a handout of questions from the video, each partnership took turns discussing successes from the school year and setting new goals. At the end of the meeting, we debriefed with whole group appreciations and celebrated each other's successes from the school year. 

Inspired by this experience, I created a HYPERDOC to package up all the goodness that was created during this meeting. I am giving this gift to any educator who is interested in sharing a cup of success with their colleagues. Packaging up an experience on HyperDoc archives the lesson for future use. Sharing the HyperDoc with the Teachers Give Teachers community at or @TsGiveTs might help another group of educators to make the same connections. HyperDocs are not gifts for graduations, birthdays, or Christmas. HyperDocs are the kind of gifts that you give when you are inspired to do so. If you are doing something awesome in your school, please share with the TGT community. When you share, you are helping a much larger audience of educators to do something really awesome too!  


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