#CelebrateMonday: Shifting to the Positive in the Schoolhouse

“If you want to bust a culture…Celebrate Mondays.”-Steve Gruenert and Todd Whitaker from School Culture Rewired: How to Define, Assess, and Transform It ASCD, 2015

Monday is celebrated for the wrong reasons. It is used as an excuse to reiterate excuses for negativity, grouchiness and isolation. I have often participated in the Monday Morning revelry. Occasionally, I would cue up the melodic Pop Music Gem by The Mamas and Papas, “Monday, Monday” and play on the way into school.

Then, I picked up a copy of School Culture Rewired by Todd Whitaker and Steve Gruenert and experienced an epiphany. As a lead learner and educator, I am immersed in the value of fostering a positive culture. When I visit a school community partner or walk around a Target or Starbucks, I am tuned into how the organizational culture makes people tick. I want to know why certain organizations value particular things. I try to take what I learn from these visits and connect to our school.

Reading School Culture Rewired provided me with much inspiration for the #CelebrateMonday concept. Page 13 of this instructional leadership masterpiece fueled my inspiration to take back Mondays. Highlighted on this particular page was this simple sentence: “If you want to bust a culture…Celebrate Mondays.”

I thought that this simple idea of greeting Monday with a positive mindset can make a difference on our teachers and students. We can uplift each other by promoting the positive things occurring in our schools.

A blog post on my Weekly Memo ensued. I asked our teachers to post the positive if they have a Twitter Account. I encouraged them to contact me to do it on their behalf if they didn’t have access to Twitter. First , I got the dull echo of crickets and a few blank stares, but I kept at it every week by modeling what I expected. I saw that a few teachers were beginning to post the positive with the #CelebrateMonday hashtag. The momentum began.

I found that simply walking into a classroom with the agenda of only posting and highlighting the positive helped to uplift me as a lead learner. It was great to connect with kids and become reignited to connect with the positive. As a school administrator, I have often made the mistake or anchoring myself to the mundane and clinical rat race of deadlines as a default. It was refreshing to put those tasks on pause to re-awaken myself to warmth of celebrating the positives of our kids and teachers.

Using the power of my PLN, I began to Tweet out reminders for #CelebrateMonday. I created a poster on Canva.Com and dropped in various Voxer Groups in which I am connected. Pals from #leadupchat and #Read4Fun helped to spread the word on celebrating Monday. I was even a little starstruck when Todd Whitaker himself would favorite and re-tweet my #CelebrateMonday alerts.It was inspiring to see so many examples of #CelebrateMonday tweets in action from areas all over the globe. Seeing smiles, best practices and simple acts of kindness highlighted shows that our noble profession as educators resonates. As I poured over the #CelebrateMonday Tweets from other places, I found myself swimming in the marrow of positivity of complete strangers. What bonded us was the shared vision of celebrating the good transpiring in our schools.

Last week, we trended with #CelebrateMonday for almost 24 hours. It shows that a positive tweet can make a difference. This trending also shows that people are hungry to focus on a growth mindset in our respective schoolhouses. Most importantly, #CelebrateMonday shows the necessity to highlight the good in others. Sincerity goes a long way with others. When we foster a space for empathy and celebration good things are ignited.

#CelebrateMonday is a mindset rooted in uplifting our schoolhouses to a positive culture. Our kids, teachers and families deserve to dwell in schools where the positive is the first instinct for decisions, actions and moods. #CelebrateMonday is way to bring the good in a school culture seven days a week.

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