How to Make a Petmoji!

How to Make a Petmoji!
Hi everyone! A lot of you have been asking me how I made a Petmoji of my Great Dane, Hiccup for my virtual classroom. If this is something you are interested in doing, just follow the step by step instructions below!
1. Create your Petmoji.  Go to Click 'get started' to create and personalize a Petmoji to match your dog or cat. 

2. Download your Petmoji.  When you are all done creating your Petmoji, click the button that says download. When you open the picture that has downloaded, it will look like this. As you can see, there is still writing and a background on this picture. Before you insert your Petmoji into your virtual classroom, you will need to remove these things. If you have any kind of photoshop or photo editing program, that would be a great way to simply crop and use the erase tool to remove the background. If you do not have a photo editing program, see the next step!
3. Edit Background. If you are reading this step, you l…

Tips on Boosting Staff Morale

Boosting Staff Morale

Hi everyone! 
Today I want to talk about staff morale. Staff morale is so important and so overlooked (especially in teaching if you ask me). Raise your hand if you've ever felt under-appreciated, overworked,  or just plain burned out. ME! I HAVE! 🖐

Between teaching, planning, prepping, professional development, meetings, conferences, grading, observations, and PLC's...(I'm sure I'm forgetting something here...) it can be hard to sometimes take a moment to catch your breath. It can be so hard to feel anything except exhaustion sometimes. I know for me, it can really get me down. Something that can help energize teachers and re-motivate them is boosting staff morale. 

What does that mean? Staff morale refers to the amassment of feelings and overall outlook that employees have toward their workplace. Boosting staff morale is the act of showing appreciation in different ways in order to improve their attitude and satisfaction with their working environment and their career. This is directly related to improving productivity and happiness in the workplace. In addition, there are many staff morale boosters that can be used to give employees and employers an opportunity to engage with each other and get to know each other better. Having strong relationships within a school can help to increase staff morale by having a sense of togetherness and being a part of a team.

So how do you increase staff morale? Well, there are SO many ways. Right now it is ESPECIALLY important to be focusing on the happiness and well-being of teachers. With so much uncertainty and the lack of knowledge we have about COVID-19 and how it will affect this coming year, teachers are all running on a high level of stress. They need to be able to feel safe and appreciated for what they do, now more than ever. This particular post will focus on just a few points and things you can do during this time. 

1) Connection. Overall, people often feel disconnected to one another in the workplace. Especially when many of us are teaching remotely. Implementing virtual happy hours once a week are a great way to connect with your employees and coworkers again! You can grab a drink of your choice and a snack and have to opportunity to catch-up, vent, talk, and laugh with each other. Another really fun way of connecting is doing a virtual "photo challenge"! Admin or staff can pick a day of the week and share a selfie, a silly video, a picture of pets or children, etc. This is a great way to make people smile and laugh while staying connected on more of a personal level! You can share these pictures/videos through email or you can come up with a fun hashtag uniquely related to your school name (Ex: #CentralPerkElementaryPhotoFun) and post on your social media. Everyone can search the hashtags and look at each others photos.

2) Get moving. Many studies in general have shown that exercise and movement improves a person's overall mood and well-being. What if you could make connections AND incorporate some movement and activity into your day even while working remotely? You can! Schedule a day and time after school when you can all get on Zoom (or the social platform of your choice) for some fun work-outs together. If you have someone who works at your school who teaches/has taught a type of dance, yoga, or fitness class, ask them if they would be interested in leading a weekly class for beginners for their co-workers! If they are not into the idea or if you don't know anyone at the school who does this, simply pick from thousands (probably millions) yoga/dance/workout videos on You Tube. You can send the video out and all watch and participate together.

3) Showing appreciation and offering help. This one is the biggest of all if you ask me. I know that I have often felt at my school that even if I was complimented or shown appreciation, many times it came with things I am lacking or could do better. Now, I understand the importance of feedback when it comes to teaching but often it felt as though the compliments were forced in order to balance out the criticism. There are so many small things you can do as an administrator, teacher leader/coach, or fellow educator to show some appreciation to employees and employers. Many of these things take no time at all!
Here are a few:
    - Use a sticky note to leave kind words on someones door.
    - Questions/thoughts of the day. This is something you can find in my TpT store. This particular resource comes with five questions in the form of PNG files to attach to the emails. You can send one question per day and repeat each week. They are meant for both self-reflection as well as conversation starters and community building. After all, we are all in this together!  Send a daily morning email to teachers before the school day starts. They are questions that prompt thoughts of gratitude, happiness, and goal setting. All which is good for the soul (and mental health)! One of these questions is simply asking what people need help with. Sometimes it is so hard for people to ask for help. This is a way for people to respond to the email privately to the administrator/coach if they want to ask for help in confidence OR they can 'reply all'. We are all busy with different things at different times. We all have so much going on both personally and professionally. How can we work TOGETHER as a community to help each other out? Need help grading? Need someone to talk to? Need a buddy to help you plan? Teachers can respond to this question by ‘replying to all’ and whoever has some free time to help will email them back! After all, we're in this together! 
Click here for resource > Questions of the Day

    -You've been sacked! (and other 'you've been' morale boosters!) Another resource I offer is one called You've Been Sacked! With this resource, colleagues can share fun treats and goodies with each other anonymously (or not!) to help each other feel valued and bring joy to someone's day! Now, while working remotely you can participate in this by either dropping things off at someone's house, mailing it to them, or sending a virtual gift card....or something else...let's get creative! 
Click here for resource > You've Been Sacked!  (You can also find others such as You've Been Mugged or You've Been Penned!)

Overall, there are so many ways to help employees feel valued and happy in their workplace. Even in these trying times. Teachers need this so badly, and don't just use these at the beginning of the year! Staff morale boosters can be used (and SHOULD be used) all year long!!! Do you have any other tips or ideas for boosting staff morale in schools? If your school does something else that is helping right now, I would LOVE to hear about it in the comments!

Thank you so much for stopping by and taking time to read this post!

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Until next time,


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