Utrust - Appreciating, Developing, and Supporting School Staff

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How to Organize an A-Team

“Gratitude allows us to celebrate the present, blocks toxic, negative emotions like envy, resentment, and regret, makes us more stress-resistant, and produces a higher sense of self-worth.”    -Robert Emmons

As you set up your A-Team this year, we suggest that you divide it into three teams. In our model, each team has six students and an adult adviser. This model is based on the notion that when everyone does a little no one does a lot.

The Action Team promotes involvement of others in the celebration of appreciation days. Team members enlist other students, staff and community members to accept small assignments that together make for great celebration and make employees feel honored. They make announcements over the intercom; put up marquee messages; enlist classes or other student groups to do something special they would have a major impact on appreciation day; and contact students or community members who have volunteered at the beginning of the year to help with an appreciation day to remind them of what they have agreed to do and when it needs to be done.

The Creative Team makes theme related posters, signs, cards and goody bags or other items to be given to the honorees as well as other artistic items suggested in the packets designed by Utrust. Members of the Creative Team also participate in the celebration when possible.

The Paparazzi tells the story of each appreciation day. They study the plans for each appreciation day and determine what photos and videos they need to shoot to preserve memories for the honorees and share the story with their community. They write captions for the photos and post them along with videos to share the story with parents and the community.

The School Coordinator distributes the appropriate part of the Utrust prepared A-Team packet to each of the three faculty or staff advisers of the Action, Creative and Paparazzi teams and conducts a brief planning meeting with them a week or so before each appreciation day. In this meeting, the participants determine what activities suggested in the packets they will do and how they will do them. They also determine ways to enhance the suggested activities and personalize them for their school. The coordinator is also responsible for planning presentations to honorees and arranging the time and place and identifying participants.

The package available from Utrust for each appreciation day are divided into four sections—one each for the Action Team, Creative Team, Paparazzi and the G-Force. Each section includes an agenda for that team. An agenda is also included for the School Coordinator to use in planning the celebration.