I'm sure many educators say this and mean it, but not enough. I am lucky enough to work at a school where we abide by these 3 founding principles:
It's the first that make the last two possible.
We have many special and fun traditions that build relationships such as activities around our school theme, end of the year fun and awards, team building activities, teacher of the year celebrations, pep rallies, celebrating authors we love, Native American Pow Wow, Fish Fry, and the list could go on...
but unfortunately we added a new tradition several years ago when a faculty member discovered she had breast cancer. We did all of the traditional things when a "family" member needs your support: hugs, notes, dinners, filling in...but we wanted to something more visible to remind her we were behind her the whole way through treatment.
Every year, our school theme decides the color and design on our school t-shirt. That first year, in honor of Betsy, we all got an additional school logo t-shirt in solid pink to show support by wearing it every Friday. That simple visible weekly show of solidarity and support meant so much to her. And she beat that stupid cancer!
We are sad to have to bring back this tradition, but a teacher at our school recently discovered she has osteosarcoma. She had immediate surgery and is undergoing intense chemotherapy. We are doing all of the traditional support pieces but immediately knew we wanted to have a spirit shirt for her. We found out the ribbon color for support of a patient with this cancer is yellow so we all began wearing our yellow shirts last Friday.