Thursday, August 21, 2014

You Still Matter (A Gentle Reminder)

Over the last three years, we have come a long way in developing an intentional culture of kindness and appreciation at EGHS. From a humble experiment in having teachers share messages of appreciation among themselves to the development of #EGHSMatters and bringing the Choose2Matter movement to our high school, we have come a long way.

But, as always, there is still much to do.

As we enter a new school year, let's reflect a bit on some important ideas:

  • Never underestimate your power to change someone's life for the better.  
  • Never underestimate the significance of saying the right words at the right time.
  • If you start to do this frequently, it begins a wave that makes it easier for others to do so as well.  
  • Giving someone a sincere compliment only takes a few seconds and can make someone's day, or week, or it could literally transforms their life, and it costs nothing.  
So why don't we do it?

Because we are busy, stressed and often absorbed and distracted by the things we need to deal with every day.

So, how can we make every day better for ourselves and others?

How about taking one minute out of the 1440 that we have every day and telling someone that you notice what they do?  That they matter to you?  That they make a difference?

Take ONE minute every day to tell someone:

  • I appreciate you.  
  • I understand you.
  • It was great to talk to you today. 
  • You made my day.
  • I couldn't have done that without you.
  • I believe in you.
  • I love how you do that.
  • I admire you.
  • Celebrate someone else's exciting moments:
    • Birthdays
    • Achievements
    • Great Performances
    • Making strides in some new area of study or work
    • Accomplishments, or a job well done
    • Noticing the good deeds or qualities that they have
Isn't it easy to imagine how receiving that would feel?  Or how it could make someone's day?

Do you think that an entire school full of kids and adults who take one minute a day to do that for someone else could produce enough positive ripples outward to change the world?

I do.  

So I am going to try to keep that momentum going and make much bigger waves this year.

I am challenging everyone at EGHS to find someone to recognize everyday.  

It could be something big and obvious, or something small and personal... but let them know you notice.  

Use the #EGHSMatters hashtag.  
Send a YouMatter message through the teacher form.  
Leave a note on someone's desk.  
Send a text.  
Or simply say it face to face.

Just find a way.

People matter to one another.

Let them know.  

It could change everything.

To keep our momentum strong, I will send out a message every day to our school community to "remind" everyone to let people know that they matter this year, and to offer helpful , creative and entertaining suggestions and challenges to help them do just that.

Today, I am launching the newest facet of the #EGHSMatters community using an app called Remind.

While Remind is typically used by teachers to connect with students and parents, anyone in the EGHS community that follows and/or participates in #EGHSMatters is invited to join the EGHSMatters "class" on Remind to receive broadcast messages and reminders to help them continue to provide a culture of kindness and appreciation in our school and community.

Remind is a free, safe and simple product that helps teachers connect instantly with students and parents. By making communication simpler and more efficient through mobile, Remind seeks to improve how teachers, students and parents all connect with one another.

  • Remind is free: You can sign up in 15 seconds and start connecting for free.
  • Remind is safe: Personal phone numbers are always kept private.
  • Remind is simple: You can use Remind to send or schedule reminders, documents or motivational messages directly to students’ and parents’ phones, with no reply-back.

To join the EGHSMatters "class" on Remind, follow these simple instructions:

Download the Remind app for iPhone or Android as a student or a parent or scan the QR code below:
Search for the EGHSMatters class by tapping the “+” next to “My classes" 
Enter @egmatters and sign up

Don’t have a smartphone? 
Text @egmatters to (401) 566-3679 or send an e-mail to: and sign up. 

You can also visit and enter your phone number to sign up.
Note: Even though you are entering your phone number, Matter will never see your personal contact information and it will be kept secure.

When you sign up, you will receive messages and suggestions on how you can let people know that they matter every day.  Sometimes a gentle and positive reminder is all people need to keep the momentum moving forward and to change the world for the better.

Now, let's get to work...
Avengers Assemble!