How Hasmonean Multi-Academy Trust used Thankbox to celebrate 227 teachers and staff
Teachers are one of the most important members of our society. They give our children purpose, guidance and set them up for success in the world. We all know we should take any opportunity to express gratitude to our children’s teachers but organising it as a group is hard to do.
This is exactly why Hasmonean, a Multi Academy Trust with two schools in London, took matters into their own hands and decided to organise their own teacher appreciation initiative in early December 2022.
Want a sneak peek of the result? It involves a teacher crying happy tears of joy in a park while confused bystanders wonder what's wrong.
Hasmonean Teacher Appreciation Week
The school wanted to set up a “thank you” card for each teacher and have students & parents share their warm words of gratitude.
Hasmonean faced an issue, though - how to collect all of these messages in a way that was easy to use and share? They wanted each teacher to have their own dedicated card, which can be easily linked to, and a simple way for messages to be added to it.
That’s when Benji Shebson, their director of Marketing and Development, found Thankbox and reached out to us. We instantly loved the idea and offered to help - explaining how Thankbox could streamline this whole process for him. After seeing that Thankbox would be the perfect solution for each teacher’s group card, he went all in.
Hasmonean created 227 Thankbox cards - one for each teacher. In the span of just a week managed to collect a total of 2,205 messages across all of them! A result which, in their words “was way more than we were hoping for!”
One teacher said "Reading those messages has made the last 2 years worth it."
The Thankbox team was absolutely thrilled with Hasmonean’s teacher gratitude initiative. We wanted to learn more about what it took to organise it and the effect it had on the school and staff. So we sat down with Benji and asked him to share the story.
Increase the happiness in the world by setting up your first Thankbox today. Send your appreciation to a staff member or friend. It only takes a minute to get started.
Can you you first tell us a bit about Hasmonean? How many students do you have? How many staff?
Hasmonean is a Multi Academy Trust (MAT) with two schools under its remit. Across the MAT we have over 1300 students and over 240 dedicated staff including teachers and support staff.
What prompted you to have a “teacher appreciation week”?
We are always trying to focus on our amazing staff and think of creative ways to help make the teaching experience more manageable. We believe that being a teacher is one of the most selfless jobs one can do. As we all know, you don't become a teacher for the salary!
"We asked our parents to send as many messages of thanks as possible - and boy they didn't disappoint."
The Executive Leadership team constantly sees the pressure our staff are under and the lengths they go to in order to ensure our students' success. We thought that if we could help our staff see the impact they are making, it would make the challenge that much more enjoyable. So, we organised a whole week dedicated to staff appreciation and as part of that we asked our parents to send as many messages of thanks as possible - and boy they didn't disappoint.
How were you thinking of tackling the message gathering challenge before Thankbox?
We really didn't know how we would manage the idea we had! At one point we were going to rely on setting up a Google form and asking some staff to help pull the reports and answers and then send to each staff member it was relevant to.
Luckily, we found Thankbox to help us avoid that huge challenge.
What attracted you to Thankbox as the solution?
Thankbox offered us pretty much exactly what we wanted - a way for parents to leave messages of thanks and support to each staff member. On top of that, the whole process was automated - meaning it was some initial set up but once we had done that, Thankbox took over and handled everything - with amazing efficiency I might add!
How was the uptake amongst parents and students? Were you happy with how many messages you collected?
We were really delighted with the uptake amongst our parents and students. Of course, we would always want more but as this was the first time we had done something like this we were overall very delighted with how it went.
To finish, the most important question: What was the reaction of the teachers when they all received their Thankboxes?
There was really positive feedback from staff about the messages they received.
One teacher said that they had been working with a set of students for over a year and only understood now how effective that work has been from the beautiful message their parents left.
Another said they read their messages while walking their dog in the park. They started crying their eyes out, completely overwhelmed by the support they received - to the confusion of innocent bystanders. They later said that it has given them a new boost to work even harder as they recognise the impact they can make!
Wow - what a journey! We might be biased but we think that over 200 teachers each receiving a memorable card from their school, students and parents is worth celebrating!
Our thanks to Benji for being so open to sharing this heartwarming story with us. And, of course, for choosing Thankbox to be the engine that delivered the kind words of appreciation to the Hasmonean staff.
Do you work at a school or other big institution and want to organise your own staff appreciation initiative? Just contact us and we’d be more than happy to help you!
We’re always looking at ways to help increase the collective happiness in the world.