Forced Morale

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by KinderCowgirl, Dec 7, 2012.

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  1. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    So I wanted to see what you guys think of this idea-I think it's a little misguided. Our staff is in kind of a funk right now. So in an effort to boost morale and do something "fun" a plan was devised. They are mandating days where you have to wear holiday shirts with jeans and one where it's ugly Christmas sweater day. Now they are afraid people will not participate, so if anyone on your team does not comply, then no one on your team can wear jeans the rest of the year (we do casual Fridays). :rolleyes:

    I want to talk to my team and see if they are going to do it. I certainly wouldn't want to be the one to hold them back (they adore their jean days), however, I do not own holiday shirts, ugly holiday sweaters or even enough pairs of jeans that I would feel comfortable wearing to school for that many days-I'd have to go buy all that. Go team! ;)
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    This sort of thing happened all the time at my school in past years. We have a new admin now, so I'm hoping that those days are over.

    I wouldn't go out of my way to participate in these sorts of things, especially if it involved going out and buying ugly sweaters. No thanks. I might throw on a red ("holiday") shirt or a regular sweater and just wish that someone would tell me that it wasn't ugly enough. :lol:
     
  4. Accountable

    Accountable Companion

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    I'm screwed. I don't keep ugly sweaters. :lol:

    "Beatings will continue until morale improves!"
     
  5. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    I just read your post to my non-teaching wife. She said your school is too far gone for any raise in morale.

    Sorry.
     
  6. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I don't have any holiday shirts, ugly Christmas sweaters, or very many pairs of jeans for school either. I also feel self conscious about wearing some of those things at school (like the ugly sweater). I could probably be convinced to wear a holiday shirt once, but not for a lot of different days! I think it's ridiculous that they're threatening to take away your jean days for this.
     
  7. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    That is awful! We sometimes have optional extra jeans days with a Christmas shirt, but they always add that a red or green shirt works just as well. I don't have enough school jeans to make it through a week of jeans when we have them, I usually wash them and wear them again and I'm sure everone else does too. Maybe you could borrow an ugly sweater from someone, ugly sweater parties are popular. If you are interested in getting some holiday shirts, Target and Kohl's have some for $5-8, but I hate that you would have to buy them when you normally wouldn't.
     
  8. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Oh, and I just remembered this from some of the ugly sweater parties from years past - you can pin or hot glue some soft ornaments to a sweater or sweatshirt if you want to.
     
  9. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    They tried this sort of thing where I work and no one did it. Morale is very low. I wish I could change it for everyone, but telling people what to wear is not the answer.
     
  10. PolarBear

    PolarBear Rookie

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    Every day is jeans day out here. Welcome to the West Coast.
     
  11. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    I don't see how that's going to boost morale: make teachers do something they might not want to, possibly have to spend $$ and if they don't, something is taken away. ??

    Can't they change it to something less forced but still holidayish? For example wear a holiday shirt / sweater, or at least the certain colors (red, green, or even gold?) and extra bonus for an ugly sweatshirt?
    I happen to have a red and green sweater; if I didn't, I could see myself by a red sweater, because I would probably wear it here and there after, but I would never wear an ugly holiday sweater, let alone buy one...
     
  12. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    That's ridiculous. I don't own an "ugly christmas sweater" either. My admin keeps putting on "fun events" after school/weekends and then getting upset that no one shows up. We don't want to deal with the stress of work outside of the school day. The holiday party was tonight and my entire team didn't go...I'm sure we'll be hearing about that later. This is even worse though...what are these people thinking?
     
  13. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    I hate mandatory "fun" things like that, especially when there's the potential of spending $. I always joke that I'm not going to participate in stupid things, but I'm too chicken not to, lol. I usually do the bare minimum, enough to say that I did it, that way I still kind of feel like a rebel. :lol:

    Beth
     
  14. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    I'm a firm believer in staff activities that anyone can participate in if they want to and that don't require too much effort.

    We have a cookie exchange that I am participating in, because I like cooking, and a weird quirky gift exchange that I am opting out of because it involves finding out about a person and tailoring custom made gifts, one for each day that has to meet a theme, and as these things often go, it's expected to be humorous.

    I can't do forced planned humor. It's not my thing, and these kinds of events always go south for me (I spelt someone's last name wrong last year, and she wasn't even supposed to be in the event anyway).

    If you force everyone to do it, it defeats the purpose of fostering good morale.

    If you plan the events those who want to participate will, and those who don't will feel comfortable.
     
  15. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Seems like a goofy idea to me.
    But, our staff would come unglued if we lost our once a week jeans day!
     
  16. Accountable

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    I'm participating in one of these, but it's for our dept only. We filled out a 1/4 page form (hobby, collections, favorite drink, etc). It's among friends and was suggested by one of our own ... and it's voluntary. These are the ingredients needed to keep it fun, imo.
     
  17. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    That's a good idea Tasha-thanks!

    I'm glad it's not just me! ;) I know my staff and I know this is going to cause so many extra grumblings. Ugh.

    We do an Elf Exchange (like Secret Santa)-only 7 of our 60+ staff opted to participate and many who did are paras and cafeteria staff. :( That is also voluntary, but our numbers have never been that low before. We have our Christmas party next week...we'll see. I'm not going to go, just because it's after school and just too far away; I'd get home too late-my puppy needs to go out.
     
  18. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Morale suppression committee plan this?
     
  19. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    I'm waiting for next weeks memo from your principal which begins with a new requirement of mandatory smiling for all teachers. I guess some people don't get it.

    If this is a private school, then I'd just put up with it with only the bare minimum of compliance. If it is a public or charter school then what he is asking is unconstitutional, and I'd get a group of teachers together to fight it.
     
  20. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    There's no way to raise the morale by forcing them to do those things. Sorry you guys are going through that. They should try a more positive approach.
     
  21. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    This is horrible. I remember when we were strongly encouraged to participate in Talk Like a Pirate Day and dress up. Ugh. Makes you hate everybody even more.
     
  22. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Is the team penalized if your sweater isn't ugly enough?
     
  23. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I would just wear a normal sweater and decorate in some way to look ugly.

    Also, I agree with another suggestion that said for holiday shirts, just wear red or green.

    I wouldn't go out and buy something that I wouldn't wear again. Especially not an ugly sweater!
     
  24. Accountable

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    Seriously, though, this is a good example of leadership mixing up leading and chasing. You can't chase someone into something like this, meaning you can't order good morale.

    But a mandate like this can work on an individual level. I've experienced it myself. I was quite the sarcastic joker as a young staff sergeant in the Air Force, always ready with a snide remark or two. When I was reassigned to a new base, my new boss called me into his office. He let me know in no uncertain terms that he didn't like my attitude. He pointed out that it was contagious, and that my subordinates have started to display the same behavior. He then told me that I was to start displaying the proper attitude, whether I felt it or not. I was to come into work with a smile, and wear that smile all day.

    I'll be darned if my team didn't comment on my new attitude. They liked it. It made work go faster. Within a week or two the team's positive attitude had me turned around as well. I wasn't faking it any more. I discovered that one's behavior affected emotions every bit as much as emotions affect behavior. I'm positive all the time, now, even though I still have a sarcastic streak.

    But that could never have happened if the base commander had issued the same order to all personnel at once, and it can't happen just because a principal decrees it. It has to start small and spread.
     
  25. John Lee

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    Morale comes from attitude. It sounds like the administration thinks your staff (attitude) may be staid and complacent, and is simply attempting to address it. (I would have a problem with it if it infringed outside of school--forcing people to go to a holiday party or something).

    What is the big deal about going to the thrift store and picking up an "ugly sweater" for twenty bucks?
     
  26. Grammy Teacher

    Grammy Teacher Virtuoso

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    AS for the "ugly sweater," we have a thrift store that sells sweaters, etc for as low as fifty cents! I stopped in this week and they even have a rack of sweaters:lol: with a sign that says, "UGLY SWEATERS!" :DI looked through it for the fun of it and yes, they were really ugly!!! I laughed. :lol:
     
  27. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    It's one thing to plan morale events...quite another to penalize for non-participation.:mad:
     
  28. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    For some people spending $20 on something they would never wear and the HAVE to buy it is a big deal.
     
  29. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    It sounds like a case of "You ARE going to have fun and you ARE going to like it!"

    I vote for safety pinning a tree ornament to a sweater you already own.
     
  30. JustMe

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    Wow.

    I would not participate.
     
  31. dr.gator

    dr.gator Comrade

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    I remember one school where I worked at where the new P coming in had been ordered from the supt. above to improve moral at her new school since it was at an all time low. Big story behind how she got her job. Will save it to save you the time but the year before she got the job, she was our VP if that tells you anything.

    Anyhoo, her attempt was to start a monthly recognition which included the monthly awarding of "the dog bone", because she wanted us to all be top dogs. The bone was from her husband's cow field. He raised cattle. They were hideous. Of course morale was low and something so cheesy wasn't about to improve it. The dog bone award actually caused morale to dip deeper, because the bone would inevitably get "stuck" in some clique and would never be evenly distributed amongst all faculty members. It was horrible, so I know how you feel.

    But, for the sanity of the group if they are tying it to wearing jeans the rest of the year, I'd go to a local thrift store and see what I could find. Not only are you helping out your coworkers, but if you go to some charity thrift store that money always goes back to the charity. Consider it a "gift" you give to your community, self, and colleagues.
     
  32. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I could imagine my faculty deciding as a group to not participate at all..
     
  33. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    That's what I hope would happen. Zero participation.
     
  34. orangetea

    orangetea Connoisseur

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    I agree that the best option would be zero participation.
     
  35. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    JohnLee

    What is the big deal about going to the thrift store and picking up an "ugly sweater" for twenty bucks?

    Simple...twenty bucks
     
  36. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Oh heck no!!! I wear what I want, per the Union contract, with no punitive action expected for me or my teammates. Your Admin has lost their minds.

    These are the type of stupid, non-teaching-related things that make me hate my job (not teaching, but my school/district). I do not have the time for nonsense and petty/trivial stuff coming from the "adults."
     
  37. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    1. I am a grown adult. No one tells me what to wear (per my Union contract). Period.

    2. Give me $20 to buy it.
     
  38. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Absolutely!
     
  39. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    We had an enforced White Elephant party for our department this week. My team within the department turned it into a book swap. I don't think our principal was thrilled that we simply opened the wrapping and started reading as the other teams whooped it up with gag gifts. Oh, well!
     
  40. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Exactly!

    Not only the twenty bucks, but I don't own ugly things :D.:rolleyes:
     
  41. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    MissScrimmage
    Groupie
    I vote for safety pinning a tree ornament to a sweater you already own
    .


    Or you could just staple a standardized test to a sweater. Now, that would be one UGLY sweater!
     
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