“Mrs. Eckert is truly an expert at making teachers feel valued, appreciated, and supported. Between scratch-offs for hour lunches and Popcorn Wednesdays, she managed to make work seem less stressful for her teachers. Not that all the stress was magically gone- that would be a miracle. But, because of our work environment, the stress was outweighed by the thought of knowing we were all appreciated greatly. Little, fun things that meant a lot to us helped make our year. Out of all of the many strategies she had up her sleeve, my favorites were “We Love October,” (yes, a whole month of feeling like a teacher queen,) and a letter of appreciation sent to us by a family member. I was lucky enough to be there for that last one twice. Now I have a letter from both my son and my daughter that I will cherish forever. How did she manage that one?
Her support was just as magical and was always important to me. I don’t know how she managed to support her teachers the way she did. In that part, we could only see the support-not how she managed it. Maybe that is a personal trait of hers, but we all felt it. It was like she knew us inside and out. Getting our input for campus improvement, professional development, etc. made us feel valued. The things she did to show support for her teachers made her teachers want to support her back. We knew that she valued us and we wanted to make sure we lived up to this. I wanted to be the best version of myself as a teacher. I think we all did.”
Mitzi Noland, ELA Teacher
“As a young teacher of 22, I went into education to change the world. I wanted to be the hero in my student's story--cape and all. However, as in most cases, it takes more than just "want" to become the superhero I was meant to be. Then, I met Kathleen Eckert. Kathleen didn't just "tell" me how to behave and act as a teacher, she showed me. It wasn't in a big, grand gesture, or an inspirational speech at PD, it was in a thousand small moments. When I succeeded, she celebrated with me through notes, through candy, through laughter. When I failed, she spoke to me as a person. She asked questions and assumed my best intentions vs. assuming I was in the wrong. And when I was in the wrong (and there were plenty), she provided me with corrections, patched up my cape, and when I walked out her door I knew I was no less loved than when I went in. When I was in a car accident that left me in the hospital, she was the only administrator to come and visit. She brought me a gift that made me smile, and in that moment, I knew she wasn't just there because she was my "boss" but because she cared. When I was at my lowest, and my cape was all but burned to pieces, I called Kathleen. She answered the phone with these words, "Are you ready to come work with me yet?". Those 9 words brought me hope and in those 9 words, she removed the ashes on my cape, and handed me a new one. I spent more than half of my career working for Kathleen, and if it wasn't for a move, I'd still work for her. Through three schools, I followed my superhero. My superhero who taught me to fly, who taught me to make my own cape, and in turn, has taught me how to provide others with their capes. You see-anyone can wear a cape, but when you find a cape maker--you'd follow them anywhere.”
Sarah Chambers, ELA & Special Education Teacher
“Kathleen Eckert is a dynamic speaker who really embodies great leadership practices. I had the pleasure of listening to her delivery practical applications from her book this summer and I was blown away. Eckert can talk the talk because she has walked the walk. She captivated the audience with clear, concise advice backed with real life application stories. I cannot overstate how much her influence has shaped my leadership philosophy.”
Dr. Logan Lacy, Principal Brady High School
"I feel reenergized and excited to take these strategies back to my campus to improve campus culture!"
Kayla Livingston, Assistant Principal Wayside Middle School
“In a period when school ethos is taking a major hit, this refreshing book from a middle school principal offers hundreds of ideas for restoring optimism and joy in education. Kathleen Eckert has truly "walked the walk" and her book is filled with pictures, artifacts, and lessons learned from the plethora of activities she and her teachers have actually done. Her philosophy is inspiring and her practicality is refreshing. If your goal is to reclaim optimism on your campus, this is a great place to start.”
Debbie Silver, Author and Educator
“Teachers are always giving to others and often feel unappreciated. School Transformation Through Teacher Appreciation gave simple and effective ways to celebrate teachers and create a positive school culture.”
Dr. NaMicha Williams, Principal Fossil Hill Middle School