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By Angela Maiers

Where Mattering is on the Schedule!

At East Greenwich High School in Rhode Island, “Mattering” is on the schedule!

Vice Principal, Tim Chace, believes that the relationship formed between a teacher and his student is more important, and will go further, than the content learned.

Inspired by the “You Matter” Talk at TEDxDesMoines, Tim created a “You Matter” Form for his school where both teachers and students could fill out the form, letting a co-worker or teacher know that something they did made a difference. This “You Matter” form was met with great enthusiasm. Take a look at the forms and read all about the culture change of mattering at EGHS.

Do the people in your life know that they matter to you?


Mattering at East Greenwich High School, By Tim Chace

It’s just a simple idea and a simple Google form.

But the results were far from simple.

In late April I decided to build it after seeing the You Matter speech and understanding the power of the message.

It was a tough year, as it is for most public schools. There is a powerlessness and debilitating feeling among many faculties that feel overwhelmed with all of the regulation from outside agencies, trying to work independently with kids to help them improve while being forced to teach in a one size must fit all “accountability” system and while listening to constant attacks in the media and from politician, “reformers” etc.

I make a regular practice of trying to notice at least 2-3 things a day that I can tell people face to face that they are making a difference and that they matter… but what if I could extend that… let everyone do it…. easily… quickly… as part of our culture…

What would happen then?

Attached is a screen shot of the form that I quickly developed… people have access to it through our student management system as well as through the emails that they receive when someone fills the form out for them.

Where Mattering is on the Schedule Where Mattering is on the Schedule

I started it out by sending 6 messages to people… no fanfare… no announcement… didn’t even sign them.

By the next day 27 more had gone out.

People were surprised at how receiving one affected them and their day.  One teacher (15+ year veteran) came to see me at lunch duty and said she was in tears because she didn’t think anyone noticed what she did and it was the nicest thing that’s ever happened at work.

And those were the unsolicited ripples from my “original six”… a few days later I explained what I was doing at a faculty meeting and let it take off from there.  By the end of the year we had 361 “you matters” go out to a faculty of about 80.  And it did change our culture.

Then with May being Teacher Appreciation Month, I decided to use it for another purpose, and chronicled it here.

I hope that you can see and understand how You Matter rippled out into the world and continues to do so in our little neck of the woods.