Do I work in a perfect school? By no means!
Is this a great place to work? Absolutely!
Not every day is easy, there are times when the stresses of work get to us. There are things that happen that help make the terrible, bearable.
Play together – Every school should have fun activities that involve the students like Pyjama Days. But there should also be events that are just for the staff. Have a Secret Santa or a Secret Valentine. Go out for a meal during Teachers’ Convention or on a PD Day. Celebrate the start of the school year and the end of the school year. Celebrate making it through a tough week, or a long month. Look for reasons to celebrate and enjoy being together. If there are people who are reluctant to go out after work and enjoy social time, then keep the social time at school.
Be Open – Get to know each other. Take time to learn about what each others interests are and show that you care about each other. Share your ideas and what you are learning with others. This doesn’t mean you have to be FaceBook friends with everyone on staff, but we should all know enough about each other that we can ask how things are going. How is your family? How is that new puppy? Is your son enjoying college? Knowing details about people’s lives and expressing interest shows that you value them and relationships.
Learn together -When the school takes on a new initiative, or has one imposed on them, why not tackle the learning together. A book study might sound really boring to some people, but encourage everyone to try it out. Plan after-school discussion times about interesting topics. Engage staff on email, Twitter, Blogs about topics that impact the teaching and learning.
Accept differences – We need to be models of diversity and acceptance of others. We are all unique and conduct our classrooms and teaching in different ways. That’s what makes us great. We aren’t all the same and can learn to value what is different about us.
Be Accountable – We need to know that people are there to support us, but also to call us out when we need a reminder. Our division uses the Healthy Interactions model. It ties in really well to Seven Habits thinking as well. There is no reason that we should allow someone to continue with a behaviour that is detrimental to themselves or to the staff. Healthy Interactions:
The Healthy Interactions Program trains all staff in the jurisdiction in the communication and conflict-resolution skills they need to handle parental complaints and other concerns. Participants finish the program with increased confidence in dealing with concerns.
Overlook a Lot! – In our classrooms and in our schools many things happen that just need to be ignored. No one is perfect, and no one needs to be called out on everything that they might slip up on. As leaders and colleagues, we need to choose those things that we want to deal with and make an issue out of. We need to “Choose which hill we want to die on”
Grieve together – Bad Things happen. We need to know each other well enough to work through those things. We also need to know each other well enough to understand that we all grieve differently and allow for that.
Don’t forget it’s always about relationships – There is nothing more important than the relationships. That includes relationships with other staff, students, parents and the community. Results, profits, NOTHING takes precedence over relationships. I can’t remember my marks in any of my classes when I was in school. But I certainly do remember the teachers and what I perceived they thought about me!