Whoa, three weeks in a row! That is good for me. Hopefully I can keep it up.
Today’s post has to do with leadership. One of the things this reminds me of is the activity a teacher started by having his students write “I wish my teacher knew…” Some extended this to “I wish my parents knew…” and “I wish my principal knew…”
If I had any foresight, I might have interviewed some folks about what the principal should know. But, I didn’t. Sorry. So, I decided to steal from this post about this idea. These responses were from a WeAreTeachers survey and not necessarily reflective of my current or past administrators. I may be tenured, but I’m not stupid.
Treat us like professionals. This is a big one for our field, it seems. I am fortunate to be working for an administrator who does this. He understands that we have worked hard to get where we are, and that our time is valuable. It is very helpful when he is able to trust us to do our jobs, as professionals.
Be Positive. As the educational leader of our school, the positive attitude of the administration is good. Getting “called to the principal’s office” is still a source of anxiety for many of us. Because teaching is so difficult and emotionally draining at times, getting a realistic (and genuine) positive comment can be what helps us keep moving forward.
Lighten Our Workload– Not that our Admin doesn’t have enough on their plate, but helping us to lighten our load can boost moral and respect. There are many things that are a part of the natural ebb and flow of teaching, but lightening our workload (or not adding unnecessary things) can help the overwhelming-ness of teaching not seem so overwhelming.
We Want You to Provide Consequences/Discipline. One teacher mentioned wanting someone else to ‘be the bad guy’ sometimes can help. While we work our own classroom discipline plans, knowing we have the support of Admin on this issue can really help relieve some of the burden. Sometimes, another call home from the teacher is not going to help. Sometimes, we need that contact to be from someone else. That, we the teacher, are not simply picking on ‘their kid”.
We Appreciate You. Sometimes, as teachers, it can be tempting to see the admin in an adversarial role. Sometimes this is our own issues; sometimes it is because of the leadership style of the admin. No matter what your leader “looks like”, let them know you appreciate them.
They are often the one parents call. They also have a boss and have expectations given to them that they have no control over, just like us. They mess up. They forget stuff. We should be able to empathize with that and sometimes we should: treat them like a professional, trusting that they have our students’ interests in mind, be positive. They get a bunch of stuff too. They lead our school, the best they know how. They are often still learning, too. Give them some grace, too.
We are leaders, whether it is over a school or our classrooms. We are in this together.