Working With – Back to School Advice
It is that time of the year that makes all teachers a little frantic. It is BACK TO SCHOOL time. All the stores have sales. There are endless commercials on TV. Even if you are organized and ready, all that social media adds an element of stress to your life.
My classes start next Monday. It is hard to look out my window at the beautiful sunshine as I work to get ready for my students. I’d rather be walking by the lake ……and I love school.
Every year is a new year, a new chance, and a new start. Nothing stays the same: new standards, new assessments, new technology, new students, new faculty. While I am one to embrace change, it can sometimes be overwhelming.
I have been working on a variety of new initiatives. Over the past few days my email, texting, and even my phone have all been very busy. I have just in the past few minutes received prompt replies from colleagues who have been helpful, supportive, cheerful. …and the source of this blog post. How much easier and enjoyable our tasks are when we approach them with a positive attitude and how fortunate I am to work with kind, caring, energetic, and very intelligent colleagues.
My advice to you for the new school year is twofold:
- Build and cultivate strong professional relationships with your colleagues. You are working together for the good of your students. You have the same goals to guide you. If you are an experienced teacher be a mentor to new faculty and staff. I know student teachers and first year teachers who will be in classrooms with you in a few days. They really need your support. I also remember being the new teacher at the first faculty meeting, and I am so thankful to those teachers who extended a smile and a warm welcome. Some of my most cherished friends greeted me as a stranger on a first day of school. If you are a beginning teacher or new to the school, put a smile on your face and reach out. I know it can be scary, but the benefits of seeking and building supportive relationships are endless.
- Build and cultivate relationships with your students. Create a caring community of learners in your classroom. Get to know your students and who they are outside the classroom. Alfie Kohn talks about a “working with” attitude that is so important in our classroom and your faculty room.
So as you return to your classrooms, remember to be a role model for positive professional relationships and positive interactions with students. Resist the temptation to complain. Nobody likes a whiner.
Enjoy the remaining days of summer. Stay positive. AND SMILE OFTEN!
Just for Smiles and Kindness