Big applause to all the educators who survived the most difficult year, if not THE hardest, in education. With that in mind, education was forced to opt for new ways to continue the pace of learning among the students. Flexibility played a great role; however, as we move forward, there is still a cloud of uncertainty hanging over education. The most important of all is relationship-building.
Relationship-building is crucial in schools, classrooms, and between teachers, students, and parents. Though COVID-19 left an unprecedented mark, which we just survived, it has convinced most skeptical educators to focus on relationship-building for student success and teacher retention. The relationship between a teacher and principal can be wrangling sometimes. By nature, a principal has to do different things at different times in different situations. They are supportive, reprimanding, demanding, encouraging, omnipresent, elusive, and other things. Being a teacher, one must understand that the principal often indulges themselves in any role that they need to help teachers improve and grow.
Trust is a two-way street that is earned over time. Building a trusting relationship between a teacher and principal is crucial for the overall development of the school and the stakeholders. There are no singular actions that will lead to developing a trusting relationship; rather, a course of action over an extended period is required to earn that trust.
Here, in this blog, we provide you with exclusive and most effective ways that can help build and strengthen trust among principals and teachers-
Give Full Attention and Time
Educators often lack time, as their hands are already full of work and other stuff. But whenever you talk to a teacher, whether face-to-face or virtually, give them your undivided attention. Make them feel that whatever they are feeling or saying is important to you also. Even though they already know you are aware of it, small acts can make a huge difference. Being present during a conversation but not being present shows disrespect and carelessness towards your peers. Thus, make sure you convey and value what the other person is saying through body language. This matters, so pour into your staff such moments in the cafeteria, workroom, hallway, etc., building the principal’s relationship with the teacher.
Reach out and Communicate
You might be thinking, what do you mean by ‘reach out?’ We see them daily during school, so how should we reach out? Being present physically and passing by daily does not necessarily mean that you are communicating or understanding what a teacher might be going through. Saying things like, ‘my door is always open if you need me’ builds confidence among teachers, as they know that they can visit anytime if there’s a problem. Though not all teachers take time to track down their struggles and mental health, they sometimes ignore it. But the feeling of pushing beyond the limit can take a toll. Therefore, to alleviate the stress, get out and talk things through with your administration and build a healthy relationship between teachers.
Communicating is one of the best ways to open up and build relationships. Also, reach out to your staff with a quick text, ask them how their vacations are going, add them on social media, tag teachers in fun things, or share interesting things with them. Engage and make them feel connected so that school meetings also feel like a family reunion after the summer break.
Include them in every activity
Inclusion is a popular and crucial way to make your staff feel important and respected. Instead of just updating them with newsletters or emails, try to connect through various other ways. For instance, if you have a building leadership team, share the notes with your staff as it provides them access and encouragement. They also get to make important decisions on issues. Also, invite them to attend leadership meetings as guests. Additionally, seek out the staff’s opinions and ideas, especially those who tend to remain quiet or reserved. Many teachers are introverted, so make sure their voice is heard.
It isn’t new or unique, but we know it is important. Celebrating festivals, birthdays, events, and other activities together is good for building an impactful and trustworthy relationship among faculties and principals. Before the meeting, ask the staff if they want to share or celebrate anything; such an impact of the whole staff celebration amplifies teachers. Moreover, celebrate personally and professionally. For instance, if you are doing a newsletter, include a celebration column or if you are sharing emails for announcements or information, include some good things that interest them. Doing such things positively will make others want to know more about that activity or celebration.
Lean into your Staff’s Emotions
The relationship between a principal and a teacher is fragile. There are always some tough situations where emotions are high between them. The best way to handle such situations is to lean in. It is a simple strategy to validate the feelings and emotions of your staff. For instance, a principal can tell the teacher that you understand they are not feeling well for certain reasons, and they can take a day off. Show them you can see their side of the issue and redirect them. This method goes a long way in building a great relationship between the principal and teachers and the school culture.
Now that the pandemic is over and out and schools are returning to their normal routine let’s focus on strengthening the relationship of principals with their teachers and students. Get-togethers throughout the year, goodie days, celebrations, and appreciation can go a long way in reciprocating the feeling and respect among the staff.
If you’re struggling with school efficiency and relationship building among principal and faculty members, Edutinker can help you with our one-stop solution. Contact us or visit our website to know more.