Principals, I know you’re busy going to the next meeting or addressing the next discipline issue, but your teachers need you to know some things. Here is what they want to tell you:
- Just as you get overwhelmed when more gets piled on, so do I. I want to try new things too. I want to change the world too. Let’s figure this out together without the stress of “more.” Create conditions that allow me opportunities to dream and be innovative.
- I want to push myself, find out how fast, high, far, etc. I can really go. Will you not only support me in this, but push me to do it?
- Be there for me and let me know I’m believed in. Find me in the morning or afternoon, ask me about my life outside of school, and let your actions and words manifest your belief in me.
- When you walk through my classroom, I need affirmation. Every time. Not feedback every time, but affirmation. There are appropriate times for feedback and it’s needed, but not in the same way affirmation is needed. I know you are crazy busy. It doesn’t have to be formal (I’d prefer it not be). I can only be the best version of myself if you partner with me in this.
- I want to be actively involved in school-wide decision making. More than just the holiday party planning. The more you involve me, the more I feel empowered to come to you proactively with new ideas and solutions. I don’t just want to understand your vision, I want to be an active part of it.
Are you up for the challenge? The challenge of asking and listening. The challenge of creating an environment where teachers can share their hopes, dreams, and obstacles with you?