By Anne Billington
In my opinion, teaching is one of the noblest professions one can commit to. As educators, we are second parents, role models, doctors, psychologists, hair dressers, dentists, etc. We deal with BIG attitudes, hormones, cyber-bullying, drug abuse, and a little bit of everything. It depends on the day or the hour. There is a lot of stress that comes with the job. But, there are many wonderful things that come with it as well. I love being an educator! However, the STRESS can get to you!
As a school administrator, I know that happy teachers create happy and healthy learners. Here are a few tips that might help other administrators:
• Try to create a home away from home at your school. (Decorate the staff bathrooms like home, not institution; for the workroom, use bright colors, put in a Keurig for cappuccino and add a nice recliner.)
• Celebrate successes big or small (The STAR scores went up, Johnny had a full day being “blurt-free” in the classroom, a son or daughter used the potty chair for the first time, etc.)
• Let the staff in on the big picture (Create a building where all stakeholders feel empowered to share their ideas)
• Show the staff you trust them (Stop micromanaging and let teachers do their jobs!)
• Treat everyone with respect and as individuals. (Golden Rule)
• List the best thing that happened in your day! Share out in an email, Group-Me, stand-up meeting, etc.
• Laugh- Jokes in the teacher staff bathroom or funny announcements over the intercom
• Dress-up days- Hat days, crazy hair days, twin days, etc.
• Carry-in’s- Have a different theme every month! Everyone loves to eat.
• Place positive notes in staff mailboxes
• Use a staff meeting to make dinner together as a team (Team builder and dinner is ready to serve at home for an early bedtime)
Anne Billington has been the K-6 elementary principal and federal programs director at Grundy R-V. She will begin her new adventure as an elementary principal in Mexico, MO, much closer to home.