Finding ways to encourage and support colleagues
For the last six years, I have taught grade one and two at Timothy Christian School in Rexdale. I am passionate about teaching in a Christian school because of the twenty-six students who come strolling into my classroom every morning. These students are images of Christ with whom I get to share my love of God. In Christian education, I am free to openly praise Him for everything that happens within those walls, from a classroom full of laughter because a child has unexpected hiccups to a group of students who work together to figure out what melts ice.
This past summer, I was given a unique opportunity to attend the OCSAA Leadership Conference. At first, it was intimidating to sit in a room full of seasoned principals. As the week progressed, however, I developed a better understanding of the responsibilities of principals, which include their own set of intimidating circumstances. I also came away with a better understanding of how I could encourage my colleagues and what support I would like from my principal.
The first important step in supporting me is to know me. We are quick to recognize the talents of our students, and very quick to differentiate in order to obtain the best from them, so the same should be done for the sta. As an adult, I will do my best in every situation, but if you want me to flourish, use my gifts and talents to guide me.
Secondly, communicate with me. Give me feedback, but be gentle. I appreciate face-to-face conversation, but also send me an email. This will allow me to check back on what was discussed and to keep track of what needs to get done.
Thirdly, keep me accountable. Don’t tell me my goals, but work with me to develop appropriate goals.
Then help me to achieve those goals by checking in with me and keeping me accountable for what needs to be accomplished.
Finally, encourage me. I put a lot of eort into my teaching because I love teaching. My joy comes from my students, but a little recognition for a job well done from my principal would give me that little extra push to keep on doing more.
The OCSAA Leadership Conference was a great opportunity for personal reflection, but it was also a key opportunity to find ways of encouraging those around me. Within a school, we support our students, but we should also find ways of supporting our colleagues.