By Micah Lee
College of Education, Alumna
Teachers spend a lot of energy and time building relationships with their students and the parents of those students, but there are other relationships within the school building that are often overlooked and those are the relationships between teaching colleagues. While building relationships with one’s students is so important and vital to successful classroom management, eventually those students will move on to the next grade and a new teacher. Building relationships with one’s colleagues can provide advice, guidance, a listening ear that truly understands and even a good belly laugh when it is needed most!
Other Teachers Have Brilliant Ideas
While spending the majority of the day in your own classroom, it may become easy to feel alone and forget about the wealth of ideas, expertise and years of experience that surround you. A task that seems confusing or even impossible has, more than likely, already been accomplished by another teacher on your campus. Find those teachers who are expertise in something such as classroom management, guided reading, math talks, etc. and seek their advice and ideas. Remember to seek more than advice and ideas, seek those relationships that can take on the form of mentors. Mentors not only provide guidance but also help teachers find their own expertise, their own methods and their own voice.
Other Teachers Just Get It
Let’s face it, teaching can be challenging and stressful all while being the best job on the planet. No one will understand your challenges, stresses, celebrations or emotions quite like another teacher will. While it is true that other teachers will understand and can relate, it is important to remember that negativity can and will spread like wildfire. Teachers need to surround themselves with understanding and positive colleagues; a well-intended collaboration can quickly turn into a gripe fest that leaves everyone feeling bummed if one does not proceed with caution.
Have a Good Belly Laugh
Teaching is a very important job that matters every single day, but it is also a joyous profession that can present many smiles and opportunities for laughter. Seek those teachers who enjoy laughing, sharing funny stories and listening to the silly tales of others! Colleagues who are willing to laugh with you are the ones who can turn that stressful day into a joyful day. Well known educator and author, Kim Bearden wrote, “Walk toward individuals who exude excellence and goodness and surround yourself with those who make you a better person. Bond with individuals who are good for your soul.” A teacher who bonds with other teachers gains so much more than just new friends, that teacher gains relationships that can make them a better teacher and an even greater person!
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