I was sitting at my desk, trying to catch up on my emails, when a call came over our radios that we had a runner. By the time I reached the door, the student was coming back. His teacher brought him to the office so we could talk about what happened. Of course, the student was a kindergarten student, and he was about in tears. After we talked about the reasons why we don’t run from school, I asked the student if there was something that he needed. His response was perfect:
“I just need someone to teach me how to do school!”
While I shared this will staff as a reminder that misbehavior isn’t always intentional, as a leader I also had to take this to heart.
How often do I assume that the reason a teacher isn’t implementing a strategy or following an expectation is an intentional rebellion against it? What if, instead, I checked in with the staff member to reteach the expectation or strategy. What if, I sought to understand the WHY behind the lack of compliance?
Another question I asked myself was, “What supports do I have in place so that new staff don’t feel this way?” Sure, they all have a mentor or buddy teacher. However, there are so many little nuisances such as lunch count, entering the lunch room, lining up at recess, and morning announcements. As a leader, it’s impossible for me to list these things. I can, however, make sure to check in with each new staff member at the end of the day to remind them they are doing a wonderful job! Sometimes a little reassurance is all they need to feel like they know how to do school.
I strive to learn something each day, and I am excited to share that a sweet little kindergartener taught me a valuable lesson!