Relationships are key in being a successful teacher. And not just our relationships with students. Just as important are our relationships with colleagues and other staff who work in the district. The longer I'm a teacher, the more I realize how vital all staff are to smooth operations. Here are just a few examples.
I'm not sure how many times DAILY I turn to the administrative assistant for answers to some question or help figuring out the new copier or aid in figuring out where to find something or...well the list is pretty much endless as to what I look to her for help. In her patient way, she nods, smiles and helps. ALWAYS. Lu has answers to questions I don't have...yet...but probably will at some point. And you know what? She'll answer them in the same patient manner. She is vital to my success as a teacher.
Recently I received a grant for a lunch time book club offered at my school. Without the aid of the support staff who didn't just walk me through the process but completed the ordering process for me, I'd still be sitting in my room with a goofy look wondering what I'm supposed to do to get these books. Yet here was Shirley, helpful as always, telling my book club partner and me that this is how she makes a difference in kids' lives--by helping teachers. Wow. Just wow!
And then there's the administrative assistant to our assistant superintendent. She is always ready to answer a question, give help in getting stuff arranged for our WAR conference and give access to our assistant superintendent by helping me schedule meetings in a timely manner. Taunya is so helpful and patient. I think that is a per-requisite for this type of job. Have patience with uneducated teachers and lead them patiently down the paths they need to navigate.
The list goes on but two relationships I've fostered that have really impacted me has been with our director of technology and the director of the foundation.The director of technology challenges me, almost daily, to look at things from a different perspective. He has also been amazing in helping meet technological needs in my classroom. Joel is a steady force in the lives of teachers, leading in a quiet but strong manner, making his presence known and his help available.
The other relationship I've found essential to my career as a teacher is with the director of our education foundation. Emilia has helped me find grants to apply for, held my hand through the process, answered my dumb questions about the mini-grants the foundation offers, and been the fiscal agent for the WAR conference. Another steady force who excels at her job and works to help teachers be successful in the classroom.
Relationships are key in the lives of teachers and not just the relationships we establish with students. The relationships we have with colleagues in our district are just as vital for us to be successful as teachers. My only problem with these relationships? I don't thank the people enough for their work and support in my role as a teacher. And that's on me. The list merely begins with these people. There are many more whose support is vital to my success in the classroom. Because of their help, we can make a difference. All of us together, none of us apart.