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Team up with teachers who are saying yes to joy, growth, and positive campus climate. There’s a trap waiting for every teacher, and it’s easy to fall into. Here’s how:First, find a coworker. Together, talk down about students. Speak negatively about other teachers. Fear change. Complain, blame, and

Feb 07, 2018

Team up with teachers who are saying yes to joy, growth, and positive campus climate.


There’s a trap waiting for every teacher, and it’s easy to fall into. Here’s how:

First, find a coworker. Together, talk down about students. Speak negatively about other teachers. Fear change. Complain, blame, and find a problem with every solution.

Oh, yes. That will get you stuck really quickly.

Friendships on campus can make or break a school. Staff members become team members when we support and lift one another up — and doing the opposite will break down campus morale in a flash. Plus, signing up for negativity will deplete your happiness and turn the profession you chose out of love into a chore.

If you’re in the market for feel-good work friendships that will increase your professional productivity and passion, choose wisely. Here are our three favorite “types” to buddy up with.

The Cheerleader

Here’s a surefire way to find out who your school’s best teammates are: Watch how staff members react when others are celebrated and recognized. Truly great teachers are rooting for the success of the teacher next door just as hard as they are for the students in their own classrooms.

Negative and disengaged teachers tarnish the climate of the whole school. If you want to make a student-centered, life-giving impact as a teacher — choose allies who have the self-confidence to praise and support their colleagues.

There are two keys to this invaluable teacher friend: the cheer and the leader.

The cheer is way more than just the extra pep in their step. These teachers choose joy every day. They refuse to dull their shine, they dream big, and they devote powerful, focused energy to lifting students and colleagues up. These teachers are coworkers who will help you find your sparkle and spread it contagiously.

Cheerleaders are also often the ones modeling true leadership qualities. Look for coworker friends who listen, trust, and genuinely appreciate the commitment of others. They have your back.

The Helper

Being a teacher who is incredibly intelligent is wonderful.

Being a teacher who is kind, serving, and willing to get down in the trenches is even better.

Stay on the lookout for educators who are always looking to help. They don’t wait for someone to ask for assistance — they look for ways they can roll up their sleeves and jump in. They provide tools and resources. They provide opportunities for service to others.

The best part of saddling up with these teachers? They will show you how to do the same.

The Inspiration

We need to surround ourselves with educators of all types, teachers across grades, curriculums, and experience levels. Otherwise, we’ll get stymied.

If you feel like you’re the “best” teacher out of those around you, it’s time to ditch your ego and branch out. Find inspiring educators that are accomplishing fresh and amazing feats — they’re the ones who are going to motivate you toward growth.

Listen for teachers with big ideas; look for colleagues who keep up with what’s current in education and who have collaborative spirits. Search for the teachers asking meaningful questions and taking professional development seriously. Keep an eye out for the ones with a growth mindset — the ones who fall and get back up. These are the coworkers that’ll come alongside you and show you how to do the same. These are the friends you want on your side.

If you’re having a hard time building a squad of helpful, inspiring cheerleaders, then the ball is in YOUR court. It’s up to you to shake up your campus climate. Often, teachers who feel shy or undervalued will keep to themselves and the four walls of their classrooms. Be their breath of fresh air. Tap into the potential of your coworkers by modeling these traits and inviting them in to come along for the ride. We guarantee you will be glad you did.

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