How Do I Keep My School Administration Happy?
Under promise, but over deliver.
Joel | Teaching
No matter how hard you try and no matter how much the students and parents love you, certain people can make your job more difficult. Principals, superintendents, counselors, and secretaries are key people to have on your side. But how do you get them on your team? We’ll look in-depth at some tactics that I have found to be fruitful.
1. Under promise, over deliver
The typical routine is to over promise and under deliver. To say I’ll be there are 7, and show up at 7:05. That immediately lowers the opinion people hold about you. If I say that I am going to do something, the very minimum that I must do is exactly what I said. I aim to meet expectations when I tell someone what I will do, and to exceed those expectations when I actually do it. Perhaps it is a competitive thing for me, but I want to be better than everyone else. Seth Godin would call it being the best in the world. Always be certain to at least do what you say you will do.
2. Always present your students in a positive light
Nobody important likes hearing you complain about the children you have to teach. They love hearing you brag about the children you get to teach. Gossip and complaining will merely turn into a downward spiral. If you are the best in the world, then your students must be the greatest students ever. Choose your attitude.
3. Offer solutions
Everybody can point out problems. Most people do. Those who change the world offer solutions instead of merely pointing out problems. Problems with no offered solution lead to complaining. Complaining does not make people like you more. People who complain generally don’t get the help with budget items. Whenever you talk with your counselors about scheduling, no matter how bad it is, don’t complain. Have a solution or two or three ready and ask if there is a way they can make one of them happen. Sometimes, they are not even in control of that. Complaining to someone about something they cannot fix is definitely not going to give them a higher view of you.
4. Smile when you talk with them
This works for everyone. It gives the impression that you love your job and that you love your students. People who love their jobs are more productive at work. When you’re talking about those solutions, be sure that you laugh about the problem rather than getting upset about it. As I mentioned before, it is not always their fault. Also keep in mind that principals want to help you out, but they also want to help out all of the other teachers in their school. They generally try, so at least give them the benefit of the doubt.