You know the saying "It takes a village to raise a child". Well ... it takes many people to make a school function beautifully. Let me remind you that it takes the integration of teachers, administrators, office administrators/staff, EAS counselors, caretakers/custodians, social workers, consultants, cafeteria staff, teacher's assistants, volunteers and many others to make a school run effectively - as a well oiled machine.

We need to know the role that each one of us plays and recognize that we are all on the same important team. We all have the same mission, it's only the functions that are different.

It's how we perform our functions relative to the mission of your school that counts. For example, if the students were screamed at by the bus driver or fighting on the bus, their teachers may have a more difficult time settling them down first thing in the morning.

Everyone must come to an understanding, otherwise without operating as a team, many school employees may become unhappy and the school will not function to it's full capability.

It's only when all the vital parts come together that a team exists and makes quality education a reality.

There are two categories of workers in a school - classroom teachers and support staff. The classroom teachers hold the center stage position. It is they who teach the school board curriculum. While others teach student lessons too, all other workers in a school are employed to facilitate the work of the classroom teacher.

The teacher who doesn't understand this reality can make many mistakes with many people and may offend an entire staff. That's why examining the role of the support staff from several fundamental viewpoints can prove helpful.

For example, administrators structure the school for teaching, office administrators take care of clerical and office functions, cafeteria staff prepare daily meals, custodians/caretakers keep the building clean and orderly for learning. Regardless of the function, they are all helping teachers make learning happen for students.

You must realize that when one of these support staff fails to function properly, teachers may have difficulty in their efforts to teach their lessons effectively. It is wise and imperative to continually show respect and appreciation to all members of the school team. Everyone, no matter what their function is, lends a hand in teaching every child in the school.

In return, wise support staff will appreciate the work of teachers and understand that their own roles are to facilitate the work teachers do in the classroom.

The wise classroom teacher understands that the team concept must be exhibited in attitude and action (practice); otherwise, a school will simply not function in a complete and whole way. It's so vital that support staff need recognition and appreciation, just as teachers do. All of us need mutual respect, admiration and inclusion.

We are ONE team and have ONE mission, only our functions are different. We all share in the success of our school and cannot operate effectively alone, no matter how good we may be. Don't forget, a person's greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.

"What we must decide is perhaps how we are valuable, rather than how valuable we are." - Edgar Z. Friedberg

Everyone, have a well deserved March break. Enjoy the time off with family and friends. Speak to you next month.

Please be sure to read about my many priceless teaching strategies and please pass it on to your friends and colleagues.

Happy trails,


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