Though in different roles, the objectives of teachers and principals remain common to one another: facilitate and nurture success in all students. It’s easy for us to feel misunderstood by one another, so teacher-principal communication is essential to strengthening those relationships.
Bridge the gap between you and your principal by following the tips below.
1) Meet Face-to-Face
Your principal is busy.
She is constantly attending meetings or responding to emails and calls from parents, district administration and other staff.
Instead of risking your email getting lost in the clutter, write down what you’d like to talk about and schedule a time to meet in her office. This is the best interaction possible to communicate your needs as an educator and creates a more personal emphasis on your needs.
2) Invite Her Into Your Class
It shouldn’t be scary for your principal to sit in on your class.
By inviting them to do so, she will see first hand the struggles you work with. Additionally, you can highlight the wonderful work you do daily that instills a passion for learning in your students. Let her be a fly on the wall and take note of your classroom environment.
3) Advocate For Your Students
It’s about your students, not you.
When you place the focus on your students and not yourself, you will avoid coming off as self-serving. The next time you are looking to resolve an issue or ask for program funding, emphasize how your request will positively impact your students.
4) Be Involved Outside of Your Class
Get active by sitting on committees, supporting events and socializing in the teacher’s lounge.
Demonstrating that you are active outside the classroom will showcase you as an important, committed member of your school. This delivers a powerful message to your principal, identifying you as a passionate educator who they will want to empower.
5) Encourage. Encourage. Encourage.
Your principal will make mistakes. Everyone does.
And when she does she’ll be made very aware by anyone and everyone involved. Take the stance of forgiveness and optimism to show that you value her efforts. Whether it’s a pat on the back or a note left on her desk, this gesture will provide the extra boost of positive energy for her to continue the great work.
In your relationship, it is imperative that you remain authentic. None of the actions above should feel forced but rather an invitation for your principal to recognize your efforts and value and to feel confident that you are a true member of the team.