One of the greatest factors in determining how a teacher feels about her school year is the relationships with her teammates. I know some of you are nodding your heard right now (or maybe even pumping your fist in the air, saying, “that’s right!”)
Sometimes a team is made up of teachers who just get one another. They are supportive, helpful and kind. The atmosphere created by this type of teaching team is irreplaceable; it helps a teacher feel hopeful and capable, no matter the year she is having with her class.
Teachers on positive teacher teams:
- check in on their teammates to see how they are doing (both in the classroom and in their personal lives)
- make copies for one another
- let them know about special opportunities, sales, and programs
- share funny stories
- share about difficulties
- lend a helping hand
- collaborate, brainstorm and strategize
- share resources and ideas
I was very fortunate to work with excellent teams at each school I worked in. The teachers on my team went out of their way to make me feel welcomed, included, and valued. It made all the difference to me! I was able to teach with joy because I knew I was supported and seen as capable. My teaching partners will always hold a special place in my heart, even though we are no longer “in the trenches” together.
On the other hand, if a teaching team is characterized by disunity and competition, it makes for a difficult school year. Sometimes our teams are not a cohesive unit because of personality clashes, hurt feelings, or differences in teaching philosophies. Some of these things are out of your control, but determine today to do your part in making a positive team atmosphere. Reach out, share a strategy that has worked well with your students, and extend an olive branch, if needed. Romans 12:18 says “if possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.”
I asked teachers in my online Facebook community (Joy in the Journey Teaching) about the importance of positive team relationships and they had a lot to say about it:
Amy: I love my team! We are all for one and one for all. Our job is tough this year. We each have more on our plates than we can handle. But together we download, laugh, plan, and survive. I can’t imagine doing this without them.
Christie: Negativity will take a team down. You do not have to agree all the time, but keeping a positive attitude goes a long way.
Melissa: Gossip breaks a team quicker than all the hard work can fix. Laughter can heal the worst days. Take time to share funny kid moments and laugh with your team.
Jeanna: It is essential to making it in this profession. I couldn’t make it without my team. We take up each other’s slack and support each other.
Cathy: It. Is. Everything.
Kelli: Make a team by doing what you say you will and caring about how the others are doing. Break a team by being selfish with plans and leadership opportunities.
This week’s prayer prompt for >>Prayers for the Teaching Journey<< is to pray for YOUR TEACHING TEAM.
Pray for your grade-level team members (or school-wide staff if you are the only teacher per grade). Pray for them by name. Pray for UNITY this year as you strive to work together. Pray for a spirit of cooperation and collaboration rather than one of competition.
Ecclesiastes 4:12 “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”
Let your team members know how grateful you are for them. I have created these FREE cute note templates that you can use to send a quick note to your teammates. I have included a version with a Bible verse and one without:
Finding joy in the journey of teaching,