Well, the moment is almost upon you now. The doors will be opening for the first time this year in a matter of days. You have been running around like a chicken without a head for the past couple of weeks: last minute hires, preparing for orientation, meetings after meetings. Are you ready?
More to the point, during this hectic time, you probably haven’t had a spare moment to think about opening day with your staff, and now it is almost upon you. Need some last minute help to make that first staff meeting to make it a slam dunk? Keep reading for some valuable tips.
Your First Staff Meeting
How are you going to conduct that first staff meeting? Is it going to be playful or are you going to get right down to business? Perhaps you need to do a little of both. While you want to set everyone at ease by creating a congenial environment, it’s time to get down to work.
In a friendly, relaxed atmosphere you need to remind and reinforce the teachers of your overall objectives and how appreciative of the strides that have been made towards achieving them. What can you accentuate about last year that will serve as the platform to upon which to build?
Be sure that your message reverberates with positivity and encouragement, finding every opportunity to compliment their strengths. And don’t forget to introduce new staff members, making them feel at home with their new team is vital for their comfort. Personalize that introduction.
While focusing on your new teachers, it is important to recognize the veterans in your staff and what happened in their lives over the summer; weddings, new babies, children going off to college, or special summer trips. This first meeting can be a wonderful opportunity for sharing and bonding.
How To Break The Ice and Build The Team
Mimicking has often been called the highest form of flattery. So remember, if you want your teachers to build relationships with their students, you will need to build relationships with your teachers. And the relationships you need to develop with your teachers begins on Day One!
Let’s not be naive. A warm smile or handshake isn’t going to do it by itself, but it is a good start. You need to set the tone, which in your capacity as principal includes an open and mutually beneficial relationship with every one of your staff. You can begin that relationship at that first meeting.
Teletherapy and Other Innovations
While relationships with your teachers are critical, they are by no means enough. Your teachers need to know that you are “with the program” by any measure, which includes your technology acumen. Take teletherapy for example. Your teachers will be impressed to see how you have solved speech-language needs with cutting edge technology.
Teletherapy has been shown to significantly bring top-quality clinicians to increasing number of students, especially in rural areas. Demonstrating concern for special needs children with awareness of technological advances such as teletherapy will build your staff’s confidence in you.
Face it, and there are a plethora of distractions the first few days. But with careful planning and focusing upon the bigger picture, you are bound to make the first day or two as constructive as possible, setting the tone for your best year so far.