April 27, 2022

Bridging the Faculty/Admin Divide (Ep. 3): Unpacking Teacher Support

We’re back, and we’ve got an incredible, honest episode unpacking what we mean when we talk about providing teacher support featuring two thought-provoking lower school guests: Michelle Portera (first grade teacher) and Shea Egger (lower school head).  Check out the show notes below and enjoy:

2:35-3:26: Listen to Rachel and Michelle gush about Shea’s supportive, positive, caring leadership style  . . . and why sharing vulnerabilities as administrators is KEY in fostering conversations, connections, and growth.

5:18-8:20: Our panel explores why so many teachers are in survival mode . . . and the implications of anxiety, stress, and “functioning below the line.”  

8:50-13:00: Teachers and admin unpack what has led to the burnout both pre and post-pandemic: teachers putting pressure on themselves, scarcity of time, a sense of being piled on, and society’s “ hurry sickness.” (See Shea’s book recommendation here: Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer.)

13:03-14:43: Rachel goes deeper into “time” as a finite resource . .. and provides some ideas for how to streamline in order to work smarter and not harder.

14:45-16:28: Shea explores some concrete strategies administrators should employ to be mindful about time for faculty: making sure any change is purposeful and done with teacher feedback and efficiently using meetings so that admin is making the best use of the time they are taking from faculty.

16:30- 21:30 : What the dreaded “you must submit your lesson plans ahead of time” move can communicate about trust and transparency between faculty and administrators.

22:25-24:23: Hear how one of Michelle’s past admin took on a strengths-oriented approach that made a real difference.

24:23-25:42: Why communication is the key to building trust and relationships . . .both giving feedback and receiving it; and hear about one of Rachel’s WORST admin wielding “lack of communication” as a “power tool.” 

25:43-32:12: Why it’s worth the time for us all (but I’m especially looking at you, admin) to make connections, be in communion/fellowship with faculty, be vulnerable and authentic, own the mistakes you make, and share your values as a leader.  Also the clear reminder: “we all have to play in order to be healthy.”

32:15-34:20:  Self care as a practice that you do, but the equal necessity of systems that support us (e.g. SAPA dinner for faculty families to take home!) 

34:22-35:00: What parents can do to aid in teacher support on their end: ask them what they need! 

35:00-37:35: Back to our main themes: vulnerability, authenticity, trust, and connection. And why there’s “such peace” in bringing your whole self to work. . . which can increase the grace we have for others as well.

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