Today was the last day of my second year at Carpenter Elementary School as their Instructional Technology coach. Words cannot express how much I love my job. There are, of course, rough days where things don't go right or I get bogged down in the politics of education and change. But, I believe in what I am doing and I see the impact I have had with the teachers that I work with and the students that we serve. I know though, that I could not have had any impact if it weren't for the truly great group of people that I work with and the relationships that we have built together. Without relationships you cannot have growth.
Personal relationships are the fertile soil from which all advancement, all success, all achievement in real life grows. - Ben Stein
Relationships are built on mutual respect. In the first couple months in my time at Carpenter I had to work to gain the respect of my teachers. I had to prove to them that I knew what I was talking about. In talking with them I showed them respect by showing them that I valued their expertise in the content that they teach and in their teaching practices.
Relationships will only work if you communicate clearly. It is important to be upfront with each other and share what you are doing and feeling. Communication is just as much listening as it is talking. When working together it's important to actually listen to what the other person is saying.
Relationships work best when you share a common goal. Our common goal is doing what is best for our students. When working together that goal frames our conversations, so even when we don't agree on everything we know that we are working for the same thing. I also take time to set individual goals with my teachers for their growth, which sets up clear expectations.