It's Jen from Out of This World Literacy! I hope everyone is having a fabulous summer relaxing and sleeping in.
I know many of my friends are moving roles in this upcoming school year. Some are switching grades while others are stepping out of the classroom to fill specific leadership positions.
As a Literacy Coach, I know what it's like to take that leap out of the classroom and into a specialist position. It. is. scary!
Teachers who shift into a leadership role often leave the comfort and support of a grade-level team. They can sometimes feel like they are out there on their own island.
Other teachers suddenly look at them differently...even though these teachers don't see themselves as a superior. They are not administrators, nor is their pay any different than when they were in the classroom.
But, because of their new 'specialist' title, they are now looked at differently.
I have some advice and tips for anyone who is stepping bravely out of the classroom and into a leadership role. Whether your new title is Reading Coach, Literacy Specialist, Interventionist, RTI Coordinator, or so on, I hope this list of advice can help you!
TOP 10 TIPS FOR TEACHER SPECIALIST:
1. LISTEN, LISTEN, LISTEN!
2. Don't fall into the gossip traps
3. Think about the effects of your words before you speak
4. Ways to get on the teachers' good sides right away...
a. Give stuff away at staff meetings! Don't hold on to all your classroom goodies! You don't
have a classroom anymore! Make a FREE box and put it at the front door at the first staff
b. Offer to come into classrooms, read a story, and introduce yourself to all the kids! Make a
sign-up sheet for teachers so you can visit. It gives teachers a 20 minute break and it gets
your foot in the door of all the classrooms!
c. This last one is cheesy I know...but...SMILE! Be positive! A great attitude is contagious!
And a smile can literally make someone's day. Whatever you're dealing with, smile, be
positive, and that will go such a long way!
5. Be Patient!
6. Never trust teachers to read all their emails! If you have something important to share, chances are they will not read all their emails. You will likely need to send reminders. We all know how busy teachers are. Friendly reminders for meetings and so on are a must! :)
7. Always carry a calendar or ipad in the halls! Teachers will stop you and ask about things. They
will ask you to come into the classroom, or send them something. It's hard to remember
everything. Have something to write your quick hallway conversations down with! Otherwise,
you will likely forget and unintentionally upset a teacher!
8.It's OK to say no!
9. Never act like you know everything!
10. Build yourself a layer of seriously thick skin!
If you want to read more about what I have to say for each of these 10 tips, you can download this FREE resource!
I wish everyone a fantastic start to a new year, whether it's back in your old classroom or taking on a new role!