- As a teacher, there are a number of paths you can take towards getting involved in your school.
- Start small when you’re ready to get more involved outside of your classroom duties.
- Figure out what brings you joy and what you have the most time to dedicate your talents to.
Getting Involved in Your School
PBIS Tier 1 coach? Check!
Director of the school musical? Check!
Team leader? Check!
Cheerleading coach? Check!
Dance coach? Check!
Stressed teacher? Check!
Oftentimes as teachers, we think that we have to say “yes” to whatever our administration asks of us. We want to come across as “a team player” or we are trying to get professional evidence for our evaluation system. However, by doing that, we can become stressed and lose sight of the joy those extra duties can bring to us. For many years, that’s exactly what happened to me.Remember you are always more than “just” a teacher. Get involved in your school any way you can. Maybe it is by being a supportive staff member or maybe it is being in charge of a club. Click To Tweet
All of those things I listed above used to be me until I realized that I could still be a team player without them, but in other ways too.
During one of the “Daily Drop In” episodes, Rae Hughart and I discussed this important topic of being more than just a teacher and how to be a strong staff member too.
You do not have to join every committee and volunteer to sponsor every club and sport to be a supportive staff member. It can be as simplistic as being a “good neighbor.” Checking in on your fellow colleagues is so beneficial for you and them!
Pop in their room and wish them a good morning. Surprise them with a cup of coffee or my favorite—a piece of chocolate! Leave them an encouraging Post-it note in their mailbox or on their desk. Share a lesson plan or resource that has helped you.
Yes, our jobs are centered around our students, but we cannot forget our fellow colleagues are a vital piece of that puzzle too.
On the “Daily Drop In,” I shared a story about a wrestling belt that we used to pass around to different teachers each week as a shoutout. Yes, you read that right. Think obnoxious, gold, wrestling champion belt! On the surface, it was a silly, gaudy belt left over from a Halloween costume that we pretended fit us. But in actuality, the belt was a way for us to lift up one another. It was started by one of our 8th grade teams to foster positivity… and that’s exactly what it did.
I received the belt my first year at my current school. Even though I had been teaching for a decade already, I felt like a first-year teacher again trying to get a handle on the curriculum and school logistics. Receiving that belt in the middle of the last class of the day was the BEST!
The teachers who started this tradition were going above and beyond. It did not take any extra time or money, and it was not started by our administration. It was such a fun tidbit to boost morale and show support for one another. And it allowed me to meet one of the 8th grade teachers I did not know and it was the beginning of our friendship.[scroll down to keep reading]
When you are ready to get more involved outside of your classroom duties, start small.
Figure out what brings you joy and what you have the most time to dedicate your talents to. Maybe it is starting off as a committee member at your school; most committees have a smaller time commitment than sponsoring a sport or a club. It lets you get started slowly and showcase your expertise in your content area. Then move your way up to positions that require more responsibility and leadership as you feel comfortable.
Remember you are always more than “just” a teacher. Get involved in your school any way you can. Maybe it is by being a supportive staff member or maybe it is being in charge of a club. Whatever you decide is best for you is best for your school.
About Andrea Kalchbrenner
Andrea is a Secondary Education English Language Arts teacher from the Chicago suburbs who has a Master’s degree in Reading and is also one of the Ambassador Coordinators for the Teach Better Team. Although she began her career teaching high school 14 years ago, she soon realized middle school was her true calling, spending the majority of her time teaching seventh grade.
Andrea is passionate about making reading and writing come alive for her students every single day by immersing her students (and herself) in all things related to ELA! She runs a mastery learning classroom utilizing The Grid Method framework with a focus on social-emotional learning.
As an Ambassador Coordinator, she has the amazing opportunity to network with other inspiring educators from across the world on a daily basis. Outside of the education world, Andrea is a professionally-trained dancer who enjoys sharing her love of dance with aspiring ballerinas. Out of all of her roles, though, Andrea’s greatest role is being a Mom to her two children