Friday, July 31, 2009

Making Connections With Your LSC (Local School Community)

My school had a lot of teacher turn-over this year. Our junior high alone lost four of seven of their teachers with three new teachers taking positions and me moving up from fifth grade to take over the media lab. As you may understand there is a lot of stress involved for us. I have spent a lot of time the last few days talking to the new teachers and trying to get them to feel more comfortable around the school. I also want them to be able to know they have someone they can contact in our hallway if they need help or have a problem.

Obviously many of us spend a lot of time working on developing our professional learning communities, but at this time of year it seems important to develop our LSC (local school community). Is this as important to you as developing your on-line communities?

In the past we have had beginning of year social events for the teachers to go to and meet each other. We had one that worked pretty well last year, but the turn-over was not as large as this year. What kinds of things do you have at your school to welcome new teachers (besides the state mandated stuff)? How do you personally meet and great new teachers that you will be working with?

By the way, with my change in position I will have more opportunities to facilitate interactions between students in my grade 3-8 building and other schools. If you are part of my PLC be prepared, I may be soon looking to collaborate!


terri_lynn said...

One new snippet I read this summer about building community in a school was that good schools share their school's history every year. So, during one of the back-to-school events, everyone listens again to how/when the school was formed, who the former principals were, and the main focus of instruction throughout the years to the present. That way, everyone has a sense of why the school is where they are today.

Since I'm starting at a new school this year as their instructional coach, I'm going to start that tradition here.

We also have a New Teacher Group that will meet throughout the year. Usually, new teachers are given so much info at the beginning, they forget much of it. We spread it out.

Michael/@teachernz said...

Every 2 years we go on an overnight retreat just before the new school year starts. We learn about each other, meet new staff members and work on our school vision/focus for the year. It's working well.

I remember when I started teaching, it took me a year or more to learn everyone's names and even longer to strike up a rapport with many of them.

I/we sometimes forget what it's like to be a teacher in a new school and if there's a large turnover of staff in any one year it can lead to dissonance and a sense of not belonging, for new and old members of staff alike. I personally make it my job to "hello" the new teachers and make sure they feel part of our school as soon as possible.

John Strange said...

I'm ready to help and to learn! And I have a lot of students who I hope will be ready to learn (and help where they can)!