Do you consider yourself a nurturing administrator? Do you consider yourself a nurturing parent?
I thought all parents and teachers were nurturers, but I learned that this is not the case. I was thinking about my first-year teaching and I need to let you know that I used to be a substitute teacher for a whole year before I actually started my first-year teaching.
I remember as a substitute teacher, I kind of felt left out of the loop. I wanted a cup of coffee in the morning but there were no mugs for subs. When the teachers would get together, you’d always have to introduce yourself and let them know of your presence and that you matter.
How Do You Acknowledge and Support Your Substitute Teachers and New Teachers?
During my first year of teaching, I had a lot of extra mugs in my home, so I selected about five of them and I wrote “The Sub Mug” on each of them and I brought it into the teacher’s lounge. I didn’t realize that there was actually a person in charge of helping substitute teachers feel welcomed. It threatened her, and when I spoke with her, she let me know that it was her job. I apologized and told her there were no mugs and I missed not having a mug.
Do You Acknowledge Your New Teacher’s Talents of Decorating?
Then I was in a wonderful credentialing program that really taught us how to do our bulletin boards in the classroom beautifully and creatively. They also taught us how to decorate our doors. I remember it was St. Patrick’s Day and I had the most dynamic decoration on my door. I had made a golden pot with shamrocks and a pot of gold to indicate that inside this classroom you’d find the pot of gold. This really threatened the teacher who was a retired union president. Maybe it really bothered her that I had her classroom because she had been moved to another location with all the other teachers of her grade level.
Did you notice your teacher’s gorgeous classroom bulletin boards?
Inside the classroom, I had a bulletin board that was beautiful. I got one of those really long pencils and I put it on the bulletin board. I wrote “pardon our dust riders under construction” and this was used by many other businesses about 21 years ago. I was thought I was being really creative but when the evaluations came in. there were never comments about the wonderful boards. The comments came from my mentor from the university I attended but not from the school. It was just so sad because the administration was under such pressure and they were just under the requirements of their own evaluations that they didn’t have that time to be nurturing and just appreciate the first-year teacher putting all this time and energy into her bulletin boards.
Do You Ignore or Scold Rather than Encourage and Support Creativity?
I remember Toys-R-Us was closing and I was friends with people that worked there because I used to go there all the time with my kids. They were going to throw out this reading bench that had “ABC” written on the top in cardboard in letters and it had cushions on both sides. It was like an A- frame and then the cushions were on the bottom where the students could sit and read their books, like a piece of furniture.
I asked them if I could have that, rather than them throw it out and so I had my husband pick it up and deliver it to my classroom. But it got people at the school upset because it wasn’t an approved piece of furniture that I was moving in and I didn’t realize it had to be approved. So, just a heads up, if you’re nurturing and creative like that, it seems like you always have to run everything by the principal. But I was never told that because I saw it as a piece of furniture.
Do You Every Allow Family Teacher’s Family to Visit?
The last thing I remember, I loved to have my kids see what my husband was doing at work and I loved to have them see what I was doing at work. My son was about a first grader and my daughter was a kindergartner and so my husband dropped him off at lunchtime and we all had lunch together in the teacher’s lounge.
“Oh no. no, families do not belong in the teacher’s lounge!” So, if you’re a veteran teacher then I totally get it because I never saw people bring their families to school to their lunch lounge. But as a first-year teacher, there were just a lot of new things I needed to learn.
I share these stories with you in case you’ve struggled as a first-year administator. If you’re a nurturing person, these are just things we need to learn like who’s in charge, what’s the pecking order and what do you have to do before you do all these different things. It’s kind of different when you’re leaving running a household to going back to work and when you’re not used to having to check in with everybody.
I share this because in case you are not in the school system anymore, maybe you’re a displaced administrator, maybe you have a private practice, maybe you are even interested in screening children for dyslexia as an entrepreneur, I’m having a free webinar on February 25th from 2 PM to 3 PM.
I hope you join me. I’m going to go over some of the assessments that I use to screen for dyslexia. It’s not a diagnosis but it’s a very affordable way to see if children have dyslexia. It could be the next step if their parent wants to take the report to school, or if the parent just wants peace of mind to know if their child could have dyslexia.
You should have a Master’s Degree in Special Education because you won’t be able to purchase the testing protocol. I hope you reach out to me if you’re a mastered teacher who may be out of the public school system or maybe even retired. I would love to partner with you and help you.
If what I’ve shared has inspired you, please like this YouTube video and share it with someone else.
Subscribe to my YouTube channel because that’ll help us get the word out. If you’d like to make a small donation, that would be very appreciated. Our website is dyslexia-solutions.com. See you on the 25th, the link will be on my Facebook page.