Communicating with colleagues and administrators

Too often, beginning teachers isolate themselves from their colleagues and administrators. A key to continued success in teaching is communicating with other faculty and staff. The administration and staff can provide you with feedback and ideas to aid you in continued success.

Use the checklist below to help with this.

  • Whenever you send a newsletter to parents, send one to your principal, also.
  • Share your class calendar and newsletters by posting them on a bulletin board in the teachers' workroom. It really helps to know what other teachers in the building are doing.
  • Schedule appointments to meet with your principal, if he/she does not meet with you regularly. Write up a mini-agenda for your meetings so that they can be productive.
  • Let your principal know what you are teaching and about student success. When the administration knows what you are doing, they are in a better position to provide help and supplies.
  • Keep a portfolio of your work. Include best lesson plans, samples of student assignments, pictures of bulletin boards, and agendas from conferences you attend. Share this portfolio with your administrators to help them understand your hard work.
  • Find out early in the school year when you will be evaluated and how. If the principal uses a checklist evaluation, you should be able to see the criteria on the checklist before the evaluation. After an evaluation your administrator should schedule a conference to share the results with you.
  • Congratulate the principal and colleagues when they are successful. Educators must support each other in word and deed because that's what real professionals do.

Adapted from "Bright Ideas: A Pocket Mentor for Beginning Teachers" by Mary C. Clement and published by the National Education Association.