Your staff is the lifeblood of your school. As the director, there are many things you can do outside the classroom to show them appreciation and build the team mentality. By bringing teams closer together you can foster deeper engagement, a rich culture and a stronger teacher bond. Here are some ideas as you gear up for the new school year.
Kick the school year off right by bringing in staff for planning meetings and providing high-quality food. It not only helps them stay fueled during long planning days, but also shows you care enough to keep grumbling tummies at bay. Once the stomach is full, you'll have their complete attention for announcements, trainings and team-building activities.
Two truths and a tale
As new and tenured staff gather, it's smart to do an ice breaker. Pass out index cards and have people write down two facts and one lie about themselves. Then collect the cards and go through each, introducing the person and reading their card. Then ask the group to guess what the lie is. Everyone learns about each other in a fun, casual manner and it's a great way to break down assumptions.
Have staff fill out a questionnaire that asks a variety of questions about their personal preferences. Coffee or tea? White, milk or dark chocolate? Favorite color, food or type of music? Select 10 or fewer questions and then go over answers to see what people have in common. It will help colleagues get to know each other better beyond their role as teacher. What's more, you can save the answers to these questions and use them as guides so you can get a little gift on their birthday to brighten their day.
If it's time to recharge, do a rock-paper-scissors tournament. Yes, it's a little cheesy, but it's a whole lot of fun. Partner up for three rounds of the game. The winner will then partner up with another winner until there is only one champion left. It's a fast-paced game that doesn't take much time, but will get everyone smiling and cheering. You might even consider giving the winner a gift pack featuring — you guessed it — a new pack of paper and scissors for the classroom, and a rock paperweight with the word "champion" painted on top.
Sometimes it's good to get outside the school and enjoy each other's company. If budget allows, treat staff to dinner or go to a movie together. If you want a team-building twist, select an activity that promotes camaraderie like mini golf or the escape rooms that are growing in popularity in cities across the country. You'll spend quality time together and help build stronger bonds.
These ideas will help you create a positive environment where staff feels valued and appreciated. Your work family will be stronger than ever!
Your staff is the lifeblood of your school. As the director, there are many things you can do outside the classroom to show them appreciation and build the team mentality.