Thursday, July 2, 2015

Relationships Matter Most - Be Real #naesp15

This is co-written by Adam Welcome and Todd Nesloney and cross-posted on both of their blogs.

Relationships for Principals have always and will continue to be of utter importance, it's the catalyst of our work! This week at NAESP (#naesp15) has brought so many different ideas to the forefront, especially after our opening keynote from @ErikWahl

Erik spoke a ton about trust, making all kids feel special, bringing back our artistic mojo which leads to more creativity! Ideas like, think differently about what you do as a Principal, have teachers use crayons to write down ideas at a staff meeting, this will get them to smile.

Research shows that just the smell of Crayola crayons can lower stress levels! Make school fun, teachers and students will reach new heights when they’re relaxed and know you care!

Trust can only be built when strong relationships are at the forefront of what you do each and every day on campus. Relationships with all stakeholders; kids, staff, and parents will fuel your school culture so it burns bright for everyone.

Todd and I have talked a lot about relationships this week and what it means for a school. The video clip below from Jerry Maguire came up and is a great example of what a strong relationship can be, and what the complete opposite looks like as well.

How did Jerry and Rod build their strong relationship?
What actions happened previous to their embrace in the locker room?
How can you as a Principal build strong relationships with all stakeholders?
Or do you want to stand on the sidelines and fake it?

Kids can smell fake - Teachers can smell fake - Parents can smell fake - Be real!

Some of our favorite ways to build, foster, and grow relationships are:

  • We talk about kids, all the time.
  • Know every student’s name, this is first and foremost!
  • Only make decisions that are good for them!
  • Celebrate small moments
  • Talk to kids like they’re a person, they’ll respect you more if you do
  • Recognize genius
  • Give high-fives, fist bumps, hugs
  • Say yes
  • Create a school motto that lets everyone know what you’re all about - we like #teamkid
  • Call home for celebrations on a weekly basis
  • Believe that everyone can achieve greatness
  • Send notes to staff members families recognizing the hard work the staff member does
  • Eat lunch with kids/staff
  • Play at recess, kids/teachers/parents love to see the Principal engaged in different ways
  • Talk about what you believe in and stand for, people want to follow someone with a solid plan
  • Be present
  • Servant’s heart
  • Tweet for your school to showcase all the #eduawesome going on
  • Make sure every student sees you each and every day, build those connections

How do YOU build relationships?

Thank you Erik for reawakening our genius, pushing us to UNthink, rediscover and focus on what matters most!

Connect with Erik!
(and check out Erik's book "UNthink")

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