Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Reach In for Inspiration: Nurture Trust Amongst Teachers

Teachers often have to reach in for inspiration to do a good job each day. As I reach in, I plan to focus with depth each day on one of ECET2's Six Key Ingredients that "seek to fully realize a teacher's potential by ensuring each ECET2 convening includes the six ingredients." Today, I'll focus on the first ingredient:

Nurture Trust Among Teachers: ECET2 provides a safe and supportive space to build trust among teachers and other educators. Teachers return to their schools and communities eager and equipped to build and nurture trusting relationships among their peers.

How do we best nurture trust among teachers? This is a question, I'd like to discuss with peers, but initially, I have the following thoughts:

Collaboration over Competition and Compliance
In environments that focus solely on test scores, competition, and compliance, there is little room to build trust. Environments that foster collaboration amongst teams build trust. I am fortunate to work with an extended grade-level team that works well together and collaborates regularly with student service as our focal point. Contributing to worthy collaboration within this group is one way to nurture trust.

Transparent, Inclusive Information Share versus Selective Share
When information is selectively shared rather than inclusively shared, trust wanes and conjecture and hearsay reign. This is true because no one knows the truth of what's going on. By supporting inclusive, transparent share, educators nurture trust among teachers.

Active Listening
It's essential that we hear each other's stories with active listening. That can be difficult in busy schools and educational environments, but we have to listen carefully to one another as that will nurture trust among teachers.

Honesty, Humility, and Vulnerability
Educators will not develop if they are not willing to speak with honesty, act with humility, and innovate with vulnerability. Growing together in collaboration with empathy, compassion, and support for one another will help us to nurture trust amongst teachers.

What other acts helps us to develop trust amongst teachers? Why is this important?

When is trust amongst teachers challenged? How can teachers work together to ensure that teaching/learning environments nurture trust amongst teachers in order to further the good work we can do for students and families.