Are you counting down the hours? Minutes? The new year is upon us. This usually brings time for reflection and growth. I mentioned in a previous post my professional New Year's resolutions. I'd like to add one more. While it doesn't involve a career change, it does involve including a career that I hadn't originally considered a part of my job. Marketing.
In order for teachers to know how to access my services, they need to understand what it is that I do, how they can access me, and how working with me can be a benefit to them and their students. Elena Aguilar posted a great blog about encouraging teachers to use coaches. Communication is the key. Making sure you are always explicit about what it is you do, how you can help, and the benefits of working with a coach.
I've tried the mass-marketing approach. I may have reached 2 people this way. I have been given advice that the best way to reach teachers is to approach them individually. But just like with students, you need to understand each individual teacher and how they desire to be approached, what the best way to work with them might be, and how to carry out a plan together. Using resources such as the DISC profile or other psycho-metrically developed assessments can give you insight into many of these areas.
You may not have access to this type of assessment (I know all of our staff will not have taken this by the start of the new year). Whether you have these tools or not, establishing a trusting relationship with staff members is far more essential than knowing personality types and preferences. Building trust begins with articulating your goals and beliefs upfront. What you do must be transparent (to a degree, there are aspects of working with teachers that can never become public knowledge, or trust WILL be broken). Finally, stating what you will do and then following up is crucial!
One teacher at a time. Knowing each teacher as an individual. Articulating goals. Follow through. We'll see how this translates into practice!