1. Perfect reminder of what we should already be modeling no matter what our position is in education. Like many of us, I have seen both ends of this process and have found that even if it’s just one person consistently modeling this Trust, Loyalty and Praise it has a positive affect on the team, if not the entire school/district. I do believe that it needs to start with the administrators of each building and to consistently reinforce these norms for continued successes. Thanks for the reminder as we begin to think work again on Monday!


  2. So true! And we need to see trust, loyalty and praise not only between the adults in the school, but also between adults and children and between the children themselves. We all tend to shine just a little bit brighter when we feel we are trusted, safe, and recognized.
    I will be thinking about how I can help build this on my staff and in my class over the next weeks. Thanks for the thoughtful reminder.

  3. Aaron

    This article really rings true with the experiences I have had. When a school staff has the strengths you mentioned above, it creates an environment in which a learning community can thrive.

    • I am not sure that one alone can building this environment, but one can only begin the process and gain the trust from others. As stated in Forbes, 5 Leadership Behaviors Loyal Employees Trust (http://onforb.es/JNwTKh) it is a two-way street of respect and trust. I have found that building trust either with your students or the adults you associate with tends to lead to respect and loyalty. That biggest challenge tends to be the follow-through and the consistency of modeling the behavior you seek of others. The process does not have to begin with the administrators of a building, but their support would make it easier. The process takes time and commitment, but builds relationships that allow for trust, loyalty and praise to occur naturally. As teachers we can begin to model this in our classrooms, our small/big teams and it could go viral to the entire school with time if the majority of staff models the behavior. I hope this answers your question.


  4. Mrs. M

    I agree with your three things administration and educators must reciprocate when working in an educational environment with students. To be considered a best or great organization, and as you posit, a great school, each party must possess the same mindset and principles to ensure everyone succeeds. I worked in the private sector, in corporate research and development, and the best departments had the best managers who exhibited these same things you’ve discussed, trust, loyalty, and praise. The best managers had reputations for setting their people up for success – these were the behaviors they exhibited as part of their management style, publicy and privately. I recently completed my first year teaching High School science, and by the beginning of my second month (~ November), I determined which administrators were ‘the best’ by how they demonstrated these reciprocating behaviors to the teaching staff. Unfortunately, the administrator evaluating all the new teachers was not one of them. It was a easy decision as tobwhether or not I would return to this school for the following school year. My colleagues were great, they helped me manage as best they could and supported me as much as possible, given the situation and conditions I was placed in as a first-year teacher. This was also the mindset and platform I used in my classroom. Most of my students began to trust me, once I showed faith and confidence in them. Also, care. By the end of the school year, several students felt they could come talk to me about anything. I praised them individually, and as a group, for small things, like receiving a good report from a substitute, and big things, like completing projects on time. My question is how does one determine whether these reciprocating behaviors are part of a school’s culture or not? If you haven’t taught (or been a substitute) in a particular district or school or know someone who does, what suggestions can you provide a prospective educator looking for a teaching job to evaluate these behaviors/beliefs/practices?

    • These are some great questions you are asking. I have some thought and suggestions as I would recommend. First, I would use the internet to explore the school district/school and what they are about (mission/philosophy, etc). I would look at their extracurricular activities, teacher webpages/blogs and even visit the community to get a better feel for what they are about. Second, if you were to have an interview with one of the schools, I would suggest jotting down some questions to ask the administrator/team. These questions may relate to administrator expectations of staff, goals they have for their teachers and/or how they handle a self driven staff member. These are just a few of the obvious suggestions that come to mind. I hope that they are helpful to you!


  5. twitter_ChristinaMLuce

    These are precisely what set great schools apart. Working towards a common goal within these norms is powerful. I feel very fortunate to be part of a learning environment that values this.

  6. Nice post George! I kind of chuckled when I read the part about the first year teacher experience. Made me think that honesty, no matter how difficult, needs to be a key part of being a school administrator.

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