Gratitude for Education Partners

Gratitude for Education Partners

Summary

Capturing examples of how this support has manifested over the years provides a valuable "self-assessment' or "look for" list you can use with your organization. Below are guidelines that can guide your work with any size school or grade level. The questions can train your current practices and develop new ones to set you apart from the field.

A significant part of my work involves supporting high school teachers and helping them do their things well. Typically, this support consists of using instructional practices, assessing students, classroom management strategies, and implementing digital and traditional content resources. Ultimately, my support is designed to impact the learning experiences of students in a positive way. To specify, learning should be relevant to students’ lives, based on constructivist theory, and embrace approaches that target engagement as an explicit goal of teaching.

Gratitude

In order to make this support happen, I need to develop networks and opportunities for teachers that emphasize collaboration and agency. Additionally, developing positive working relationships is vital to this venture. In short, my support approach is not directive. It is empowering. To this end, I am reminded of Don Berwick’s advice not to work harder but rather to work together.

One of the collectives I work with beyond our teachers is the vendors and service providers we contract. I may have been lucky over the years, for working in this group has largely been marked by a positive experience. To simplify, supporting teachers has been easier with this network’s help, and I am very grateful.

Gratitude

 

 

Capturing examples of how this support has manifested over the years provides a valuable “self-assessment’ or “look for” list you can use with your organization. Below are guidelines that can guide your work with any size school or grade level. The questions can train your current practices and develop new ones to set you apart from the field.

 

 

  1. Take things off the plate: Are you aware of the significant initiatives your partner schools are working on? How often do you check in with schools and ask how you can help with those initiatives?
  2. Make the plate easier to manage: When was the last time you heard from your partner schools? Are you sure they know of any changes or how to get in touch with you? What level of accessibility do you have?
  3. Provide opportunities to innovate: What are you doing new on your end? How do your partner schools find out about those innovations? What level of personalized communication are you using? How often do you ask your schools to be partners for the future?
  4. Connect educators: Do you provide a network for your partnering educators? How present are you in the education landscape? For example, do you have a teacher advisory board or host events at conferences?
  5. Celebrate teachers: What do you do to recognize the great work educators do with your product or services? Do you sponsor any student contests teachers can get involved with? How do partnering schools know you care about them?

I love how one of our vendors closes each email he sends. He writes, “Thank you for partnering.” What a sentiment! In that brief statement, he conveys values important for successful support – collaboration, cooperation, communication, attentiveness, and gratitude. Take a look at how you conclude your communication with schools. What values do you convey? Your messaging needs to be reviewed and refined if appreciation is not explicitly among those values. There is no better time to do that than now.

 

Written by: Craig Perrier

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