I was overwhelmed and humbled by the number of birthday wishes I received. Thanks to social media, these wishes came from near and far. With each wish, I smiled as happy thoughts and memories of family, friends, and coworkers came to mind. Each person we come into contact helps shape the person we become. My birthday is not so much about the day I was born, but about the people and experiences that have made me who I am! I feel so lucky to be part of a supportive, trusting, and loving community.
As teachers and district leaders, we need to develop trust and community so students, parents, teachers, and administrators have the environment needed to try new things, fail forward, celebrate success, share, and be amazing everyday. As the principal of a building or a teacher in a classroom, you set the tone and create the overall culture for your learning environment.
Community goes beyond fun "get to know you" games at the start of the year. Developing trust and building community must take place all year long and most importantly be genuine. A caring community should be the norm. It takes work and effort, but the end results are worth it!
Here are some of my favorite resources about building trust:
Classroom Management Tips-Connecting with Students
Forbes Interview with Stephen Covey on Trust
The Emotional Bank Account
If you are looking for ideas to build community, enjoy these links:
101 Affirmation for Children
Team and Community Building with Mobile Devices
Fostering Relationships in the Classroom
As you think about your learning community, what do you hope it looks like in a week? six months? a year? What steps might you take to get there? What will you do to make a caring community the norm?