Fostering Effective Relationships

As outlined by Alberta Education

A school leader builds trust and fosters positive working relationships, on the basis of appropriate values and ethical foundations, within the school community — students, teachers and other staff, parents, school council and others who have an interest in the school.

I feel that I have many strengths with this leadership dimension.  I am proud of the relationships I have established with students, parents and staff at my school, in my community and within my district.  I am a compassionate teacher and person.  I have an “open door” policy.  This has been instrumental in building these relationships.  Students and parents know they can come to me with concerns, issues or questions.

The school leader fosters positive working relationships within the school community by:
a) acting with fairness, respect and integrity

  • In my daily interactions with students, families and staff I diligently work to be fair and equitable.  I pride myself in treating every person who I encounter with dignity and respect, even on my most difficult days.

b) demonstrating empathy and a concern for others

  • Going Green for Ethan: There is a student at our school who suffers from a rare disease.  In an attempt to raise money for his medical treatments, myself and several staff members challenged our students to raise $1500 for Ethan and we would streak our hair green.  The students and community raised just over $20,000! And we all streaked our hair green!
  • NW: “She was nice to me.”
  • KM: Back at school. :)
  • This school year, I coordinated and “coached” our Junior High 3D Charity Hockey Team.  We had a lot of fun raising money for children in our school district who are unwell.

c) promotes an inclusive school culture respecting and honouring diversity

  • We have about a 18% FNMI population.  I have attended several workshops and a FNMI conference in attempts to help improve the FNMI student achievement and their engagement in our school.
  • I am proud to say that I was nominated for a FNMI Award in the 2011-2012 school year.
  • As our school community becomes more and more diverse, I need to ensure I am understanding and respectful of all cultures
  • I asked our FNMI District Lead to come to present to our staff about the difficulties that our FNMI students face. She spent an hour with our staff speaking about the historical perspective of FNMI families and how it impacts their academic success.

d) demonstrates responsibility for all students and acts in their best interests

  • St. Pat’s: I proudly know each of our 300 students by name.  I also take time to get to know each student’s academic strengths and challenges.  By doing this, I am better able to meet the needs of our student population.
  • St. Kateri: (October) I am slowly getting to know each student by: being in classrooms everyday, attending all student specific meetings, speaking with staff about students, answering questions, attending extracurricular events, speaking with parents.
  • St. Kateri: (May) I am proud to say that I know most of the students in our school by name.  I enjoy greeting them each morning by the entrance doors and saying farewell at the end of each day.

e) models and promotes open, inclusive dialogue

  • I have an open-door policy.  I communicate this with students, staff and families.
  • I believe in inclusive education, we have many discussions about Differentiated Instruction.

f) uses effective communication, facilitation, and problem-solving skills

  • I believe in the power of communication.  I communicate with our families through our school newsletter, school website, emails and morning announcements.
  • Each Sunday, I send out an email to our school staff.  This email celebrated the accomplishments of our past week and informs staff about upcoming events.
  • Each morning we have a “mini-staff meeting” where reminders are given, events are spoken about and news is shared.
  • I am a Twitter-Rookie: I see the power of this technology for myself, my staff and my school community.

g) supports processes for improving relationships and dealing with conflict within the school community

  • I believe in building positive relationships with students, staff and families.
  • I encourage teachers to make “sunshine calls” to parents on a regular basis.  I have not met a parent that doesn’t like hearing something nice about their child.  These positive calls go a long way when you have to make a not-so-positive call.
  • I believe in restorative justice.  Asking students to take responsibility for their poor choices and making amends builds strong moral character.
  • I believe in being pro-active rather than re-active.  I am present in the hallways, in the classrooms and on supervision.  When something happens or an issue arises we attempt to deal with it right away.
  • I participated in the four day VRTA workshops in October and January of this school year.  I have a solid understanding of the process and the supports it provides for our students and families.

h) adheres to professional standards of conduct

  • Teacher First!!!  I hold myself highly accountable to be a professional at all times.

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